The beginning of the year is a time that is filled with excitement surrounding resolutions, goals, and intentions to become versions of ourselves. This excitement is contagious and motivates us all to do the hard things that are required to achieve the goals we are striving for. As the days and weeks wear on the excitement starts to fade and “life” begins to happen, making it harder and harder to stick to the goals and aspirations that we had for ourselves. This is a time that many people dread but I think is special. This time where things get hard is special because it is an amazing opportunity to prove to ourselves that we are capable of doing hard things and that our desired outcome can feel all the sweeter because of the work that was required. This is the time where grit comes into play.
I was raised in a family where grit was a value that was preached, practiced, and praised. From the time I was little whenever I faced adversity I was encouraged to get back up, work harder than the time before, and keep trying. Whether it was falling off a bike in elementary school or running a bad cross-country race in high school my parents never failed to use these failures as teaching moments to prepare me to approach hard things for the rest of my life. My dad’s favorite line was “shake it off” followed by a pat on the back and a look in the eyes that said you can do this. I would then get back on bike, start line, or whatever it was and the my work would continue, Now at 22, the failures I face are different but my process is not and grit, hard work, and hustling remain one of the main tenets of my value system. I still face challenges and there are still a lot of things that I do not always want to do but grit has taught me is that I am capable of preserving through those challenges to achieve the goals I have set out for myself and the communities that I am a part of.
Grit looks different for everyone and plays a different role in my life every year. The new year is a great opportunity to reflect on life and think about what the things are in the next year that you would like to accomplish but are going to be hard. It might be a class, a relationship, or a new habit. For me this past year it was going to therapy. Therapy is something for me that is sometimes exhausting and unenjoyable but so good for me and makes me better for myself and the people around me. The benefits that I receive from it make the grit that it requires worth it. Whatever your thing is just remember that sometimes the best things for us are the hardest things. In 2020 I challenge you to do the hard thing and to find your grit.