Three things happened on Monday this week that reminded me that sometimes to get the good stuff it takes “doing hard things”. Those three things were:

  1. A friend of mine rode a bicycle from Melbourne to Wodonga in a single day. That’s 321km!
  2. My granddaughter got a whooping cough vaccination.
  3. I spoke with a person (we’ll call them “Sam”) who has extreme clutter due to anxiety and chronic illness, but who is taking steps to eliminate the clutter.

These three events may seem completely unrelated, but they do have something in common. They all involve doing hard things to ultimately achieve a goal. The fact they all happened on the same day started me thinking.

Doing Hard ThingsKeeping the goal in mind

When is it worth “doing hard things”? When the goal you have in mind is powerful enough.

My friend had a bucket list goal to ride from Melbourne to his home in Wodonga. He wanted that goal enough to willingly train hard, get up before dawn, push himself through many uncomfortable moments and put up with all the resulting soreness.

My granddaughter is very much looking forward to having a new cousin in the family, as we all are. With the birth coming closer it was time for all of us to get our whooping cough vaccinations. She doesn’t like needles, but she was willing to do the hard thing to be able to safely cuddle that precious bundle when it arrives.

“Sam” knows that they will have to do many hard things, endure many uncomfortable emotions and fight through fatigue, pain and anxiety to achieve their goal of living in a safe home.

Gathering the support you need

How can you make “doing hard things” a little easier? By gathering support and creating a plan.

My cyclist friend planned ahead. He watched the weather and chose an optimal day weather-wise. He also managed his nutritional intake and stayed hydrated. And he had a support person, his wife, to act as his support crew along the route.

My granddaughter had us, her family, alongside her all the way. We modelled a calm manner, got our shots before her and reassured her as she nervously stepped up to have hers.

“Sam” has a long road ahead. With an appropriate plan, a good support team of well-trained service providers, regular breaks to manage the inevitable discomfort, and many hours of hard work on the part of all stakeholders, they can achieve their goal of living safely at home.

Keeping on going

How do you keep “doing hard things”? Always celebrate along the way.

My cyclist friend chose a good support crew. She built celebration into the day with treats to eat, favourite drinks, pats on the back and photos to commemorate the occasion. As well, they enjoyed the journey, finding pretty places to stop and rest.

My granddaughter celebrated with the obligatory lollypop. We also sent a group photo of freshly-injected arms to the baby’s mum to claim our fit-to-cuddle status.

I hope “Sam” finds ways to celebrate even the smallest step forward toward their destination of a safe home. Their goal will take much longer to achieve than the moment of a needle prick, or 12 hours of riding.

I wonder what celebrations they will choose. Sweet treats or moments of meditation? Pats on the back or a bunch of flowers? I know that a kind word or two will help. Photos to bookmark progress are a good reminder of achievements.

With so far to go on a long difficult task they will need every bit of encouragement – not badgering, cajoling, or ultimatums. I wish them well.

 

If you have an interest in helping people live in a safe home, free from extreme clutter, please look at Hoarding Home Solutions online training.

 

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