It’s the start of 2024, which means it’s the beginning of your transformative journey to becoming a better you. Whether you chose the 75 Hard challenge as a New Years Resolution, or simply wanted to incorporate a new regimen into your routine, here’s a guide on what 75 Hard really is and if it’s the right fit for you.
Follow a diet
Find a diet plan that suits you. There are countless diets that strive to accomplish different goals, such as losing weight, gaining muscle, and improving your health. While you’re figuring out which regimen is suitable for you, it’s important to focus on which goal you want to achieve and stick to it.
No cheat meals
I know it can be hard to let go of your sneaky midnight treat, but there are many healthy alternatives you can turn to if your sweet tooth is aching for a sugary snack. Stocking up on your favorite fruit or digging through a recipe book to find a healthy treat can help satisfy that sugar craving.
Yes, that includes the casual glass of red wine after a long day of work. There are plenty of non-alcoholic substitutes that you can resort to, but my recommendation if you really want to power through this challenge is to turn that wine into water. Every time you’re craving the taste of your favorite Pinot Grigio, pour a tall glass of water and take a sip. There’s plenty of flavoring packets to spice up your drink and, although there’s no wine-flavored mixers, it can help you power through cutting out your favorite beverage. Not only will you have a happy, healthy liver after cutting out alcohol, but you’ll also have a happier, healthier you!
Complete two 45-minute exercises– one must be outside
Committing to two workouts a day may seem like an overwhelming addition to your busy schedule, but I promise that the thought seems more intimidating than the action itself. Starting your morning with a light yoga session can actually boost your productivity and focus throughout the day, and ending it with a scenic walk outside can relieve any stress you’ve accumulated. That being said, don’t overexert yourself during this process. Make sure you get the proper rest you need before pursuing another exercise.
Take a progress picture
Snapping a quick before picture can motivate you to put in the hard work and dedication this challenge requires. Once the 75 days are over, you’ll see the transformation captured with the progress picture and realize how far you’ve come!
Drink 1 gallon of water
Hydration is key during this 2 ½ month period, especially since your physical fitness and diet changes throughout this process. Drinking water helps maintain the energy you need to perform the tasks this challenge requires, in addition to optimizing your everyday performances.
Read 10 pages of a nonfiction book
75 Hard isn’t just about your physical health, but your cognitive development, as well. Reading just ten pages a day can increase your productivity and focus, in addition to fostering a deeper perspective of the world around you.
Turning your whole lifestyle upside down is no easy feat, especially when you’ve become accustomed to different habits your entire life, which is why there's an alternative to 75 Hard. If you find 75 Hard too difficult, I suggest turning to 75 Soft, a challenge that’s similar to the prior, but allows for an easier transition from your past lifestyle to the one you aim to create.
Thankfully, you don’t have to adhere to a strict meal plan for this challenge. All it requires is a positive mindset and flexibility in your choice of foods. And the best part of it–there’s a cheat day! Your hard work and dedication throughout the week will be rewarded with a nice pint of your favorite ice cream near the end.
Yes, alcohol is allowed
But only on social occasions. Unfortunately, that glass of wine after work will have to wait another 75 days.
Drink 3 Liters of water
Although there’s not much of a difference in the gallon-liter ratio the 75 Hard challenge requires of you, it still challenges you to maximize your hydration, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
No progress picture required
Although the challenge itself doesn’t require you to take a progress picture, you’re more than welcome to stray from this! It’s important to see how far you’ve come from the start of the challenge, and may even motivate you to push yourself in other ways in the future.
10 pages of any reading
This one shouldn’t be too difficult for you book lovers out there. Ending your day with a light read can help you unwind, and the genre isn’t specified, so feel free to roam to whatever bookshelf your heart desires!
Exercise 45 minutes a day
Exercising offers a multitude of benefits, not only to your physical health, but mental, emotional, and spiritual, too. While you’re not working out as frequently as the previous challenge, it’s still important to incorporate at least one exercise, whether that be indoor or outdoor, into your everyday routine.
While 75 Hard/ Soft is designed to foster a commitment to self-improvement, it’s important to remember they’re called challenges for a reason. They’re going to be difficult and require mental and physical resilience, but don’t be afraid to push yourself and try something new!