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Do Hard Things: My Midway Journey Reflection On 75 Soft

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

After spending a week at an all-inclusive resort on an island during spring break, I came back to college with a renewed sense of determination. The weeks post spring break are notorious as the academic year wraps up and this year was no exception. I knew I was going to be pushed to my limits, and I wanted to have something to ground me during this time.

Enter 75 soft.

75 soft is a lighter version of the 75 hard lifestyle challenged. There aren’t really any predefined rules per see but it involves making lifestyle changes and sticking to them. I’m a firm believer that you need to do hard things to grow in life. While I have always limited that to school or career related achievements, I wanted to switch up a little. So, two of my friends and I made a pact to see 75 soft through and here are our rules:

  • 2 liters of water a day
  • 1 workout a day
  • 8-10 K steps
  • 1 sweet treat a day (limit added sugars)
  • Read 10 pages of a non-fiction book
  • Limit eating out to 1-2 times a week

Some of these tasks were easily accomplished. I was already regular with working out, now I just had to do lighter workouts on my rest days. While I didn’t read or drink as much water a day, it didn’t take a lot of me to get those done. And I began cooking more on my own so I wouldn’t be eating out as much, a skill that I have wanted to develop for a while now.

Oh, but I need my sweet treats and I hate walking so those were a challenge. I found my workarounds within the first week though: including treadmill walks and healthier swaps like rice cake bites and mints for my sweet treats. I started getting a boost of serotonin at night after successfully crossing off my tasks for the day.

Now all of this lasted about two weeks.

Once midterm season hit, I was struggling. I injured my leg and had to take a break from lifting. My workouts became shorter Pilates videos. My treadmill walks became slower and at less of an incline. I caved and bought coffee from outside, drinks saturated with sugar to get much needed caffeine. I was on the verge of falling sick and had to skip workouts for two days.

So, did that make me a failure?

If you had asked me in the moment, it definitely felt like it. But these past two days I haven’t been able to complete a single task on the checklist with finals this week, and I look back and am proud of the consistency I had up until this point.

The intent of the challenge while initially might have been to achieve certain aesthetic purposes, has morphed into something better. I have inculcated healthier habits into my life that I know will stick with me once this challenge has ended. The fact that I have continued to do low impact workouts despite my injury is commendable and I shouldn’t take away from it. So, what if I failed to meet 8 K steps on a certain day? I was barely hitting 5 K before I started this challenge. I’ve finally started reading books that I’ve been putting off for stages and have already learned so much.

This journey was never meant to be perfect, that’s why I didn’t commit to 75 hard in the first place. It was meant to be a personal growth journey and I can look and confidently say that just halfway in, I have built so much discipline lifestyle wise.

Now my 75 soft journey will be taking a break with finals season and traveling to my home country of India right after, but I intend to see it through once I’m back.

There is a beauty in showing up for yourself, in taking that next step to being a better version of you, in simply:

Doing Hard Things.

Anisya Nair has lived in three different states, learned three languages, and mastered three different dance forms. Outside of this strange affinity for the number three, she is a second year finance major and accounting minor at the University of Texas at Austin. In her free time, she enjoys curating oddly specific Spotify playlists, exploring new eateries, working out, watching rom-coms and scrolling through Pinterest.