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    The 74 Day Habit Building Challenge: Build A Remarkable, Stronger You in 74 Days with These 10 Powerful Tasks

    Discover the 74 Day Habit Building Challenge, a 74 day exercise to build a stronger, healthier you, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Breaking out of ruts and changing our lives for the better is one of the hardest yet most valuable things we can do.

    With the 74 Day Habit Building Challenge and our 10 daily tasks, we’ll reprogram how you think, act, and perform on a daily basis be programming positive empowering habits from the moment you wake up to the moment you end your day. The results at day 75 will be a fitter, happier, healthier, and stronger version of you.

    Note: This article contains affiliate links

    The best part – this challenge isn’t just about getting to do 75 and feeling great about completing. This challenge is about building in positive, sustainable habits that will improve your life indefinitely and you’ll want to keep going.

    Read on to discover the 75 day challenge that will change your life for the better. The 75 Strong Challenge

    Note: The 75 Strong challenge has been reimagined, and republished on Amazon as the 74 Day Habit Building Challenge. Click here to find the new 74 Day Habit Building Challenge in paperback and in Kindle eBook.

    Don’t forget to check out our new title of the 75 Strong challenge in The 74 Day Habit Challenge: Unlock Happiness, Health, and Self Mastery by Building 10 Powerful Habits available in paperback and on Amazon Kindle, now with $49 of freebies, video guide, checklist, and more…free!


    Visit click here to purchase and download the book the 74 Day Habit Building Challenge ** on ABA, with included printable 75 challenge journals and lots of other free bonuses


    There are many challenges floating on the internet claiming to cultivate mental toughness, help you lose weight, develop discipline, and more. Though any effort to completely transform your life for the positive is commendable, the only way to improve your life – to create a stronger, tougher you in the long term – is to build a foundation of positive habits that you can do sustainably for the 74 days of the challenge and continue for the rest of your life with increasing positive results indefinitely.

    The goal our challenge is to reprogram universally positive habits into ourselves that make us stronger, better, more capable human beings.

    By programming these foundational positive habits that will build motivation, improve your health, cultivate self esteem, and improve your happiness by programming a healthy lifestyle. With this goal of building positive habits, you achieve this by practicing 10 healthy habits.

    By day 74 we will make execution of those habits autonomic, effortlessly improving the quality of our lives without extra thought, planning, or motivation necessary.

    We will deprogram or intentionally recalibrate potentially detrimental habits – such as how we eat, our relationship with alcohol, and how reflexively appreciate (or don’t appreciate) the things around us.

    Most importantly, our goal is to approach the growth, build foundational habits that make us stronger, in a way that is achievable, sustainable, and beneficial in the long term for our overall health.

    If you’re convinced and ready to start your 74 day habit building challenge, click here to get a free daily checklist, daily journal, and 2 extra bonuses with your purchase of the book , on our bookstore or Amazon. **


    Every day for 74 days straight, complete each of these tasks at least 9 out of every 10 days.

    1. List 20 things you’re thankful for, written or aloud
    2. List 20 things you appreciate about yourself, written or aloud
    3. Spend 20 minutes being still – meditate or just sit quietly allowing your mind to calm
    4. Exercise daily for 2 days, stretch and rest on the third, repeat
    5. Eat healthier by eliminating refined sugar, limiting carbohydrates, and increasing nutrient dense foods
    6. Skip alcohol
    7. Read a non fiction book for 15 minutes
    8. Study something new for 15 minutes
    9. Do something you are passionate about for 15 minutes
    10. Record your progress and journal your thoughts


    The primary goal of this challenge isn’t just completion (although completion is necessary). The goal is to develop lifelong, positive habits that will continually make us stronger, tougher, and more resilient as we practice them.

    We are not only building the muscle of self discipline and the mind state of resilience, but programming habits that make us healthier, more capable human beings physically, mentally, and emotionally.

