Do Hard Things in 2018

As you probably have gathered from the title of this post, I recently read Alex and Brett Harris’s book, Do Hard Things.  And WOW.  What a good book!  Every teenager should own a copy.  It is life-changing!

I’ve never been one for having a “word of the year,” although I know it works fantastic for some people.  However, reading Do Hard Things has challenged me to make doing hard things a priority in my life this year.  So I have made it my 2018 motto of sorts.

One thing I learned by reading the book is that doing hard things is really about getting out of your comfort zone.  I don’t know about you, but I love my comfort zone.  It is safe and, well, comfortable!  I don’t want to face my fears.  I don’t want to risk embarrassment, failure, or looking like an idiot.  But in order to really grow and mature and increase my potential, I have to be willing to get out of my comfort zone.  This year, getting out of my comfort zone may look like…

- Talking on the phone
- Singing in a small group where people can actually hear my voice (*gulp*)
- Trying out for volleyball even if I’m not near as good as anyone else
- Getting a job where I may have to interact with different personalities

I am honestly petrified of each of those things.  To some people, they may seem rather insignificant and easy.  But to me, they’re scary and unknown.  Especially talking on the phone.  I dread talking on the phone!  It’s one of my greatest fears.  But seriously, how am I going to get anywhere in life if I can’t learn how to pick up a phone and converse with people in that way? 

Ok.  Now that I’ve confessed my petty fears, I’d like to ask you a question ;)

What is it in your life that petrifies you?

Maybe it’s the fear of heights, or standing up in front of people, or competing in an area that may make you vulnerable to teasing or laughing.

Whatever it is, you probably aren’t overly excited to admit it to others.  But since I just told you about my own fear of talking on the phone… you should feel quite encouraged and able to confess your own fears :)  And I would encourage you to do just that.  Acknowledge your fears.  Maybe even open up and share them with others so they don’t seem as significant.  Then be ready and willing to face your fears.

Aside from facing your fears, I’d like to leave you with a challenge for 2018.

First, If you are a teen and have yet to read Do Hard Things, I would encourage you to go purchase a copy today.  If you truly have a desire to live for the Lord, than the message of doing hard things should resonate well with you and will be a huge encouragement and challenge.

Second, I would challenge you to make do hard things a motto and priority in your life this year.  I’d encourage you to make your own list of hard things you want to do and/or fears you wish to conquer this year.  Here is a list of some of the “hard” things I personally want to do this year…

- Lead a group Bible study
- Mentor a younger girl                                                                   
- Write a ludicrous amount of hymn arrangements (Instead of just aiming for a couple arrangements, I want to blow myself away with how much music I write this year)
- Expand my blog into more of a ministry
- Get a job/start a creative business
- Run a 5K
- Write a blog post that might step on toes
- Guest post on a larger blog
- Give up extra sugar for a whole month
- Consistently wake up at a reasonable time

Now I’d LOVE to hear from you!  (Seriously.  You really don’t know how much your comments mean to me!)

Have you ever read Do Hard Things?
Will you take me up on the challenge and strive to DO HARD THINGS this year?
What are some of the fears that hold you back?
What are some “hard things” you want to do in 2018?

Comments

  1. I loved "Do Hard Thing!" I think I read the whole book without stopping. Oh, and I am petrified of talking on the phone, too. ;) Some hard things I would like to do are getting more comfortable with public speaking, running another 5K faster than my last one, and memorizing all the material in Bible Quizzing next year.

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    1. Haha I feel better now that I know I'm not the only one who is petrified of talking on the phone xD Those are some great hard things to aim for in 2018! Maybe I'll start running soon enough to train and run that 5K with you! ;)

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  2. Oh!! I loved reading that book a couple of years ago! :) It was such a good book!!! I love your idea of doing this as a challenge! :) Some hard things I'd like to do this year are: participate in the Bible Bee, play the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, run 5 miles, wake up earlier each day, memorize lots of scripture, and publish my 4th book before July! :) LOL xD I am also really scared of talking on the phone, haha!! Some fears that hold me back are... "will I be able to memorize many verses??" and "how will I ever finish editing my book?!" Whenever these worries come into my head, I have to remember that anything is possible with God! (Philippians 4:13)

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    1. Those are awesome goals, Anna! You go, girl! And I guess I really underestimated the popularity of the fear of talking on the phone, didn't I?! xD Well, at least we can all learn together! ;)

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  3. Okay, I've had so many friends read this and say that they love it. I guess it's time I've read this book. This one and Kisses From Katie are the two books I've heard of so many friends reading and loving and I've read neither. This issue needs to change. XD
    Some of my goals this year... Finish my paralegal program, do some paralegal work, get my DPSST certificate (unarmed security certificate... Eek! My supervisors (one is my aunt, actually!) and my boss all really need me to get it though because they need more security staff for their event staffing and security business. And I also want to write looooots of music (we'll have to see who has more done by the end of the year!), get our CD that has two songs I've written finished, and turn 18 (aaaaahhh!!!!).
    Good luck with skipping out on sugar for a month! I know it's doable because I had to go without any sugar (literally, the only fruit I could eat was limes and lemons - that's pretty bad) and a bunch of other things for two months to deal with a yeast issue. Honestly, I probably should go without extra sugar for a month every once and a while just because of my former yeast problem. At any rate, it's a good goal!
    I'm excited for your 'toe-stepping' post, whatever it may be about. ;) It's bound to be pretty good!
    Okay, I'd better leave now before I write a whole post in response to your post (which I did today and yesterday to one of your comments on my post, haha! You'll have to give it to me though, you had a long comment!) You wouldn't believe how long it took me to write this comment though - I finished it once and accidentally deleted it, and then it got messed up multiple times because my brothers and sister keep rough-housing on the couch around me while I'm trying to write this. Haha! Gotta love 'em.
    Alright, ending for real now.

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    1. Thank you for leaving such a sweet, thoughtful, long comment, Grace! We are kindred spirit in the area of leaving long comments, aren't we? xD
      I had no clue you hadn't read Kisses from Katie yet! *bursts into tears* I can't say enough good about it. I recommend it to everyone and I've lent my copy at least 3 times already. It is such a miraculous, life-changing book! As is Do Hard Things :)
      Those are some wonderful goals for this year, Grace! Prayers and best wishes as you work hard and strive to meet those goals!
      Haha, well, you'll probably write more music than I will, because I'm pretty slow when it comes to arranging xD (And you write vocal lyrics + tunes more than instrumental arrangements, right?) But sure, let's see who writes more! ;)
      Well, the "toe-stepping" post may take a little while to make it's appearance... I want to make sure I use my words carefully, yet without "watering down" any main point. And I want to do it in a way that is still kind and gracious and won't ruin any friendships :/ It'll be interesting.
      Actually, I had forgotten that I'd listed the whole no-sugar thing in this post, until you said something xD But at least I made sure I put the word "extra" in the sentence, because I am still planning on eating fruits... "extra" would embody any thing that includes loads of chocolate and sugar, and/or be classified as a dessert. That would mean things like ice cream, brownies, cookies, candy, etc. But fruits are healthy, so they would pass :)
      Oh no! I'm sorry your first comment got deleted! I totally understand; it's happened to me, too ;)

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    2. Yes, we both have the tendency to reply to posts with posts. XD And yeah, that's what I guessed you meant when you said 'extra' sugar. But let me warn you, living without icecream is a HARD THING to do!
      Yes, I do have the bonus that I generally write lyrics + tunes which DEFINITELY goes faster, but I want to start working on writing arrangements for them, and since I've only done that a few times, you have the plus of having more experience in that area. We'll see. ;)
      I'll definitely read "Kisses from Katie" now - it is now on my list of things to do this year!

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  4. Olivia Bell (aka Livy)January 29, 2018 at 9:38 PM

    I just bought this book, I really need to read it! This was such an amazing post, you are so inspiring telling people about your fears. I'll tell you what I fear, and this might sound silly. I fear people judging or making fun of me because I don't wear makeup. Does that sound weird? But, I just did a hard thing and told you! I'd love to do hard things this year, I love taking challenges and this is such a great one! Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration!

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    1. Thank you so much, Olivia! I'm glad I could be an encouragement and inspiration to you. Way to go!! You just confessed a fear of yours, which is definitely a hard thing to do! I don't wear makeup at all either, so I understand. But think about it this way: once someone starts wearing makeup daily, then they have the fear of what others might think when they go without it or it doesn't look perfect! I'd rather people get used to my natural face instead of my face covered with stuff. There are really so many great things about not wearing makeup! I wish more teenage girls knew what it is like living bondage-free to makeup. (And just to clarify, I'm not entirely against makeup. I just don't think it is something that teen girls should feel like they need in order to look beautiful. I'm confident with my own natural face and that's so freeing!) I could continue... maybe I'll do a post on makeup sometime :)

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  5. Yesssss love this! Do Hard Things was one of my favorite books growing up! I read it for the first time when I was 13 years old and I have read it about four or five times since :) xD
    Love that challenge!
    One of my hard things for this year is getting over my fear of heights by flying O_o And also fighting and conquering my anxiety :) Thanks for this encouragement!

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    1. Wow, you've definitely read Do Hard Things quite a few times! If you plan on flying this year -- come visit me!! :) And if you want a good warm-up for flying, I suggest visiting a theme park and strategically planning to get stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel for an hour... ha! But seriously, after an hour, the height really wasn't that big of a deal ;)

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  6. I love Do Hard Things! One thing I really like about it is that Alex and Brett realize that "hard things" aren't only the glamorous, cool, crazy "hard things" but that staying faithful where God has you and doing the same monotonous chores every day are HARD THINGS! I want to do hard things every day - whatever "hard" choice I am faced with at the moment, I want to conquer it :) And yes, I have a fear of heights. Lol ;P
    A blog post that might step on toes?! Oooohhh! Can't wait! ;)
    Also, what software do you use to write music?

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    1. Great thoughts, Alyssa! I liked that about Do Hard Things, too. James 4:17 really helps me with choosing to do the "hard," God-honoring thing even when it comes to the little, unnoticed things like walking through the house and seeing a pair of shoes strewn about. I can either walk past them, OR I can go pick the shoes up and put them neatly where they belong! Reminding myself of James 4:17 is a prick of conviction and helps me choose to do the GOOD thing.
      The software I use for composing is Finale. It can be pretty expensive, but it really is a good investment if you're planning on writing music long-term. I know that Gina Sprunger uses her Finale all the time ;) Finale is one of the best composing softwares out there, although nowadays I think there are some good free alternatives. I haven't looked into any of those options though so I can't give any personal recommendation.

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    2. I love your thoughts. That is a wonderful verse, Grace. It's convicted me often too! James is a wonderful book altogether, I'd encourage you to memorize it if you haven't! =)
      Okay, cool. Haha, I'm sure she does ;) I've looked into Finale before and heard a lot about it, but haven't made the financial commitment yet ;) Thanks!!

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