75 Hard but make it gentle

If you’re over 40, 50 or 60 and have been looking for a challenge you may have seen the 75hard challenge. What is it? It’s a challenge that intends to set a series of daily do’s that will positively change your life both physically and mentally. I am all for that. I use daily do’s when I coach people to develop mindful habits that reach an end goal so certainly it will work for us here. Motivation comes from results. As we are compliant each day with our tasks we please our internal audience and that build esteem and motivation. While it is not a main focus of my business I will put it out that I have been a certified nutrition and wellness coach since 2007.

Making the 75 hard work for women

Let’s look at the areas the challenge will focus on. This original challenge was developed by a man- let’s look at it from a woman’s perspective.

Fitness: I have tailored the concept of the 75hard a bit more to the over 40 crowd who also wants to grow spiritually, specifically- it’s called the 75Gentle. The 75Hard has you doing physical activity for 45 minutes two times per day. For a more mature body that is a lot of wear and tear so I have pared that back a bit. I do love the idea of twice per day physical activity segments vs. doing one workout then being relatively sedentary the other parts of the day.

Fitting fitness into your day

Load up some playlists on youtube with pilates, yoga, indoor walking, and weight training. There are many over 40 creators that have fun fitness for people over 40. Maybe you have a goal to be more flexible as you age, have stronger muscles to help bone density, more stamina to play with your pets, grandchildren or not get out of breath doing day to day tasks. Or maybe, no shame, you want to look better in a pair of shorts or sleeveless top. It’s ok to want to be pretty. Just keep in mind the mind body connection. It is important. Fitness builds quickly so don’t feel discouraged if you struggle the first few days. By day 10 you will be impressed with your progress!

Spiritual practice: 75Hard has you reading 10 pages a day of self help. Here I have focus on spiritual work. This is where you really make it your own. Give yourself some options. Books, podcasts, meditation, gratitude or any combination of them. Sometimes the right book can inspired deeper dives into areas that really will resonate with you. We are guided to what we need once we tap into the spiritual world. I have a post on using a mala for your gratitude practice that may be a nice option for you.

Drink enough pure water every. single. day.

Water: 75Hard says a gallon per day. That can be excessive flushing out minerals so I suggest 64 ounces at minimum but the gentle challenge is 80. That’s a standard big water bottle plus maybe a fun carbonated water flavored or with essence (no sugar or artificial sweetener) or pure lemon in your water. If your challenge takes you into warmer months and you’re doing outdoor fitness you will need to increase your intake. Water means water.

This is my favorite water bottle. The design is just great. Comfortable to hold, easy to clean, tapered straw tip and a silicone base that automatically folds down when you snap the lid shut. Find it here.

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Eating right for your body and you taste

Eating: Do you want to or need to improve what you eat? More whole food? Less carbohydrate? Waiting until you are truly hungry to eat a moderate amount? Decide what will have you feeling your best. Your brain and body will do better without processed food so consider how that looks for you day to day.

Diet is not meant to punish, this is gentle mindful eating. Not over eating, not treating our bodies like garbage cans, not starving. Food is just food. Don’t make it a big deal.

What gets measured gets done

I have created a Gentle75 habit tracker. It gives you a first practice day in case you realized you need to adjust one of your options before going into the 75 days.

Tracking your challenge. Use the notes section for progress. Print out two pages total. Stick them where you will see them (psst. I use my fridge)

Wild card: What is it you want to work on in addition to these things? What new habit have you been wanting to develop? Sleep more? Journal more? No alcohol? Fill it in.

Progress: 75Hard has you taking photos every day. You will see a small asterisk at the start of each 19 day section. This is where you can take your images and measurements if you want that to be part of your progress tracking. Put those numbers down in the notes section.

Consistency not perfection. Habits are about consistency. 75Hard will have you start over if you aren’t perfect even one day. Aiming for 80% compliant days is what we are doing for my version of the challenge. Days are pass or fail. Not 80% of your daily do’s each day. Humans aren’t perfect – we strive to grow, be self reflective when we do things not in line with who we want to be and practice forgiveness. 80% compliant days are the goal here.

Out of 10 compliant days no more than two of them are noncompliant- as in 2 days are fail, 8 are pass. Big ups if all 10 out 10 days are pass! There is some wiggle room early on. You will see the day marks are in groups of 19. That means completing 4 sections will total with an extra day – that is your start day. See how you get on with that day and if you need to tweak any piece of it before going in to 75 days. I have a printable clean image available if you want one. I print and post on my fridge and x off at the end of the day.

Get yours here if you want a printable version from my Etsy store.