I’m not talking about hard training sessions everyday. In fact, I’d recommend against that.
A ‘hard thing’ is something that is difficult for you. A ‘hard thing’ is something you can do every day – that you have some resistance against doing. It isn’t natural or your favourite thing to do. But over time, doing this ‘hard thing’ every day makes a big difference to your life.
For example. I love training. I’m happy to go into the gym and lift heavy weights or do hill sprints til I’m blue in the face. Yes, this is technically ‘hard’. But it’s not a ‘hard thing’. I’m not fighting against myself to go and do it.
What’s hard for me, is the opposite – to calm down – to focus on my breath – to relax and to meditate. I feel a big resistance to doing this. I’ll always have some excuse about why I shouldn’t do it. But I realise the effect it has on my mood and my life, so I do it. It not only helps in the moment, but for the rest of the day and in times of stress.
So I made it my ‘hard thing’ to do.
I’ll usually pair breath work with another ‘hard thing’ – cold exposure. I know this makes a big difference to how I feel on a daily basis, but there’s always a little voice telling me to stay warm and comfortable.
A little voice that tells me how uncomfortable it’s going to be when my skin hits the freezing water, how my muscles are going to tighten and the blood will rush out of my limbs.
But… I do it. It’s a ‘hard thing’ I can do every day of the year.
Your ‘hard thing’ might be getting 10,000 steps a day.
It might be making sure you eat 8 vegetables.
It could be fasting for 16 hours or stretching for 20 minutes.
It could be reading 10 pages of a book.
It doesn’t matter what it is, just find something that’s aligned with your goals. Doing ‘hard things’ and fighting against the little voice in our heads makes us better humans. We’re healthier, we function better in society and we’re more pleasant to be around. There’s something special about doing ‘hard things’ and there’s a power you get from knowing that you’re willing to do things that most people aren’t.