You know what people don’t really talk about that much? That working to improve yourself is HARD.
But you know what’s hard too? Staying where you are.
Yes, working to lose weight or start a business is hard work. No one’s gonna deny that. It’s bloody hard work.
But not having energy to play with your kids or turning up everyday to a job you hate? Well, that’s hard too.
The thing about working hard towards something you want – like losing weight, paying off debt or hitting a new milestone in your business – is that it is always worth it. Because it challenges you. It stretches you. And it gets you to a place that is better than where you are now.
So today, I thought I’d share my daily ritual for leaning into the hard stuff.
I start my day with the absolute worst and hardest thing on my To Do list. It seems counterintuitive, but hear me out.
If there’s a really difficult email I need to send to an employee or client, I do it first thing in my work day. If I have to have an awkward conversation with someone, I’ll call them first thing in the morning. Back in my Ironman training days, if I had an intense training session, I would wake up, make a coffee and just get it done.
I call it doing the worst first.
It’s a strategy I learned after the fire. In hospital, and for months afterwards, I had to change my bandages every day.
It was excruciating painful, and it would take hours and hours.
I’d lie awake at night dreading it, and, every morning, I could actually hear the screams of other patients who had their dressings changed first.
Obviously, I didn’t really cope with it all.
Then one day, one of my favourite nurses gave me some advice. She said “Turia, I know this is unbelievably hard, but if you don’t take control of the situation, you’re going to leave here a broken woman” (Yep, she’s a legend!).
So, to take back some control, I volunteered to go first. On top of that, I asked them to start with the most painful areas first.
By getting the hardest thing over and done with, it made the rest of my day easier and easier. It gave me a mental boost that made me feel like I was in control again.
So, whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, pick the biggest challenge on your list and do it, like, right now. Just get it done. Make that difficult phone call, start that major project, send that email you’ve been putting off.
By doing the worst first, you’ll get a mental boost which will feed into more task-smashing productivity throughout your day.
Let me know how doing the worst first makes you feel in the comments below.
And remember, working to improve yourself is HARD but nothing worth having comes easy. – Tweet it!
PS – I reckon the sooner kids and teens learn this stuff the better. I’ve got a whole chapter dedicated to smashing epic goals, with stacks of tips and tools for kids and teens inside my eBook, Good Selfie. If you know someone who could benefit from that, check out Good Selfie!