For 75 days I did the same things. I did this to try and create some new healthy habits. It’s said that if you do the same things every day for a long time, you’ll make it a habit. Same as brushing your teeth every day for example. I will tell you about what I did, how it went and what I learned and got out of it. Did I stick with all the things for 75 days? You’ll find out!
75 DAY HARD CHALLENGE When I heard about the 75 Day Hard Challenge I was instantly interested. I’m always up for a good challenge. I did fasting challenges, detox challenges, meditation challenges, journal challenges. They were all 3-31 days though. I had never done such a long challenge and 75 days is quite long! It's 2,5 months.. almost 1/4 of a whole year! Around that time, we just went into lockdown and I thought it was perfect timing, so I went for it. The 75 Hard Challenge has 5 ‘rules’, that you need to do every day, which are:
1 – Exercise 2x 45 min – one of them must be outdoors.
2 – Drink 4 liters of water.
3 – Pick a diet and stick with it (preferably a healthy diet).
4 – Read 10 pages of a book that grows your mindset.
5 – Take a picture of yourself.
75 DAY HABIT CHALLENGE I do like most of the 75 Day Hard Challenge habits, but I wanted to make my own. I wanted to choose the things that would make me grow, with things that I personally think will be beneficial for me. So, I came up with my own list which is:
1 – Use 3 affirmations. 2 – Drink Apple Cider Vinegar. 3 – Consume fresh ginger.
4 – Fast for 16 hours. 5 – Drink 4L of water.
6 – Have a probiotic. 7 – Only eat whole foods. 8 – Exercise for 45 min.
9 – Do 100 squats.
10 – Read 10 pages of a book.
11 – Journal: 3 moments of happiness.
12 – Meditate for 20 min.
I know, I know.. it’s a lot! But, most of the things I already did or I did on most days. It just wanted to push myself and try to do it for 75 days straight. I took a few things from the 75 Day Hard Challenge, but because it’s quite different, I decided to call it the 75 Day Habit Challenge.
Before I started I already knew which habits would be the most challenging. First of all, that was definitely the 45 min. exercise. I also predicted that the only eating whole foods was going to be tricky. Spoiler alert: I was right!
BEFORE THE CHALLENGE Before I tell you how it went, I want to tell you the things that I already did before I started the challenge. Just to make it fair. I already drank ACV on most days, intermittent fasting (14-18 hours) is something I already did for years, on most days I drank around 3 liters of water, I ate a lot of probiotics and whole foods already and I exercised (in the gym) and meditated a few times a week.
The first 40 days went super well, apart from the exercise. All the gyms closed due to corona and exercising at home/outside is something I do not like at all. I went for walks (occasional run) and did some home work-outs, but I definitely didn’t tick the 45 minutes every day.
When I was just over halfway, I started to struggle with only eating whole foods. I craved junk food pizza, biscuits and chocolate. And I gave in. I ate 2 biscuits and felt much better. But a few days later I started to crave things again and I noticed that I started to obsess over it. As a nutritionist, there is something that I recommend and promote to my clients and that is intuitive eating. Now I was doing the opposite. This is when I decided that I needed to be less strict when it came to whole foods. The moment I did that, it went so much better! I still ate mostly whole foods, but I also ate some crisps when I really felt like it.
The intermittent fasting did go well, but there were days I maybe did 14 hours instead of 16 and it maybe happened 2-3 times that I only did 12 hours. But there were also days that I did 18-20 hours, so it all balanced out a bit. I focused on listening to my body, rather than listening to the rule I set.
From about day 55, I sometimes forgot to drink my ACV or the ginger. Especially on the weekend this was something I forgot, due to having a different routine on those days. I didn’t beat myself up about it, but I did feel it was a shame that I forgot.
Then last, the meditations. There were days that I meditated for 45 minutes and days that I meditated for 5 minutes. I feel totally ok with this, because meditation isn’t something you can actually time. At least, it doesn’t work for me. Some days I felt totally fine doing it for longer and sometimes I was too tired and it made me fall asleep. But I think if you’d balance it out, I probably did about 20 min a day (I never skipped a day though!).
