Lessons Learned – 75 Hard Challenge

If you follow along with me on my TransformingD Instagram or Facebook pages, you know that last week, I started a 75 day Hard challenge. It is based on the idea that you pick a few things that would be mentally and/or physically hard for you (out of your comfort zone) and do it every single day for 75 days, no excuses or exceptions.  If you mess up on even one thing, you start over for another 75 days.  The idea is to build mental toughness.  If you know me, I love a challenge!   So, sign me up!

My six things I planned to focus on where:

  1. Workout 60 minutes a day, every day.
  2. Read for 30 minutes a day
  3. Take a progress photo each day
  4. Nutrition 100%, every day and no reset day
  5. 30 minutes max on Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn combined.
  6. 128 oz. of water a day

This in addition to some other power promises I have such as spend 30 minutes in worship (song/reading of the Word/meditation), meal prep the next day, and say my Why out loud daily. 

A lot of these things were stretches to what I was currently doing, but there were some additions like the social media awareness and reading for 30 mintues.

So what happened after just 6 days? 

When I first heard of the challenge, I thought, awesome!  I can absolutely do this.  I can modify it to be a stretch of my current power promises & add a few things like cutting down on social media & really committing to reading for my ISSA certification.  What I didn’t realize was how, yes, it is supposed to be mentally challenging, but as a known “perfectionist” it would send me down a spiral I was not expecting in just two short days. 

Let me say first, I am very glad I tried the challenge.  Otherwise, I would not have realized:

1) How far I have come in my journey

2) How much I still need to work on when it comes to my “perfectionism” and inner voice.

The week started off really well & even through Friday (Valentine’s Day) going to the gym with my hubby was great!  I thought, man I got this!  Then on Saturday morning, I had my accomplishment of running a personal record of 8 miles.  Woo Hoo!  I should have been jumping for joy celebrating.  Instead, I found myself mentally beating myself up for grabbing a few donut holes & a kolache (Texans will know what these are) on my way home as my blood sugar was getting low & I needed some quick sugar.  Well, right there that threw off my macros & 100% nutrition goal for the day…FAIL was the immediate thing that came to my head.  The inner voice, she who shall not be named, crept in.  “This challenge is about being perfect for 75 days.  If you mess up, fail & you have to start all over.”  Yup, she got to me.  So the rest of my day, instead of really enjoying time with my family or doing things I needed was focused on “How do I make the rest of my macros work?  What can I eat?”  Then, came justification…& it just kept spiraling.  I was on a mission to make it a “perfect day” so I would not have to start over.  Bad News.  I did not make it work.  Well…start over tomorrow.

Then comes Sunday, weigh in day & down 0.6 lbs.  “After all that work?!?! What the heck is going on! Why can’t I get past this number on the scale!”  Keep in mind, I have been at a plateau since the summer (but that is another post for another day).  So, yup…that ugly inner voice again.  When I KNOW my body is probably holding onto fluid & adjusting from a long run day & all the great workouts I did.  Nope, that was not how I felt after getting on the scale.  I felt defeated once again.

But it was reset day where I can have a great cheat meal and enjoy…Oh wait! I committed to no reset day…So then I was trying to work “macro magic” as we are driving to & from church (as I know we were going out afterwards for lunch).  “Can I make this fit?  If I eat this I can’t have anything else today.”  You get the point.  What normally is a day to just be free & breathe & worship turned into a macro-focused mess.  By the end of the night I was exhausted. 

Sunday night it all came down on me with tears.  Now, my 3 kids, when they REALLY want something, they have started this thing where they get together with a plan, then send their brother (probably future lawyer) to come & negotiate with me.  This time it was milkshakes from Sonic.  I know that food should not be a reward, but there is something to be said for those great times sharing a fun treat with your family.  My older kids are almost out of the house in a few short years.  When they actually WANT to do something with you, it is a blessing.  So guess what…after talking with Scott & a tears from me, we went.  We had a fun time listening to classic rock in the Sonic Drive-In & enjoyed our milkshakes & blasts.  Did I have a large, NO!  I got a small Oreo Cookie blast.  But, again, I found myself feeling defeated and beating myself up over it.  Not a healthy way to end a great week.

This morning on my run, I thought more about how I felt all weekend.  I recognized that my need to have a “perfect” 75 days was getting in the way of a lot of what I had learned over the past two years, my Why, and the goals I had set for myself. 

So, what did I take away from these past 6 days of the challenge?

Positives:

  • I was able to focus on my ISSA certification and reading more than I had in months.  I purposefully carved out time and held myself accountable to get in 30 minutes a day.
  • I pushed myself to do 60 minutes of meaningful activity for 6 days.  I got in more weight lifting workouts than I had in a long time.  I lifited heavier than I ever have, and I burned some major calories (which I know I will see the fruit of on the scale at some point.)
  • I ran 8 FREAKING MILES!

What did I learn:

  • I cannot strive to be perfect.  The inner perfectionist in me strives for that if that is the goal.  She will do anything in an unhealthy way to make it work or stress out trying.  I have to remember that it is ok to be perfectly imperfect, clear my integrity and move forward from exactly where I left off.  I do NOT have to start over.
  • I need more time on social media than just 30 minutes a day.  I felt so disconnected to my Transform and Coaching family AND I was not fulfilling part of my Why by sharing my journey.  I had such little time to do my posts, no time for IG stories and trying to keep up with applauding and helping those online in the community that I love.

Going Forward:

  • I am looking at this challenge through a new lens. I am adding those new habits to my list of power promises. I am not giving up on what I am focused on, but I am making them into healthy habits and looking at this in a different light to help me instead of hinder me.
  • I am changing my social media time to 60 minutes max a day. I recognized that I was spending too much time before, when I should be spending it with my family. BUT, 30 minutes was not enough to be able to share what I wanted to share and support my Transform Community and friends. I also know, that I can adjust if needed.
  • I am going to continue to work on my perfectionism and inner voice as it will be a life long struggle, but I have learned that even though I love a challenge, they may not all be what is best for me.

If you struggle with perfectionism, remember that it is OK to NOT BE PERFECT! Be perfectly IMPERFECT. It is our unique imperfections that makes us who we are. Don’t let one thing derail you. Pick right back up where you left off and just keep moving one foot in front of the other. You got this and I am in your corner!

1 thought on “Lessons Learned – 75 Hard Challenge”

  1. I’m currently trying to win the Power List of the day. Some days I win, some days I lose. I would love to start the 75hard challenge even though I have every excuse in the book as to why I can’t. I know this is an internal struggle within myself which needs to change….

    What I like about Andy’s methods is the 0 tolerance for BS excuses. He does not believe in perfectionism, but he does believe in winning. I like this mindset a lot. I’ve never been a quitter but I am a perfectionist. I’m working on changing that and realizing that being able to win the day is “good enough.” I believe that 75hard would be a very good challenge to try to jumpstart this journey of mental toughness and physical transformation. I wish you all the best on this journey! 💪🔥

    Like

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