75 Hard Challenge: My Success Story
Completing Andy Frisella’s 75 Hard Challenge was one of the best accomplishments of my life. It taught me how to become the best version of myself, accomplish anything I set my mind to, and build a bulletproof mindset by creating a process and way of being of high performance.
In this post I want to share my 75 Hard Challenge success story. Think of this as the “now that I’ve paid my dues and completed the program, how have you taken what you’ve learned and implemented into your life”.
A few things from a framing perspective.
- I completed 75 Hard on July 6, 2019. This was only a few months after Andy Frisella created the program (which you can tell from the IG Template I used).
- I saw such success and leveling up in all areas of my life during 75 Hard that I also completed the entire Live Hard Program. You can dive deeper into my entire Live Hard experience HERE.
- I am writing this post 2+ years later after having completed the program. This has allowed me to have perspective on what I learned, and how it has contributed to my success over that time.
In my first post I shared Tips For Completing 75 Hard. It is a resource I created to help others on their journey that are either thinking about doing the mental toughness program, or are in the process of it. I encourage you to check it out if you want a more tactical perspective.
What Is The 75 Hard Challenge?
- Workout twice a day: 45 minute indoor workout, 45 minute outdoor workout. You can choose whatever fitness program or workouts you want.
- Read 10 pages of a personal development or non-fiction book. Something that makes you better. Note: Audiobooks do not count.
- Drink a gallon of water.
- Follow a diet with no cheat meals and do not drink alcohol. You get to create the diet for yourself.
- Take a progress picture every single day.
75 Hard Foundation
Foundational to my life are two things: growth mindset and self awareness.
With a growth mindset every day is an opportunity to learn and get better. With self awareness you understand that you are in control of every single area of your life.
The 75 Hard Challenge is designed to turn you into the best version of yourself. It’s like self awareness and growth mindset on steroids.
One of my favorite quotes, which comes from Ed Mylett, is “The Bigger The Dreams, The Deeper The Foundation.”
When I look back at my 75 Hard and Live Hard journey one of the reasons why I did it was to build a deeper foundation for myself, my family, my business, and my dreams. I wanted a framework I could build upon that guaranteed success when I followed it. I knew I had a big vision so I needed something that could support that vision.
So often in my coaching business I come across people who lack a solid foundation. You can have a lot of financial success in life without a solid foundation. But that doesn’t mean you are fulfilled, happy, or doing what you love. What I help my clients with is creating a framework they can build upon, that has them showing up in the world a certain way so they can create whatever they want.
The principles I learned are foundational to the way I show up in the world, as well as the way I coach others to create their best life. The best way that I can help with the transformation is to first have transformed myself.
How The 75 Hard Challenge Shaped My Coaching
I want to break down the skills that the 75 Hard Challenge teaches you as they are foundational to the way I coach people who want to create growth & impact in their life.
With 75 Hard you have to be intentional about every single aspect of the program, all of your actions, and pretty much every second of your day. There is no time off when you are on the program. And that’s a good thing. The absolute nature of it makes you so intentional about everything that you become a superhero for focus and action.
One of the biggest things I see with coaching clients who want to create growth and impact in their life is a lack of intention. So often people wish for something to happen but they rarely put the action behind it. This is also prevalent with high performers who have so much going on, and have so many things that they want to create or do, that they aren’t intentional about all of them. This causes a lack of growth and progress, not because they don’t know how to make it happen, but because they aren’t intentional about it (whether how they use their time, or what they say yes/no to, etc).
Being intentional can be tough because the world is full of distractions and many things are thrown at you (business, family, life). What I like to do is write down my main priorities plus all the things I want to do/create. Once I have that list now I can add prioritization to it. What you’ll quickly realize is if you have a huge list that something has got to give. And that’s OK. Now you know what you can put more of your intention on.
The 75 Hard Challenge teaches you the power of consistency. Showing up every day and paying your dues. The same is true for creating anything you want in your life. How consistent are you at reading and writing your goals and your dreams? How consistent are you at taking action on them? How consistent are you at doing what you say you are going to do?
There’s a quote from Andy Frisella that I love ,“don’t get bored with consistency.” So often we let the lack of short term results stop us from seeing the results for what we want. When you show up day after day, paying your dues, doing the right things, eventually good things will happen.
I find in my coaching that a lack of consistency with habits, routines, or showing up a certain way in the world is what is holding people back from creating what they want. A simple way to overcome this is to write it down.