PERFECTION All the other things I did were going super well. Sometimes I had a hard moment, but I never skipped a day. For 75 days, every day, I said the affirmations out loud, I drank 4 liters of water, had a probiotic, did 100 squats (yup I did 7500 squats!!), read 10 pages of a book and I journaled (1 page) every evening.
I especially liked the reading every day. I normally never make time for reading and now I actually finished a book (‘How Not To Die’ by Michael Greger, which I totally recommend for everyone!). I also really enjoyed the journaling, but I got the most results from my affirmations! This is why I want to put my affirmations down here, because I saw so many amazing results.
AFFIRMATIONS The 3 affirmations I picked, are the ones I also put down on this website. I didn’t just randomly pick 3, but I carefully selected these. I asked myself ‘what do I find important?’, ‘what do I need at this stage of my life?’ and ‘what do I want for the future?’. Then I picked these 3 (see below) and I absolutely love and recommend them. Especially if you want the same thing as me. Freedom! Freedom of being, acknowledging and accepting who you are, freedom of endless happiness flowing through your life and heart and last but not least, financial freedom!
The affirmations that I used are:
1 – From this moment forward, I invite unlimited abundance in my life.
2 – I am enough. I am smart. I attract positivity. I am confident. I attract opportunity. I am kind. I am worthy of good things.
3 – Money comes to me easily and effortlessly, wealth constantly flows into my life and my actions create constant prosperity.
I’m always a very positive person, I was lucky that I was born with such a nice quality. But whilst using the affirmations, I felt even more positive. I experienced so much joy and especially gratefulness! Something I also experienced was money coming into my life that I did not expect. In those 75 days, I received £670! My money mindset really changed during these 75 days. I wouldn’t say that it ‘completely changed’, because I never was someone who is very much on her money. What did change, was that I started to see money as energy more and more. I didn’t save up all my money and I actually gave a lot of money away. And just as with energy, what I gave away, came back to me. Not only did it come back, but I received more than I gave. That is exactly how it works!
WHAT ABOUT NOW
You must be curious about what my days are like now. Did it work? Did I create new habits? I can say, with confidence, that I did. But to be honest and to make it clear, not all of them! The things that I still do are the things that I also did before I started the challenge, but I also created new habits that I still enjoy. Like, I still squat. Not every day and not always a 100, but I still do it before I jump in the shower. I also consume ginger on most days and I eat more whole foods (even more than before).
The things that I am most grateful for: reading a lot more again, journaling and starting my day with the 3 affirmations every day, meditating more than ever and drinking my tea without agave nectar.
WHAT DID I LEARN? I learned that you can create new habits if you do it for a certain amount of time. In the supermarket I automatically grab some ginger and doing squats feel like a part of my day.
I make myself a chocolate milkshake made with whole foods rather than eating something unhealthy and I do not automatically squirt some agave nectar into my tea.. and even enjoy it a lot better now without it. The best lesson, is that I learned that affirmations work and that I now automatically think about them first thing in the morning and remember them during the day.
What I would do different though, is the way that I wrote down the habits. I experienced that it’s much better to say ‘mediate every day’, instead of ‘meditate for 20 minutes’ and ‘exercise every day’ instead of ‘exercise for 45 minutes’. I am saying this, because 75 days is quite a long time and there will be days that you do not feel like it or when you are not in the right state of mind. This is ok, it’s life. And instead of then thinking ‘I cannot have that biscuit, because otherwise I have failed’, you have to learn to accept that you ate whole foods 98% of the time, but also enjoyed a biscuit. It’s all about the balance. And I think learning this, is kind of a bonus lesson that I got from this challenge.
WILL I DO IT AGAIN? Short answer: Yes! I would do it a little differently though, like I described above. Also, the next time, I wouldn’t pick as many. I thought I would be ok with it as I already did most of those things on most days, but I experienced that they are too much to focus on every day. It’s a good thing that I did it in lockdown though, because otherwise I wouldn’t have done this well I think.
I would suggest picking 3-5 habits and focus on those. Then you can maybe pick another 3-5 new habits the next time. This way you will create habits in a more effective and efficient way.
What I would love, is to maybe do a 75 Day Habit Challenge with you! Maybe we can create a (small) group of people and encourage each other to do our habits every day. This way we can inspire and motivate each other. Would you be up for that? Please let me know!