September 25, 2020

Tips for Success for 75 Hard (or a similar challenge)

I've read a lot of comments lately about how hard certain "rules" are for doing 75 Hard (or even my simpler take on it, Cookies Fall Hard). I started 75 Hard on July 20, and it's now September 25, so I've been going for over two months*.

(*Technically, if I "break a rule", I'm supposed to start over again. I've broken rules but I haven't started over. I have followed most rules for most of the time, though.)

As I wrote recently on my post, "Fear of Failure", I haven't been perfect. But I've been doing SO MUCH BETTER than if I hadn't started the challenge at all! And I have some tips for those of you that are struggling with particular goals during the challenge. 

Here are the 75 Hard Rules (followed by my modified rules for Cookies Fall Hard):

1) "Follow a diet, including no alcohol" (my version: "Follow a diet of choice")

My advice: This one is hard to advise, because everybody has a different plan. However, because this is a "challenge", it doesn't last forever! There will be days where it doesn't feel worth it, it feels "stupid", you will question why you're doing such a dumb challenge, etc. However, with self-discipline, you CAN get through it! The whole point of the 75 Hard (or my own Cookies Fall Hard) challenge is more about self-discipline than it is about anything else. 

You will feel great about yourself when you are able to stay disciplined enough to go through 75 days (or 92 days, in my Cookies Fall Hard challenge). Even if you're not perfect, you'll be much better off than if you hadn't tried it at all. It's only a challenge--not the rest of your life! ;) 

As far as alcohol goes... I think that if you can fit it in with your diet, go ahead. For people who enjoy a drink, cutting out alcohol completely might keep you from even trying this challenge. As long as you're not binge drinking all the time, and alcohol isn't a "problem" for you, then I'm not going to make that a "rule" like 75 Hard. 

2) Take a progress photo every day (my version: Take a progress photo every day)

My advice: Do this first thing when you wake up and get dressed. I go for a walk first thing in the morning, so as soon as I change into my "walking clothes", I take a selfie in a full-length mirror. It isn't pretty--trust me! But I don't have to share these with anyone (except the entire internet, haha!). 

Make it habit to take a photo (I do a full-length mirror selfie, knowing that I don't have to show it to anyone unless I want to. I promise they are not flattering photos, nor do I try to make them flattering. I just snap a pic and that's it.) I have a folder on my phone that is specifically for my 75 Hard photos--I have them all in there, in order, so I can flip through them whenever I'd like.)

3) Read 10 pages a day of a non-fiction, self-improvement-type book (my version: Read 10 pages a day of any book you'd like)

My advice: Do this first thing when you wake up--you can even do it before you get out of bed. It takes me a long time to read 10 pages (usually a half-hour or more) so I like to get it done early. If it's a book I'm really into, then I'll read more of it before bed. But if I do it first thing in the morning, then I know I don't have to worry about it during the day.

And here, I just HAVE to plug my Kindle Paperwhite. It's one of the best things I've ever bought! (This is an Amazon affiliate link, but I swear on my life I recommend this as one of my Top 5 gifts/purchases ever!). I didn't read much at all for more than a decade. And then I finally got a Kindle Paperwhite (they were having a sale, and my sister had recommended it more than once a dozen times.) I had always liked the feeling of a "real" book in my hands and just couldn't imagine switching it out for a digital copy.

However, when I got the Paperwhite, I was shocked at how much I loved it! It was lighter than a paperback, it didn't have a glare while reading outdoors(!), I could store literally thousands of books on it, and the battery life felt infinitely long. Even if you are a hardcore hardcover/paperback lover, I PROMISE you will be surprised at how much you love the Paperwhite.

I haven't read this much in God-only-knows how long. And it's all due to the Paperwhite. (I have the 10th generation, by the way... that's what I linked to). If you watch for sales, you may be able to get it much cheaper. I think I paid $85 for mine! It was a "flash sale". I'll bet they'll have sales on it soon as we get closer to the holidays.

4) Drink one gallon of water a day (my version: Drink one gallon of water a day).

My advice: Get a quart-size water bottle. Here is my favorite! (Amazon affiliate link). I even bought a brand new one in my favorite color (orange) for this challenge.

