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75 Days of Doing Hard Things

This past weekend marked the end of the 75 Hard Program. I started journaling about it and decided to share my thoughts in a post. If you haven’t figured this out by now, I am a big proponent of doing hard things. I have put myself (on purpose) through some big challenges and this was up there in terms of pushing my mental toughness and resilience. Over the course of the last 75+ days (because I didn’t stop when it was done):

Completed 150+ workouts (half were outside as a requirement of the program)

Didn’t have any alcohol, sugar, or gluten.

Read and finished 8 professional/personal development books (almost done with the 9th).

Drank over 60 gallons of water.

Took a lot of progress photos (my least favorite part of this), 75 to be exact.

Maintained discipline while on vacation, during SEMA week in Vegas, and plenty of outings and trainings.

My goal for this program was simple. Show up, do the critical tasks outlined above, ie – the hard things, do them consistently, and follow the program without exception. 

From hiking in the dark, walking the streets in my neighborhood at 10pm in nasty weather, reading at midnight, and waiting to drink 50 ounces before bed (not advised), when you truly commit to yourself, you won’t stop when the conditions get hard or aren’t favorable to your liking.

You just keep going, building strength by doing hard things.

This is how you build confidence and flex your discipline muscle. Then when life throws you a heaping pile of crap sandwiches, you are mentally prepared and will persist through it.

A quick recap of the 75 Hard Program. For 75 days you commit to doing the following:

  • (2) forty-five minute workouts every day. One of them being done outdoors. You get to choose what you do, but you must do two different ones, daily.
  • Drink 100 ounces of water, daily.
  • Read 10 pages of non-fiction personal or professional development, daily.
  • Commit to a meal plan of your choice.
  • No cheat meals.
  • Absolutely NO ALCOHOL.
  • Take a progress photo every damn day.

Making a decision to do this program was about committing to myself and following through without succumbing to excuses. One of the strict rules of 75 hard is if you fall short of any of the critical tasks, you have to start over again, back to Day 1. I was determined to make this happen in one round.

I consider myself structured; I plan out my day and prep myself for what lies ahead. However, my free spirit Manifestor HD type rebels when it comes to consistency and doing the same thing repeatedly over time.

Let’s be honest here, I am not a rule follower. I like to make my own rules setting high quality standards based on my core values and (loosely) following guidelines that align with who I want to be.

Life happens and you get busy. You start giving in to things that aren’t good for your future self and then it becomes habitual and acceptable. I started to let things slide, especially when it came down to what I desired for myself. I made excuses and fell into the ‘getting-by’ mentality. If I do this with half-baked effort, I’m still showing up, right?

None of it felt good. I couldn’t get out of bed many mornings, paralyzed with fear, doubt, and overridden with anxiety. I help people climb out of this space, regularly, and couldn’t seem to help myself. It felt horrible and I was spiraling, impacting everything around me.

So I decided to go all in and make it happen.

The outcome was not what I expected… is it ever?! The physical transformation was secondary and a by product from working out twice per day. I enjoyed that task because I love moving my body and being connected in nature. I draw my energy from these natural dopamine hits that I crave if they aren’t part of my routine. My strength and cardio has improved dramatically which motivates me to keep going and continue this plan.

75 Hard Physical Transformation from Day 1 to Day 75 of doing hard things

The biggest aha for me was the amount of suffering I created for myself on top of the already discomfort I experience on a regular basis. I talk about this often and teach my clients how to work with it instead of fighting it or finding a quick fix solution that ultimately moves us away from where we want to be. When we experience negative emotion, we just want to feel better. That’s when we reach for the bottle, the treat, the scroll, the buy now button, or the couch to name a few. During 75 hard, all of my quick fixes and vices were out of reach leaving me to sit in my own stuff which let me tell you is not fun! I just want it to be over with and created a lot of unnecessary resistance. This is exhausting and I am completely aware of it. I have the tools and the knowledge to get through it and I still was in the trench of darkness.

Knowing what I know, I focused on working through it and accepted that sometimes you have to just embrace the suck. Allow whatever underlying thought and feeling to surface without judgement and keep going. All the thought work and reframes in the world may not help you feel any better and that is okay.

This is where surrendering and accepting what is, will set you free.

Once you get to the other side, I promise you, you will feel positive emotion again. Part of the negative emotion we are experiencing is the resistance of actually feeling the negativity (the suck) and the laboring over trying to get rid of it. When you are resisting what is – you create more suffering on top of the already ‘suck’ you are experiencing. The only way through it, is to hold on, and embrace the suck for the rest of the ride.

What makes it feel worse is when you are in the midst of this experience and you start making it mean something is wrong with you or this is how life is now and forever!

Or perhaps you have been repeating the narrative and finding all of the reasons why you suck! The emotional experience of suffering doesn’t favor certain circumstances. Especially when you start comparing yourself to someone who is enduring something life altering, it is still suffering – so save yourself more suffering and stop comparing because all of it feels terrible.

Just remember this small thing about doing hard things…

It’s going to suck some of the time. AND it’s going to be amazing some of the time. You will have moments of pure joy, bliss, and contentment.

You will also have moments of sadness, grief, anger, irritation, frustration, fill in the blank ___________.

This is the human experience.

The more you allow these emotions to move through you, the less additional suffering you create for yourself when you are experiencing the emotional ups and downs.

How we show up for and during the suck is where we build our resiliency and how we grow and evolve.

As a mindset coach and healer, I have a burning desire to learn, grow, and repeat. The only way I know to do this is to constantly put myself in situations that challenge my current thoughts, do hard things, and sometimes just embrace the suck.

When I do this, I am an example of what is possible for my kids and the people around me. I am not special in any way, just an ordinary person striving for personal excellence. When you operate from this place, you make decisions that are aligned with your higher self. You sacrifice the instant reward and dopamine hits from (not so good) sources that hinder you from moving towards your amazing future self.

The one who is looking at you saying, you got this. I am proud of you – you are doing the hard things that help you evolve into this amazing and content human being. Saying no to the quick fix because you know you won’t feel like crap the next day. You know that showing up and being consistent with yourself is the answer to building the life you want and your business providing value to those entrusting you and your work.

My outcome from this program is simple. No more mediocrity or excuses. Commit to yourself and do the hard things that push you to be a better human being. I am going to keep going. After 75 days, I have created sustainable habits that I enjoy now – especially the reading part!

Personal, professional, and spiritual development books I read during 75 Hard

The toughest aspect of 75 hard was the monotony of doing the same thing every day. While I changed up the workouts and read many books, the novelty wore off and I was doing the same thing daily. That was harder for me than I anticipated. But this is REALITY. This is what being an entrepreneur is about. Getting through it and pushing forward.

If you are ready to do hard things in your life and feel hesitant or scared to take this next step, book your discovery session and allow me to walk with you. I am not talking about doing 75 Hard either (although I can help you with that too). I am referring to taking the next step towards your purpose, being better, and managing your mindset and emotions so you can show up and do hard things that will test your strength, will, and move you towards the person you want to become. Having support and guidance is an incredible resource that helps you take bold action towards the perceived impossible. I have your back – let’s do this together. I will hold your feet to the fire while helping you break through the resistance. I plan on moving forward and onto the next phase of 75 hard! Live Hard is next and I am ready to do more hard things.

With sincere gratitude,

Alexis <3