I’m one week into the 75 Hard Challenge.
For those who missed the original post, last week I started a 75 Day Challenge that consists of….
Two workouts per day, 45 minutes each, one has to be out outside
Follow a diet, no alcohol, no sweets
Drink a gallon of water every day
Read 10 pages of personal development every day
Take a progress picture
After one week, I’m a bit sore from all the workouts, but overall feeling great.
That being said, it has not been easy, and I like to reflect on a a few lessons learned.
Perfection is all in the planning. I’ve always been a planner, always will be. However, this challenge has forced me to take it to another level. Every Sunday I’ve mapped out the week. I’ve made sure my calendar is booked off accordingly, and everything (read, workout 1, workout 2, take progress picture, etc) is scheduled as an “appointment” in my calendar. I won’t miss an appointment. In addition to weekly planning, which I would say is the key, it’s looking at each day the night before and making sure it still all works logistically. With this many moving pieces, plus a family, plus two businesses to run, plus Doctors appointments and such for Baby Spurling # 2, planning has been key.
Household Support. One of the best things I did was before the challenge started I asked Megan (my wife) a question. “Can you support me as I take on these next 75 days?” It’s annoying that I get up and go outside at 6am, I’m less available in the morning to help with Kaden. We have had to meal prep more, and every time she takes something out of the fridge I’m asking her if I can scan it with My Fitness Pal. There’s certainly been some road bumps like with anything, but overall, I feel without having this conversation beforehand I would have already thrown in the towel.
I’m not really doing this for the physical transformation. I mean, I hope to drop some extra pounds, but really, I’m doing this as a “mental” challenge. I’m wired weird, and like doing things that other people think are impossible, too hard, etc. That being said, one of the biggest physical lessons I’ve gained over the last week is how calories add up quickly. We all think we’re eating “pretty healthy” but as I track all my food in My Fitness Pal, I realize that my portions have to be much smaller than what I’m used to, and I have to avoid snacking. Essentially all my calories need to come from my three square meals, however, if I had to guess, I was consuming an additional 500-1000 calories per day in “mindless” calories with things like grabbing a handful of this, or munching on something while feeding Kaden his dinner. It all adds up, and it’s certainly been a challenge to just eat my three square meals. Also, My Fitness Pal makes it very easy to track your food, they have evolved a lot since I last used the app years ago. Oh, and avoiding the alcohol and sweets has been a fun challenge too :)
Outdoor workouts are so energizing. I practice meditation, I exercise, and I read a ton. I guess you could say I’m a person development nerd. However, the most clarity has come this week while doing my outdoor workouts. It’s typically done early in the morning, before the sun comes up, either on a walk or a hike in the nearby trail. The peacefulness this brings each day has been refreshing to say the least. Champ (my dog) is getting a lot more attention/exercise with this challenge too as I bring him along for these because I’m too scared to walk alone :)
There’s a meme going around Facebook that says something like “Want to avoid peoples drama? Drink a gallon of water. You’ll be peeing too much to pay attention.” Although I’m pretty good at avoiding any drama, I would say that I’ve been peeing a lot. However, the true feeling of “being hydrated” is pretty incredible. We forget that most of us walk around in a state of dehydration.
A lot of people have commented on how “dumb” it is that you have to take a progress picture every single day. I mean, how much change can you see in the day? Although it’s true that you won’t see something physical, I look it as an integrity value. I’m a man of my word, and I told myself, I committed to myself, that I would take a picture every single day. Doing anything for 75 straight days is hard, it doesn’t matter what it is. That’s what this is more about. It’s about creating discipline, structure, and planning to complete the daily boring things.
It’s still a challenge. It’s still hard. Although I’m feeling confident going into week two, every day is hard. Yesterday for example, I was up at 6am on a Sunday to head to the gym for workout one, out on a boat all day fishing making sure to drink my gallon, and the last thing I wanted to do after getting off the boat was do another workout, and I’m confident if I wasn’t doing this challenge I wouldn’t of. Every day when the alarm goes off there’s that initial urge to hit snooze. Every day there are moments where I want to take the easy route, but that’s what this is about. It’s a challenge. It’s not supposed to be easy.
I’m sure each week will have it’s challenge, but I do believe that one of the hardest weeks in anything is the first week.
I’ve worked out some kinks, I know what to expect, and I can plan accordingly.
As always, I hope these are all life lessons. We can apply to them to fitness, business, relationships, and life in general.
I’ll update you next week.
Thank you to everyone who has checked in with me about how it’s going, and asking me to post updates.
That social accountability is a key piece and will be vital to the long-term success.