I finished Phase 1 this week! I can’t honestly say it wasn’t as hard as 75Hard, but it was only 30 days. That right there qualifies it as being easier. Thirty days passes much more quickly than 75 days, but there was more to do in Phase 1 than there was in 75Hard.
As a reminder, Phase 1 of the LiveHard Program includes all the elements of 75Hard (stick to a food plan; two 45-minute workouts; a gallon of water; read 10 pages of non-fiction; and a progress picture) and adds in a five-minute cold shower, 10 minutes of visualization and three additional critical tasks that move you closer to your goals.
I liken this whole program to majoring in mental toughness with a minor in time management. If you don’t start the program with time management skills, you’ll find out quickly how badly you need them. Getting all 10 items done every day, plus everything else one typically does on a regular basis, is challenging at best.
The main struggle I had was the three additional critical tasks. You can learn about the power list in Episode 16 of Andy Frisella’s The Real AF podcast. (Side bar: this particular episode is arguably the best podcast episode I have ever heard.) Simply put, it’s five critical tasks that move you closer to achieving your goals. For Phase 1, the power list includes all the elements of 75Hard plus three additional tasks of your choosing. My three extras were essentially the same every day: write for 30 minutes, watch three training videos, and homeschooling with my daughter. The third one changed frequently, however, because I learned to make the power list work better for me. Each day my list consisted of the five 75Hard tasks, the cold shower, visualization, and the three additional critical tasks. Then I drew a line and kept a running to-do list so I didn’t forget those small things that I need to get done (errands, household chores, appointments to make, etc.). Sometimes I would add something from my to-do list to my power list if it was on the to-do list for too long and I was procrastinating on it. It’s not how Andy Frisella would do it, but I tweaked it to work better for me. I knew if it was part of the power list, it would get done. I didn’t want to add an additional 30 days to the program just because I screwed up.
Visualization was another struggle, as I have trouble keeping my mind from wandering. I did make a vision board, and that helps up to a point. I liked how the better I became at it, those visualizations would sneak into my thoughts throughout the day and reminded me what I’m working toward.
I thought the cold shower was going to be much harder. The first day was very hard. There are two shower heads in our shower installed so that the streams cross. For my cold shower I used only one. I kept turning around telling myself I could get through it. By Day 6 I had become so used to the cold shower that I added the second stream to make it a great challenge. And for a time it did make it colder and more challenging. But when outside temperatures are in the 100s during the day, it doesn’t cool off much at night. As cold as the cold water was for my showers, it still wasn’t very cold. That being said, I’m certain that when it’s the dead of winter and there’s snow on the ground, it will be a very different cold shower!
I’m currently in the 30-day waiting period required between Phase 1 and Phase 2. Phase 2 is all the elements of 75Hard but for only 30 days. I’m continuing to work out once a day, read 10 pages, write every day, drinking almost a gallon of water, and still using the power list concept as it works for me. I’m still eating keto and am continuing to tweak what I eat, although I am allowing for some non-keto choices that will likely have to come to an end if I am to lose the weight I’ve been battling since 2019. I enjoy having the breaks, but eating the fun stuff isn’t serving me well. I end up with brain fog and desperately needing a nap. Now I know what I need to do to accomplish my weight loss goal…I just need to make the decision that I’m ready to make that sacrifice. If I’m honest, I’m not quite willing just yet. That cinnamon roll I shared with Sarah at lunch today was so good I just about reconsidered all of this. I didn’t, but I’m closing in on that critical decision to just keep plowing through, regardless of breaks between phases, doing what I know needs to be done to make it happen. I’m close.