    Our 74 day challenge isn’t (just) a physical fitness program, a workout program or about following a diet. There will be weight loss, and you will cultivate self discipline, and mental toughness and strength – but this challenge is about specific, practical actions that are universally healthy – and doing them maker

    Additionally, our approach over 74 days accounts for human error. Longevity and resilience isn’t about perfection. Longevity, resilience, and strength are built by sticking to it and doing the work. If you miss a day or a task, just keep going. In structuring the 74 day challenge we’ve accounted for the possibility of missing a task or a day, and even with that, as long as you keep moving and keep trying, you will ingrain our target habits by day 74.

    Now that we know why we are doing the challenge, let’s look at exactly what we’re doing to build a stronger version of ourselves. Let’s review the 10 daily tasks of our 74 day habit building challenge.

    Learn more...


    List 20 things you’re thankful for, written or aloud

    Research shows that thankfulness triggers a flood of positive hormones and results in an outlook that promotes happiness (or contentment) and productivity.

    From a practical standpoint, focusing our attention on the great things in our lives that we can further enjoy and cultivate leaves little room to obsess or worry about the things we should and cannot change.

    Be grateful for what you have that you appreciate as this is the first step to growing it and an approach to intentionally existing in a positive state of mind.

    List 20 things you appreciate about yourself, written or aloud

    By highlighting what we appreciate in ourselves, and actively reminding ourselves, we are actively promoting self-confidence, self-belief, and the belief of what we’re capable of, regardless of outside situations or pressures. This strength and confidence rooted from within in an essential ingredient for mental toughness and strong mental.

    Additionally, research shows that self confidence and a positive mindset lead to the ingraining of positive habits more deeply and more quickly essentially make our 75 day challenge easier and more effective.

    Spend 20 minutes being still – meditate or just sit quietly allowing your mind to calm

    Just like the body, the mind needs rest, to recover, to internalize knowledge, and to function at its best. Setting aside time every day to exist in a space wherein your mind is intentionally not running adds mental recovery to the mental challenge component.

    Sitting quietly for 20 minutes might actually be a mental challenge, but the act cultivates the self discipline that helps us stay true to our positive habits and is essential for mental strength.

    Exercise daily for 2 days, stretch and rest on the third, repeat

    Having a regular fitness program and moving our bodies is essential to maintaining the strength, mobility, and stamina we as human beings need to live a healthy, active lifestyle. “Use it or lose it” is an apt saying for physical fitness, so we will maintain and improve physical fitness just by using it. Perform any exercise you’d like – running, hiking, Crossfit, calisthenics – for 2 days. Then, on the third day, stretch, rest, and eat intentionally to recover.

    In a regular fitness program all you really need to do is get a sweat going and your heart moving for 45 minutes of moderate activity or 20 to 30 minutes of intense activity. In between, stretching, the maintain a healthy range of motion and sufficient strength at end ranges for health and safety, rounds out a good fitness program.

    Doing an outdoor workout has the added boost of sun exposure for vitamin and sleep patterns as well as the clinical research finding of how spending time in greenspaces correlates with a lower risk of heart disease. Muscle mass and losing weight can be secondary goals but aren’t necessary. For now – just move.

    Simply engaging in an active lifestyle, and building active lifestyle habits over the long term will be much more productive for long term health than a 75 day fitness sprint – so keep that in mind and just stay committed.

    Eat healthier by eliminating refined sugar, limiting carbohydrates, and increasing nutrient dense foods

    Living a healthy life, from a nutritional standpoint, isn’t about diets. Living a healthy life, from a nutritional standpoint, is about eating those things that give your body the fuel and nutrients it needs to function effectively, moderating how much you eat to avoid overeating and avoiding foods that cause negative reactions in your body or at times that may cause a negative reaction in your body. That is the recipe for eating to achieve the perfect body.