One of the habits I attribute my success to is writing down each of the 5 things I needed to accomplish today. By having the piece of paper next to me all the time, my awareness was heightened, which made it easier for me to take action. Rinse and repeat daily for consistency.
Tip: if you are looking for a good book on consistency check out “The Power Of Consistency by Weldon Long”.
Remove & Overcome Excuses
The 75 Hard Challenge teaches you to remove & overcome excuses because if you don’t then you are not going to complete the program. It builds your mental toughness.
One of the things I learned the hard way, since I completed this in Chicago, was that “conditions aren’t always going to be perfect.” I think back to when I was in Phase 1 in January and I was doing an outdoor walk at 5 am in sub-zero temperatures and the water in my water bottle froze.
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Would it have been easy to hit snooze and go back to bed because “it was too cold out” and “I didn’t feel like it?” Yep. Both those are just excuses and they don’t serve me.
The more often you overcome your excuses the more natural it becomes for you to take action when your excuses pop up again. And excuses will pop up for you, every single day.
Action Over Excuses!
The same is true for everyone I coach who talks to me about what they want to create in life. Often they follow it up with all the reasons why it hasn’t happened yet. The sooner you limit your excuses the sooner the things you want to create will happen.
Tip: Write down your excuses for why you haven’t done the things you say you want to. Be honest and candid with yourself. Once you have that you now have your blueprint for how to overcome the things that are stopping you. Start taking action on the things you listed.
With the 75 Hard Challenge you learn to control your self talk. There are countless times in which your bitch voice tells you not to do something (it’s called 75 Hard for a reason). Are you going to listen to that voice or are you going to anchor yourself in the vision of who you know you are. The best version of yourself. The one who says “Not now bitch voice, it’s time for me to pay my dues and hit the gym.” And then when you are done with your workout I guarantee that you are happy you took action. That’s mental toughness!
Creating Your Being (aka self cultivation) is foundational to my coaching philosophy. It centers around creating who you are on the inside (aka your being) by speaking who you are into existence every day. The way you talk to yourself will determine the output and quality of your life.
I’ll give you an example to make this more clear. Which of these two people do you think is happier and more successful?
Person A (who says to themself): I am such a loser
Person B (who says to themself): I am rich in all areas of my life
Person B, obviously. Since we can all agree on this, then you now understand the importance of self talk.
Language is so powerful, both internal chatter in your mind and what you speak into existence. Use your voice for good.
The 75 Hard Challenge teaches you self belief by having you show up and pay your dues daily. This is especially important on the days in which you don’t want to keep going. When the program feels hard or you are in a low moment. You find a way to power through and complete the task in front of you. Day after day of doing this builds self belief.
For the first two weeks I felt the weight of the program and how long it is. “How am I going to do this for another 64 days when I am feeling so challenged on day 11?!” It wasn’t until I saw the opportunity in each day that I was able to get rid of some of the self inflicted pressure I was feeling from the program. Even then there was an ever present performance anxiety of not wanting to mess up (since this is an absolutely program).
When I got to day 76 and had completed 75 Hard, and on day 366 when I completed the Live Hard program, the belief I had in myself and my ability to accomplish anything became a super power. If I can complete a year long mental toughness program then I can tackle anything that life brings me. The self belief I have in myself after completing 75 Hard and the Live Hard program is omnipotent.
The road to creating anything you want starts with self belief. No one is going to believe in you more than you do in yourself.
Early on in my entrepreneurial journey I learned the concept of self belief. I continually heard stories of people and companies who quit, and because of that their dream died with it. I knew that my entrepreneurial journey ahead was going to be filled with up’s and down’s, and I wanted to guarantee that through it all one thing always flowed through me: Belief.
Belief in myself. That I can do anything I set my mind to. Belief in my dreams. That anything is possible.
This concept is so important to me that I tattoo’d it on my forearm as a constant reminder.
One of my keys to success in the 75 Hard Challenge was prioritizing it first. When Andy Frisella said “If you go all-in on this program I guarantee you’ll be the best version of yourself” I took it to heart. What does going all in mean? Prioritizing it first over everything else. That includes my business and my personal life.
For 75 days (and the subsequent 30 day periods with Live Hard) the first thing on my mind when I woke up and the last thing on my mind when I went to bed was 75 Hard. It was the ultimate prioritization, in a good way. Because I was committed to becoming the best version of myself it demanded it.
