As the New Year rapidly approaches I’ve been considering my resolutions for 2023 and have landed on a challenge that I have considered on a number of occasions in the past.

The 75 Hard program is a simple enough concept: complete a number of tasks every day for 75 days. No compromise. No substitution. You have until you complete the day to complete the tasks, and if you fail (for any reason whatsoever) you must start over at Day One.

Follow a diet

I’m going to go for a calorie-controlled diet. I will record everything I consume, and keep my daily intake at or below 1,800 calories.

Over time I think I will also start to cut out animal products - I’ve tried a plant-based diet before and genuinely felt the benefits so I may go back to it at some point. That being said, it is not going to be the ‘diet’ I will be following for this challenge.

Complete two 45-minute workouts

…and one of those workouts MUST be outdoors.

This is the challenge that I’m probably the most excited - and concerned - about. I really want to exercise more. I genuinely love getting out of the house and moving, but lately I’ve become a lot more sedentary.

In an ideal world I would be taking the dogs for a walk for at least 45 minutes a day, and going for a ride (either on my road bike or on the trails) - but life invariably gets in the way.

If anything is going to cause me to reset and restart the challenge at any point it’s going to be me missing an exercise.

Absolutely NO alcohol or cheat meals

I don’t drink, and haven’t done since December 31, 2020, so the first part will be simple. Having two kids that love the occasional trip to McDonalds and KFC, avoiding cheat meals will be somewhat more difficult - but that’s the point, right?

Take a progress picture every day

I may not post them anywhere online (at least, not on a daily basis), but I will do this.

Furthermore, I am going to record various health metrics over time (weight, BMI, blood-pressure and fitness level) with the help of my various Withings devices. Whilst progress is rarely visible on a day-to-day basis, with trends only apparent over time, this will be an interesting exercise and habit to form.

Drink 1 gallon of water

That’s 3.8 litres for non-Americans - which is a lot! Whilst this is more that your daily recommended intake, I expect that with the additional exercise this will be achievable.

I’m not going to cheat and include my coffee intake in this (which would arguably make this much easier!).

Read 10 pages of a book

Since picking up a dedicated eReader a couple of months ago I have become a lot more prolific with my reading, so on the face of it this won’t be much of a challenge. Therefore I’m going to make this one a little more specific.

Despite the No Substitution rule I’m going to switch it from 10 pages to 15 minutes - since I use an eReader with a reasonably large font-size for comfort, the concept of a ‘page’ can be lost. Therefore I will switch this up for 15 minutes of reading (assuming a minute and a half per page for an average book).

January 1 = Day One

There’s no time like the present, so I’m going to start this on the first day of the year. Do I expect to complete it on March 17 (i.e. 75 days after January 1)? Hell no! This program is called 75 Hard for a reason. Do I expect to have completed it by December 31 2023 - absolutely!