    Healthy eating could be summarized as

    • “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar”
    • No processed sugar, minimal refined carbs, low starch
    • Consider Intermittent fasting by eating within an 8 to 12 hour window daily (consult your physician before trying this)

    For any nutritional advice or dietary changes, be sure to consult your physician before considering or enacting any changes

    Skip alcohol

    Skipping alcohol for 74 days to recalibrate your relationship with it (if you drink) is an excellent practice. The threshold for heavy alcohol consumption for the average male is 14 drinks per week and according to many studies, most men consume beyond that exposing themselves to many health risks, brain damage (that occurs with even a single drink), and performance reduction.

    By skipping alcohol for 74 days we can break the consumption patterns we may unknowingly have and remind ourselves of the performance improvements that can happen by eliminating alcohol so that after 75 days when we do drink alcohol the choice, and acknowledgement of the sacrifices, is intentional and conscious.

    Read a nonfiction book for 15 minutes

    In a world wherein social media is the most common way to occupy our minds and absorb information, we miss out on the potent opportunity of cultivating our minds by just reading a non-fiction book.

    In a digital world of poorly vetted information and articles chopped to fit and cultivate short attention spans, simply sitting at night with a book and reading well constructed, long form ideas can ground our mental processes and pull us out of the dopamine and adrenaline spiking world of social media.

    Study something new for 15 minutes

    The human condition is not static, and the day we stop growing is the day we start shrinking – physically and mentally. Mental growth happens only by learning.

    Whenever we learn, a concept, an idea, or a skill, we empower ourselves with a new tool to perform better in what we do or to have the tool ready to capitalize on a new experience.

    Setting aside 15 minutes daily to learn, study, or practice something new is 15 minutes dedicated to filling your toolbox and maintaining an upward growth trajectory.

    Do something you are passionate about for 15 minutes

    Doing something you’re passionate about, whether gardening, playing with your children, singing, or anything else sets off a way of positive mental and emotional reactions that improve your happiness, your health, and your life. In a world of 9 to 5’s, promotions, and keeping up with the Jones we (as adults) can forget that we don’t live to work – and we can forget to do the things that make us feel alive and make life worth living.

    Remember to live for things worth living for by doing something you’re passionate about for 15 minutes daily

    Record your progress and journal your thoughts

    This challenge isn’t about how much you achieve by day 10, 20, 30, or whenever. This challenge is about just doing the work – performing the tasks regardless of whether or not you see results. A seed of an oak tree grows underground for months before any result shows above the surface.

    Even as it grows, there is a world of activity below the surface of the ground that we can’t see. However, for that to happen, water, sunlight, and an innumerable number of processes need to happen for us to eventually see the results.

    The same applies in this challenge. Though you may not see significant results, a lot is happening below the surface. Simply continue putting in the work – the proverbial sunlight and water – while the seeds of change grow.

    You can track that by recording your tasks completed in your checklist. Even further, you can journal your thoughts daily as proof to yourself that you’re doing the work and later those thoughts will be better snapshots of your progress than any selfie.

    Learn more...


    There are tens if not hundreds of “fitness challenges” floating around the internet and some of the existing challenges may be risky as designed or may simply not be aligned to your true goals. While I commend any effort for self-improvement, as a Crossfit trainer, former Marine, and researcher I highly recommend participants examine the rules of their chosen challenge carefully to assess for themselves if the challenge is 1) healthy and sustainable in the long term and 2) suited to their individual needs.

    In terms of assessing healthiness and sustainability, ask yourself, “if I repeated this action indefinitely as prescribed, would the results be positive for me?” If the answer is yes, rock on and go forward with growth. If the answer is no, and you likely won’t be able to sustain that commitment to and beyond day 74 I recommend reassessing.

    For example, skipping alcohol is a universally positive action that can be done every day for the rest of your life with increasingly positive results. On the other hand, doing two 45-minute workouts per day for the rest of your life is not advised by most certified fitness trainers or conditioning specialists because it deprives your body of a much needed recovery period and, for the average person, would be impossible to sustain for the rest of their life. As such, the commitment to fitness is commendable but the approach needs adjustment to be sustainable.