Throughout the days of the program I had choices to make: do I eat this or that, do I stay out with my friends or do I head home and get a good night sleep so I can crush tomorrow. You learn prioritization on a micro, decision by decision level. The more you prioritize the program and yourself, the better the results you get.
This is one area where I see a lot of high performers struggle. Because they are successful at what they do, they have a lot of options for what they can or want to do. This becomes a challenge of prioritization because they can’t do everything. A lot of people struggle saying No, or they struggle saying Yes to things that don’t align to their vision.
The way you earn confidence is through experience and doing. With the 75 Hard Challenge you earn your confidence by paying your dues daily.
Because you’ve put in the work and seen the growth in yourself, you create a different energy. You exude an earned confidence that has you walking taller and there is a noticeable glow about you. So much so that others will say “you are radiating” or “there is something different about you.”
Confidence is a tricky thing because many people want it but haven’t put in the work to actually have it. And so that I am clear, “the work” is the personal growth & development on themselves. Sure you can take action in one bucket of your life, but how about all the buckets. How are you showing up every single day? Plenty of people go to work unsatisfied with what they do but make a ton of money. Does that mean they are confident?
The 75 Hard Challenge is a mental toughness program. By design it is hard. It makes you dig deep and get comfortable being uncomfortable. It is the ultimate proving ground for developing grit.
Success looks shiny on social media. The cars, vacations, the beach photos. But what isn’t shown is what it takes to make that happen. Most people aspire without being willing to get their hands dirty.
When it comes to creating your vision, your journey is going to be filled with peaks and valleys. How you handle the low points is what separates those who do from those who don’t. Are you going to stop taking action when times get tough or are you going to see that as an opportunity to get better? The best of the best are gritty.
I gain confidence in knowing that whatever life throws at me I’ll be prepared. I completed the Live Hard program during a global pandemic and quarantine (insert link to Phase 3).
The 75 Hard Challenge was an expert level program on discipline. The reason is because of its absolute nature. If you screw up even one task you go back to the beginning. There is no room for error. Because of that you learn how to create discipline in your life by doing what you say you are going to do.
The challenge many people face around discipline is it’s an inside job. No one can make you disciplined but yourself. The way to create discipline in your life is by doing one thing at a time. Commit to whatever it is you want to do. Create structure around yourself to ensure it happens. Leave nothing to chance. If something is important enough you’ll find a way to make it happen.
Rinse and repeat in as many areas of your life that you want self improvement.
The discipline I’ve learned through 75 Hard has created a standard for myself. I know what it takes to commit and make things happen. I’ve designed each day around being the best version of myself, creating my vision, and doing what I love. I am disciplined because I know the dedication it takes to accomplish what I want to create.
A great example of this is my morning routine. It is one of my pillars for success. It is a non-negotiable. I created an in-depth guide that can help you design a morning routine that serves you (it’s pretty awesome).
How do you create growth & momentum in your life? By showing up every day and putting in the work. The 75 Hard Challenge is designed to turn you into the best version of yourself. The way it does it is by consistently having you do things that level up both your mind and your body.
It also removes the distractions and things that don’t serve you. Drinking no alcohol for 75 days will give you a clarity of mind. Getting rid of junk food will have your body looking better and with that comes more confidence.
And here’s something many people overlook. “Putting in the work” doesn’t have to mean hard labor. You can stack positive habits & routines in your life that you enjoy that make you better.
Building momentum in your life can be formulaic. It has been for me. One of the simplest ways I build momentum in my life is by reading a personal development book for 30 minutes first thing in the morning. Doing so guarantees I learn something, which by design makes today better than yesterday. I’ve rinsed and repeated that for the last decade.
The 75 Hard Challenge ultimately is a program about lifestyle design. What are the things you get to do daily that contribute to being the best version of yourself. For 75 days you are going to try on a bunch of different tasks, habits, and routines. When you are done keep the ones that serve you and discard the ones that you don’t like.
I’ve become an expert at lifestyle design and that started when I quit my corporate job over a decade ago. I didn’t wake up every day looking forward to slinging banner ads and text link advertising. I knew I was meant for something greater. Something more fulfilling, more creative, where I could have a positive impact on others. Where I could wake up every day excited for what lies ahead.
Over that time I’ve audited the success habits of the most successful people. The ones I aspired to do things like. From there I’ve taken the positive habits, routines, and mindsets that served them and implemented them in my life. That’s how I discovered Andy Frisella and the Live Hard program.
