I’m just over halfway through 75 Hard, and I’ve learned a few things along the way. Some are lessons that I expected to learn, and others I’ve picked up very unexpectedly. Success in this program is far from guaranteed, and there are some basic things you need if you’re going to attempt this with any chance of completing it.
Let me start with this. If you’re attempting the 75 Hard program, the first thing it will require of you is a high level of commitment. If you’re not fully committed, you will fail. You need to start 75 Hard by going all-in. Halfway won’t do the trick. As I shared in an earlier Depth Not Width post, you need to get locked in on your “why” and the purpose behind doing this work. Success begins here.
If you’re committed and all-in, then here are five hacks I have been using to stay on track and honor my own commitment. I hope they’re helpful…
Plan Your Day
When people find out I am committed to 75 Hard, one of the most common things I hear is, “How do you fit in the two workouts?” My response is simple. You have to plan out your day the night before. There’s no other option if you want to succeed. The days where I experienced the greatest challenges were the ones where I didn’t plan my calendar efficiently beforehand. You can’t simply try to “squeeze in” an hour and a half of activity, especially in two 45-minute chunks. It will never happen. The only way to make space for this is to pre-identify where your exercise fits in your calendar early. You need a plan, and then you need to stick to it.
Prep Your Food
I was a champ at preparing my food over the first two weeks and not as disciplined in week three. For example, I would throw a handful of chicken breasts in a slow cooker, and I’d cook up batches of brown rice and quinoa. I’d also cut up veggies. The combination made it easy to pull together quick bowls or salads for lunch and dinner. By prepping, my meals and nutrition were ready for me when I needed them. When I neglected the prepping, getting my meals ready took more time and attention. It created opportunities for me to cheat or shortchange myself. I didn’t do either but quickly realized that my prepping was setting me up for success. Skipping it, on the other hand, was making success harder.
I have been having multiple conversations, almost daily, with my Grit Meets Growth podcast co-host, Chris Cathers. We’ve been checking in with one another, and when we’re not connecting on a call, we’re texting one another. That accountability, and our commitment to each others’ success, have been powerful. Often, those quick check-ins provide a timely nudge that helps keep me focused on my goal and not the excuses. There is absolutely a place for self-discipline in 75 Hard, but creating that additional layer of accountability is massively valuable.
Set Some Reminders
To make sure my water intake is spread out throughout the day and not all at the end, I’ve been using calendar reminders on my phone. This was a simple and easy hack, and I’ve used it to keep from getting off track. It’s a trick I am starting to use in other areas of my life, using Siri to help me keep what matters top of mind and in focus.
Keep It Where You Can See It
For the reading portion of 75 Hard, specifically reading ten pages a day, one of the things I’ve found to be extremely helpful is to keep my book out where I can see it. Every morning when I come downstairs to make coffee, I see my copy of Think and Grow Rich sitting in the living room. I’ve created a habit of reading while the coffee is brewing, completing my reading to start my day before the chaos settles in. It’s much easier to get this done because it’s out where I see it, and I am building a habit around this morning ritual.
Here’s my takeaway. There is no rocket science to completing 75 Hard. Yes, it’s challenging, but keep in mind that the program is mental, not physical. By tapping into your “why” and the reason you’re doing this, and then putting some simple things in place to set yourself up for success, your odds of completion skyrocket. Double down, commit, and get after it!
Follow me here as I share some of the future insights and 75 Hard tips I pick up along the way. If you liked this, you’ll also get massive value out of the Grit Meets Growth podcast that I share with Chris Cathers. Find it here or on your favorite podcast platform! – John