Exert oneself - Idioms by The Free Dictionary
To make a concerted effort to do something. With the poor grades you've gotten so far, you're really going to have to exert yourself to get a C this semester.
Put oneself to strenuous effort, as in We exerted ourselves mightily to raise funds. [First half of 1700s]
References in periodicals archive
Sloth is a reluctance to exert oneself
. If people had put in a little more effort with DOS, we might not have this so-called user-friendly catastrophe that has been imposed upon us.
Yet it seems odd (to say the least) that one would exert oneself
to defend Dreyfus against the more unsavory aspects of French tradition without invoking universal principles.