    In terms of assessing suitability to your goals ask yourself, will doing this challenge help you achieve the long term goal you have in mind? 74 days is a significant period to commit and invest in anything, so ensure the returns on your investment are worth it. If you complete 74 days of a challenge and achieve significant weight loss but the weight is back 30 days later, you’ve lost your investment. As such, examine why you’re jumping into the challenge and ensure the expected long term results fit your goal


    Taking a daily progress photo

    Though tracking progress, and taking a progress photo, could be a very motivating action, taking a progress photo to track physical progress daily is risky, as it consumes energy by focusing on examining our efforts before we’ve done enough work to see progress.

    This 10 minutes could be better used simply exercising, reading, or practicing thankfulness, and would ultimately lead to better holistic results on day 74 instead of a simple picture with nearly imperceptible changes.

    Instead, consider taking a progress photo on day 1 and day 74 to record the results of your efforts without embracing the (desired) results more than the process

    Doing two 45 minute workouts a day – risky for the average person

    As we already shared, I don’t know a certified trainer or conditioning specialist that would advise the average person take on two 45 minute workouts a day. Crossfit competitors and Olympic athletes may take on this challenge with years of training, a nutritionist, an elite level coach and a competition to prepare for, this prescription is risky for the average person aiming to lose weight and get fit.

    If the goal is building mental toughness, the other tasks in our challenge, and the self discipline required will build the mental toughness we desire while guiding us in dropping pounds and getting fit in a way that is sustainable in the long term and we could continue past day 74.

    Doing a diet

    For the most people, simply “doing a diet” is risky – not because eat healthily is a bad thing, but due to the plethora of misinformation on the internet. Search the word “diet” in Google and you’ll see many eating regimen’s designed for medical reasons (Keto, gluten free) or subjective analysis and personal beliefs (vegan, vegetarian, etc.).

    Unfortunately, most of those diets are not 100% based on targeting eating habits that are able to be maintained in the long term by the average person, while keeping their weight healthy, and feeling happy, satisfied, and fueled enough to live an active lifestyle.

    Doing the right diet for you isn’t necessarily bad, but leaving the prescription open that participants can do any diet and achieve long term results puts progress at risk.

    Instead, defining universally healthy eating habits that are sustainable in the long term and will contribute to weight loss, maintaining a healthy weight, and fueling a happy, healthy, active lifestyle is a better option.


    74 days is the perfect length of time for building a true habit, accounting for human error and unexpected hiccups in life.

    According to a study performed by research Phillippa Lally at the University College of London, repeating a task daily 66 times creates a habit, and missing a single day of practice once in a while didn’t disrupt the creation of the habit or the strength of the habit.

    74 days accounting for performing our tasks 9 out of every 10 days equals roughly 66 repetitions – the exact number we need to create a habit


    This challenge has its roots in real-life experience – after sitting in isolation for months, naturally losing many healthy routines, and not realizing how far I’d slipped.

    Surfing, running, and daily trips to the gym gave way to Netflix and comfort eating.

    Optimism and a positive outlook gave way to the unknown situation ahead allowing pessimism and negativity to creep in.

    A banal routine of never leaving my home, a beautiful place that I love, gave way to frustration about an unchanging situation and made me lose sight of all of the things I had to be grateful for and instead focusing on the things that I was dissatisfied with and couldn’t change.

    Until one day I broke the rules and went for a surf. Horribly out of shape, I was humbled by the ocean, tossed and embarrassed. After it was all over I realized I lost so much strength – physically, mentally, and emotionally – in isolation, but not because anyone took it from me. I lost it because I wasn’t disciplined enough to maintain it. Without the freedom to move around and the structure in my day, the routines that helped me cultivate and maintain my physical fitness and satisfaction disintegrated.

    But, with intentionality, I could have maintained the habits necessary to stay strong and resilient – exercising my mind and body, appreciating what I had instead of focusing on what I didn’t. But I didn’t.

