As you get a little more familiar with the rules of the Challenge (and fitting them into your life), I wanted to give you a couple of things to think about with your daily Scoring, things that have helped me get the proper perspective on succeeding at the Whole Life Challenge.
Hopefully, you find them helpful:
1.) The scoreboard is there to make you feel good (even when you don’t).
This means that keeping track of your score on a daily basis isn’t about “points” or “perfection”. Rather, it’s about reinforcing what you did well while showing you new opportunities for success. For instance, scoring a “3” on Nutrition doesn’t mean you messed up. Instead, it means you spend the vast majority of your day eating well, and you’re one step closer to your next “4” or “5”.
2.) The scoreboard is a record of where you are now, not a comment on your character.
As soon as you take the long view (and think about adopting the 7 Habits permanently), you’ll realize this isn’t really a 6-week Challenge — it’s a “rest of your life” challenge. That means that today’s score is more historical record than anything else, a way for you to look back on where you were at one point in time, during one Challenge, on your journey toward becoming a healthier, happier person. For me, that idea really takes the sting out of a low score, especially when I combine it with the idea that I am on a long journey that will require a lot of (judgement-free) practice.
3.) The scoreboard works for me.
When I was a kid, maybe 5 or 6 years old, I came home from school and told my Dad the other kids were calling me (a few very specific and unprintable) names.
“That’s okay,” he said, “One day, they’ll just call you ‘Boss’.”
Now, 30-some-odd years later, that lesson is forever stuck with me — the idea that one day I’ll have command of everything that causes me misery now. And I apply it to the Challenge in a very simple way:
The scoreboard can tell me what I’m doing “wrong” right now. It can “call me names”. But it won’t have sway over me forever, and it’s really just showing me all the things I’ll be doing right in the future.
4.) I can use the scoreboard for just one portion of the Challenge (the portion I need).
In the January Challenge, I decided that I’d concentrate on building one Habit above all others throughout the eight weeks — 10 minutes of meditation. I decided it would be the only thing I worried about every day. In other words, I might get my exercise (and I might not), and I might have perfect nutrition (and I might not) but I was definitely, definitely getting my meditation.
And by the end of that Challenge, I had a new habit that serves me to this day, one that could’ve gotten lost if I’d tried to get a perfect score across all 7 Habits every day. Now, I meditate.
I truly hope these ideas help you as we tackle the rest of the May Challenge. To me, they all come back to the simplest of ideas, one you should always keep in mind if you find yourself taking this all too seriously:
It’s just a scoreboard. And the real goal here isn’t a score — it’s to build a better life, one step at a time.