Four quarts equals one gallon, so you only have to drink four of these per day. Because of the wide mouth on the bottle, I can chug this pretty quickly. 

I chug a quart of it when I first get up in the morning. Literally, I chug some immediately when I sit up in bed (I keep it on my nightstand); then when I brush my teeth; then as I'm getting dressed; and finally, I finish it before I go for my walk).

Then I go for my morning walk. When I get home, I chug another quart. I'm already halfway done with my water for the day! I know that "chugging" water may not sound appealing, but it gets done quickly and then you don't have to worry about it. The wide-mouth bottle helps a LOT. I also use tap water at room temperature (actually, it's slightly less than room temp... I just turn on the cold tap and fill it that way). 

I always drink another quart between lunchtime and dinner (I'm usually very busy in the afternoons, so I "chug" a quart about an hour or so before dinner). Actually, as I'm writing this, I've chugged about eight ounces every 15 minutes or so. And then after dinner, I'm pretty full. So, I wait until a couple of hours after dinner before chugging my final quart of water for the day. 

At first, if you're not used to this much water, you'll be peeing what feels like constantly. However, your bladder will get used to it! And eventually, you will literally CRAVE water first thing in the morning. If I don't drink my water when I wake up, I definitely don't feel great during the morning.

And drinking a ton of water always helps me to lose the "bloated" feeling--if you eat a salty or heavy meal, drink extra water and you won't retain as much. I promise! Just yesterday, I had pizza and breadsticks for dinner, which usually makes my weight go up a few pounds just in sodium alone, but my weight was exactly the same as yesterday. And I didn't feel puffy!

I know that upping the water intake so much is extremely difficult. But the easiest way, in my opinion, is to do four quarts a day and just chug each down within a matter of a few minutes.

5) Exercise twice a day for 45 minutes each time (at least one must be outside). (My version: Exercise for 60 minutes a day, with at least 30 minutes outside. This is can be all in one go, or divided into two segments--it's up to you.)

My advice: Do the first workout (or whole workout) as soon as you wake up. It gets it out of the way early enough that you won't even realize you did it! (Frequently, I have a bit of amnesia about my first workout of the day). I've learned that I actually really ENJOY my first walk of the day. 

I like to listen to audiobooks, and when you find one that you really get interested in, you might discover that you WANT to go out for another walk so that you can listen some more. I never, in a million years, would have thought that I'd want to go out for a walk for exercise (I've just never enjoyed exercise) but now I find myself getting excited about going out and listening to my audiobook!

Right now, I'm still doing 45 minutes twice a day, and I HATE having to do the extra workout. I'd much prefer to do it all at once in the mornings. As soon as my 75 days are over, I'm going to switch to doing it all in the mornings (my version of the plan). However, I feel committed to this challenge so I'm going to finish it out. 

This is what September looks like... each of those yellow boxes on each day shows a walk of 45+ minutes--so there are two per day! August looked the same. 

6) This isn't a rule on 75 Hard, but I decided to make it a rule of MY version: Write in a journal every day, even if it's just one sentence.

My advice: Do this first thing in the morning just before you read your 10 pages. I use a "Some Lines A Day" journal, and I LOVE it! (Amazon affiliate link). I literally write in it before I even get out of bed. Then I don't have to worry about it later. If you have to, then set your alarm for five minutes earlier than usual and use that time to write in your journal. 

You'll love looking back on it when the challenge is over, I promise! (The "Some Lines A Day" journal is a five-year journal, so next year, you will be able to see--on the exact same day--what you wrote on the previous year. And this goes on for five years!

Photo from Amazon

Okay, I realize these aren't miracle pills to getting through the challenge, but I hope that my advice helps a bit! Some of these are much harder than others, depending on the person. Put them all together, and it makes for a tough challenge--especially through the fall season, when most of the holidays occur!

But I really do believe that you can do this. And if you're having doubts, read this post: Fear of Failure.

Best wishes! :) 

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed reading this. I am doing cookies fall hard. I tried to do 75 hard. Gave up on day 45. I want to do it this time.


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive