I have been reading Grit by Angela Duckworth. Working in the fitness industry for over a decade has made me curious about why some people give up and why some people show up day in and day out.

The book is not fitness specific, and discusses grit or resilience from Spelling Bee competitions to military academy dropouts.

I found it interesting that Angela has a framework for her family to develop grit and they have a deliberate practice to do hard things. This framework includes when they can quit and when a hard thing is not so hard anymore.

When I was writing my book The Menopause Diaries, which was definitely a hard thing. I sat down every workday to write. I was not focused on how much I wrote, although I did track my word count because I am geeky that way. Sitting down to write was the hard bit and the bit to focus on.

My next hard thing is learning a new language. It is one of my ageing well goals. Learning a new language is great for brain health as well as opening new doors and being able to travel the world differently.

At school, I found learning languages difficult. Which I now know is my learning style. I learn easily when I can see the words rather than hearing them. I need sub-titles to make the process of learning a new language easier! There are many apps to supplement my learning these days and other ways to learn that were not around 30 years ago.

What is my framework for learning Spanish?
• Similar to my writing habit, just show up every week to class
• If I’m not vibing with the teacher, find another one
• If the time doesn’t suit, find another time that does

When do I give myself permission to quit?
I really have no idea how long it will take me to learn a new language. It is going to take a few years I expect, so in 2020 if I have had enough I can quit!

Do you have a hard thing you are working on? Do you have a framework for it? I would love to hear about it


Samantha Valand is the author of “The Menopause Diaries: A practical guide to healthy eating and exercising in your menopausal years”. You can find out more about her book here.