OK, so you failed 75 Hard. You’re probably kicking yourself and wondering what you should do next. Believe it or not, failing 75 Hard is far more common than getting to the 75th day. As somebody that’s both failed and made it to the final day, let me help you get over the “feeling sorry for yourself” hump and get you back on the path that you started.
Most Who Start 75 Hard Don’t Finish
It’s easy to get down on yourself whenever you fail anything, and the 75 Hard Challenge tends to hit people harder than a lot of other fitness challenges. I think that’s because there’s such an emphasis in the program on mental toughness that it feels like we didn’t just let ourselves down physically but weren’t mentally strong enough to get to the last day.
You may not realize that nearly everybody who starts 75 Hard fails. That’s not to say that they don’t pick themselves up by the bootstraps, give it another go, and sometimes complete it. Still, even those who complete it typically have failed it at one point or another before making their triumphant return.
Failing 75 Hard is Part of the Process
You might think I’m crazy, but I’m actually a big believer that failing the program can be an integral and important part of succeeding in the program long-term. Failing the 75 Hard Challenge is often accompanied by feelings of not being good enough, feelings of doubt, and maybe even some self-esteem getting dropped to the floor.
But in reality, experiencing those feelings and the disappointment you have in yourself can be incredible fuel to help get you through the next cycle when you start the program next time. You learn a lot in those moments of failure, and it’s very possible that without having experienced those, you would never have made it to Day 75 anyway.
View your failure as not a failure but an important teaching lesson required to get you into a mental position to complete the 75 Hard Challenge.
Why is 75 Hard So Difficult?
On the outside looking in, you might think that the 75 Hard Challenge is difficult because of the five daily requirements. Many people consider the strict diet, the two workouts daily or the gallon of water daily as major hurdles.
But once you actually get inside the program, you realize that the hardest part about 75 Hard isn’t the daily rules; it’s the execution of those rules over a long period of time, the monotony of it. Finding space in your schedule for 75 days without fail is incredibly difficult to do. The rules are totally doable until you realize you have to expand them over 2 1/2 months. That’s when things get interesting.
How Do I Make 75 Hard Easier?
If you’re looking for a way to make 75 Hard easier, you will be disappointed. There really isn’t a point where the program becomes easy, but it does become manageable. Sometimes you feel like the daily requirements are a piece of cake; you’ll find that the boredom from doing them every day is your biggest challenge.
Some days, you’ll struggle with the notion that you still have two months left to do this. Day 75 sometimes becomes much more daunting than the current day that you’re on. Overcoming these obstacles mentally can be one of the biggest keys to finishing the challenge.
The key is to concentrate on the day you are on and not worry about how much more you have to do to get to the last day or how far away it is. Too many people worry about Day 75 and not enough about Day 13.
Manage the day you are on, not the days in front of you.
My Personal 75 Hard Experience
I completed the 75 Hard Challenge on my first attempt. Now it’s not to say I’m lucky, I was just too ignorant to realize what I was in the middle of. I started the program with only a couple of days of preparation to get the tools I would need for the journey, like the books, the water jugs, etc., and just started. I didn’t know much about the program when I started 75 Hard, and I had a lot of questions; I just wanted to start.
I had my ups and downs during the process, but I was fortunate enough to mentally stay on top of any mountains I encountered until I saw the final day.
However, I tried to do the challenge again a year and a half later and failed after about 20 days. I didn’t fail because it was getting difficult; I failed because of a mental slip-up, forgetting to read ten pages of a book for a day.
It’s funny; failing after 20 days hit me harder than the pride I felt after completing the 75-day program. Failure just hits differently.
I’ve seen the program from both sides, the winning and the losing. I have felt the taste of victory and the burn of defeat. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you probably feel one of those, too, and not the good one.
But I sincerely believe, as somebody who has experienced both ends of this, that there is extreme value in completing or failing the program. The things you learn about yourself and the things you can grow once you level with yourself about why you actually failed can create fantastic, wonderful things, even if you never try the 75 Hard Challenge again.
One of the beauties of this particular challenge is that when you fail, there is no escaping the reason why you failed; there is no justification that will make sense. All you’re left with is what caused you to fall short within the program.
And if you’re paying enough attention, taking time to answer that question, difficult and challenging in itself, can lead to fantastic victories, whether 75 Hard or something else.