    The actions were my fault. The results were my responsibility. Creating the path in front of me however, was my opportunity.

    I decided to intentionally rebuild the structure in my life, focusing on recreating the autonomic habits that would bring back physical fitness, self discipline, happiness (contentment), gratefulness, and discovery to my life.

    The result was a challenge to build empowering habits by completing a list of tasks, aimed at my end goals of personal strength, every day.

    The result was a 74 day personal challenge to get after it, get back to me, and get stronger. The result was a new 74 day challenge to build habits.

    Now, it’s your turn.


    The hardest part of your 74 day challenge will be staying motivated and committed for the duration of the challenge. To stay at your best, stay committed, and make the most of the challenge – completing the 74 days and building habits, I recommend a few tips.

    • Journal your thoughts, wins, and realizations
    • Recruit your tribe to join and support
    • Adjust the challenge, and do what works for you and your goals
    • Stay focused on the price


    Self-doubt, frustration, excitement, hunger, and plenty of other states will hit you over the course of the 74 days. This is natural. By journaling, you give yourself a place to express the feeling – and essentially enjoy it or get rid of it – to then keep moving with a clear head.

    Additionally, as you gain a clearer head over the course of the challenge, you’ll have valuable realizations, and having those written down to look back on later will be a pleasant and motivating treat.


    One of the major factors in whether we complete something and how well/efficiently we do it is support – from ourselves and from others. We’ve already baked in self-appreciation, self-belief, and confidence-boosting activities in the program, so increase your chances of completion by recruiting those around you.

    Whether they join you in the challenge, as you hold each other accountable, or they remind you of your goals and simply offer support in getting through the 75 days, the support of your tribe will make the experience more enjoyable.


    The list of our 10 activities is a great starting point for most people – but it may not be the best for you. Doing any of these activities, even just one, will improve your life. So, instead of skipping the challenge altogether, adjust the challenge, and the list of activities, to create a challenge that is doable for you and suited to your individual goals.


    Start this challenge with a goal and a reason for doing it. Anytime you feel miserable, frustrated, or at a breaking or quitting point over the 74 days, remember why you started.


    Will this program cultivate mental toughness?

    Absolutely, this challenge will cultivate mental toughness and strength. Toughness, grit, resilience, and strength root in having the self discipline to move yourself or not move yourself in the face of life’s adversities. By training yourself to do what is required for your long term goals, motivating yourself to act, and resisting the desire of comfort in favor of the pursuit of progress – and building positive foundational habits – you are building a stronger, tougher, more resilient you

    Will this program improve mental health?

    Absolutely. The acts of practicing gratefulness, self appreciation, and meditating have been proven in clinical research to improve mental health (happiness) and productivity.

    Is this a fitness challenge?

    The 74 day habit building challenge is a fitness challenge – just not the kind you’re used to. In this challenge we aim to cultivate long term mental, emotional, and physical fitness through sustainable positive habits.


    After the 74 day challenge, any tasks you have committed to and performed will have become habits. Additionally, they are sustainable indefinitely, so keep at it and maintain your hard earned benefits.

    Congratulations on completing the 74 day habit building challenge!


    This article is an excerpt from the book “The 74 Day Habit Building Challenge: Building A More Remarkable, Stronger You in 74 Days with these 10 Powerful Tasks”. Click here to purchase the full book the 74 Day Habit Building Challenge in e-book or paperback on Amazon and don’t forget your 75 Strong Journal

    Click here to order the paperback book version on Amazon

    For inspiration on more great approaches to 75 day challenges, check out our post on the rules of the popular 75 day challenges. and the 75 Soft challenge.

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      About A Brother Abroad


      Carlos is a nomad, slow traveler, and writer dedicated to helping others live abroad and travel better by using his 7+ years of experience living abroad and background as a management consultant and financial advisor to help other nomad and expats plot better paths for an international lifestyle. Click here to learn more about Carlos's story.