Designing the lifestyle you want is a combination of all the skills I listed above. More importantly, though, it starts with a willingness to create your own path. One of my favorite quotes is “Live by design, not by default.” So much of the world lives by default. They wake up and do the same thing every day, they consume the same media, and they are on the hamster wheel of life. I don’t relate to that at all.
We are all in control of our lives and what we create. It’s up to us to make it happen.
Creator Mindset For 75 Hard
Because I am a coach and a creator, I came in with a unique mindset to 75 Hard. Of course I was interested in the personal growth & development that was going to come from the program. But at the same time I wanted to maximize my return on my investment. There are several ways that I did that.
I posted my progress pictures on Instagram daily documenting my 75 Hard journey. I did this for multiple reasons. One, it was a simple way for me to share my journey with others. As I found out, doing this inspired others and got people rooting for me. I’d get DM’s on the regular either cheering me on or saying how they lived in action because of what they saw me do. DO NOT underestimate the impact you can have on others by sharing your journey.
Two, I knew that when I kept a running photo diary of my 75 Hard challenge experience that I would have it forever. I could always go back and relive my journey and that day. Once a moment is gone you can’t go back and recapture it.
Three, by documenting my journey I knew that there would come a time in which I would repurpose the content for something even greater. This blog post is a great example. I could share the lessons I learned to help others on their journey
Four, tying all of this together, I knew it would be valuable to have a podcast and video sharing my thoughts, lessons learned, tips, and everything in between upon completing 75 Hard and each of the Live Hard Phases. Those would live on forever. Plus, since I completed the mental toughness program shortly after Andy created it, there was not a lot of content or resources out there about it. This gave me an opportunity to be a thought leader and stand out, plus use it as a way to create growth and impact in my business.
Content Results From 75 Hard & Live Hard
Putting my business hat on for a second. There are very few people in the world who have completed 75 Hard, Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 of the Live Hard program, plus had the foresight to create content around it the entire time. This allowed me to create some cornerstone content that aligned with my brand and coaching philosophies, and do so in a way that allowed me to capitalize on organic SEO traffic from Google.
To give you a peak behind the curtain, I first published my blog posts on 75 Hard & my Life Hard results on January 2, 2021 and then I added posts for Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 on June 13, 2021. Over that time until now (Oct 4, 2021) those 5 articles have organically generated over 12,000 unique visitors to my website, accounting for 68% of the traffic to my website. On top of that, the time spend on page of each of those posts is anywhere from 2:29 to almost 5 minutes (which is fantastic).
The way I was able to do this was by creating content rich blog posts around 75 Hard and each of the Live Hard phases. I made sure to include audio + video, and then I SEO optimized each one.
In doing so each of my articles on Live Hard Phase 1/Phase 2/Phase 3 appear first in Google when you search, and “Andy Frisella Live Hard” my Live Hard Lessons Learned & Phase 1 Live Hard posts are in the second spot. This becomes the gift that keeps on giving as targeted, organic traffic comes to my website, and I am able to help people on their 75 Hard journey at the same time.
On the podcast side of things I knew there was a ton of value to be able to put a voice to my Live Hard journey. That way I could share my experiences to help others on their journey. Doing so has resulted in 1000+ downloads among the 75 Hard, Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 podcasts. More importantly, I receive messages in my Instagram DM’s on a regular basis saying how they helped others who are on their 75 Hard journey. That means the world to me as I am so proud of everyone who is working towards being the best version of themselves.
75 Hard Challenge Results
The results I saw from completing the 75 Hard Challenge was the greatest period of growth of my life ever. This was holistic and included my mindset, relationships, emotions, body, and business. All areas of my life were better.
Since completing the program I still live a life of excellence. Once you experience this way of living and being there is no going back. I’ve taken the things that served me and continue to implement them in my daily life (working out, reading a personal development book, drinking a gallon of water, gratitude, the power list, visualization, meeting new people, random acts of kindness).
75 Hard has been foundational to the way I help people become more powerful creators. To be happier, level up, and create the vision they have.
Being the best version of yourself is a way of life. It is something you get the opportunity to design. Be intentional about it. Focus on the moment to moment opportunities.
If this post inspired you and you are interested in creating growth & impact in your life then let’s connect and be in conversation about it. You can hit me up on Instagram @Rob_Cressy or book time to jump on a coaching call.