Working hard may not guarantee the achievement of a goal, but not working hard to achieve a goal will likely bring failure.
A person in the music business said essentially this recently. He said whether you're a singer, songwriter, artist, etc. (in the creative industries) a person should rise each day, work all day and at the end of the day, maybe you'll have something good, maybe you won't. And that's okay. His point was, judging by the snippet I heard, was that creative people shouldn't wait for inspiration.
I couldn't agree with him more. While inspiration is a tremendous help with one's creativity, an artist in every creative field needs to work everyday in order to achieve goals whether they are "in the mood" to work or not.
Creating when one isn't inspired is difficult work. The words don't come easily for a writer in this position, but they will come. They may need to be rewritten over and over, but they will come.
The only time an uninspired writer is completely unproductive is when she refuses to work.
Whether a person is in the creative field or not, I believe he can benefit by paying heed to this: Work hard towards a goal and success is achievable. Behave mediocrely toward the achievement of a goal and failure is at hand.
Good luck with whatever your goals are now and in the New Year.
Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author