You have completed the Whole Life Challenge, and now you are ready for something else, something more challenging with even bigger results.

The WLC Advanced Challenge puts the responsibility for making good decisions squarely on your shoulders by having you evaluate the appropriateness of your choices. The WLC Advanced Challenge isn’t about doing more, going harder, or making things more extreme. It doesn’t call for a stricter diet or more intense exercise, nor does it impose greater consequences for “falling off the wagon.”

The WLC Advanced Challenge is about being more conscientious about the choices that you are making every day to effect your health and well being… and about making these choices more wisely.

Prerequisite – Must have participated in at least one Whole Life Challenge.



Too often, people make choices about exercise while on autopilot. They do not exercise at all, they do too little, do too much, squeeze it in, or take a class that isn’t appropriate for their lifestyle or ability.

They simply do the same thing day after day, never stopping to ask, “Is what I’m doing today appropriate for my body, my life, and the direction I am headed?”

They don’t stop to ask, “Will the impact of this workout move me in the right direction?”

Exercise Scoring

The WLC Advanced Challenge requires you to ask a question, and score yourself accordingly.

Question: Was the exercise that I did today appropriate for my body, life, and continued progress?

0 points – no exercise at all today.

1 point –  you exercised today – Any type. Any duration. Any intensity. You get to decide.

2 points – your workout was appropriate – whether this means that you pushed hard, spent a regular day at the gym, or simply went outside to be active. Reflect on what your body needed and whether you fulfilled its needs with your exercise.

Note: “Appropriateness” has nothing to with what you felt like doing and everything to do with what you should be doing based on both a long-term strategy and the current state of your mind and body . Skipping your workout because you felt like pushing the snooze button is not appropriate, nor is working out hard out of habit or excitement when you know, inside, that your body needs recovery and rest.  


The same workout could be a 1 or a 2, depending on the context.

1. Your workout left you exhausted, drained, wiped out, and overly sore.

  • 2 Points:  This was intentional, a special event, a race, or part of your scheduled training.
  • 1 Point:  You failed to listen to your body, didn’t back off when you should have, and experienced unintentional consequences that had a negative impact on your training schedule, your day, or your ability to do your job or live your life.

2. Your workout was an easy jog for 10 minutes.

  • 2 Points: This was intentional. Perhaps you have been training hard, and you needed to recover. Perhaps you had only had 10 minutes to exercise today, you are recovering from an illness or injury, or you rarely run as long as 10 minutes.
  • 1 Point: This was just a way for you to earn your exercise points, or you could have done more but let yourself off the hook, or you could have pushed yourself to run a bit faster, but didn’t feel like it.

3. You worked out hard today.

  • 2 Points: Your workout’s intensity, duration, and type was appropriate for today and your long term progress.
  • 1 Point: This was a day you should have rested, recovered, or just gone easy.

4. You took a long walk with your dog or played frisbee with your kids and counted that as your workout.

  • 2 Points: This was intentional— you intended to spend the day with family, you needed the rest, or you were exhausted from a long week at work.
  • 1 Point: You were active today for more than 10 minutes, but you know that for your goals, the way your body feels, and/or according to your training plan, you could and should have done more today.




What do you eat? You can probably remember most of what you ate over the course of a day, but was your food intake intentional? What aspects of choice do you remember making? And what habits have you failed to identify simply because your patterns have been undocumented?

In the WLC Advanced Challenge, what you eat is not the primary concern. Yes, we care about what you eat, but in this Challenge, the primary daily practice is recording everything you eat in a food journal. The practice of journaling is designed to bring an even greater awareness to the food you eat each day, the habits you have, and the patterns you repeat.

The practice is rigorous: In the WLC Advanced Challenge, you will record everything, not just the good. This daily practice isn’t about evaluating (but don’t worry…that comes later).

Each day during the WLC Advanced Challenge, you will eat what you eat, and then you will record it in  a food journal. By logging your food intake, you will earn your first of two possible points in this category.

Keep your journal anywhere you want to: Evernote, an old-school notebook, your phone, or in our forums. The form your journal takes doesn’t matter; what does matter is the act of writing it all down. Whichever method you choose for journaling should be convenient and easy, but we have one caveat: Taking a picture of your food does not count as “journaling.”

The rule is simple. If you write down everything you eat during a day, you earn 1 point. Simple enough?

If you’ve written down all your food for the day, you are eligible for a second point. You earn this second point by evaluating the food you ate and whether it is WLC compliant (based on your WLC level). If you made it through the entire day eating only foods that are 100 percent compliant with your level, you earn your second point for that day.

Nutrition Scoring

0 points – Did not record the food you ate today today in your food journal.

1 point – Recorded all of your daily food intake today in your food journal.

2 points – Recorded your daily food intake AND maintained 100% compliance with your WLC Level (**Note: You are only eligible for your second point if you wrote down everything you ate in your journal.)

2 points – Recorded your daily food intake AND maintained 100% compliance with your WLC Level (**Note: You are only eligible for your second point if you wrote down everything you ate in your journal.)



The benefits of good sleep are incredibly varied and far too numerous to count—from weight loss and clearer thinking to improved performance and a strengthened immune system. Yet as a nation, we are sleep-deprived people. We know the benefits of sleep, but we are not getting enough.

But wait … Is it just that we are not getting enough, or are other factors affecting sleep quality and effectiveness? How do you know if you got a good night’s sleep? How do you know how much sleep is the right amount for you? Do you need 6 hours or 8? Do you need to go to bed at 10 p.m., 11 p.m., or midnight? Are you a lark or a night owl? Do you wake up feeling good and rested, or groggy and still tired?

Putting global parameters on the “right” amount and type of sleep is impossible, but it is easy to say that most of us are sleep deprived.

We know that your body has a natural and innate sense of the amount of sleep it needs. When you awaken naturally, without the use of an alarm, you are being given a sign that your body has received the quality and quantity of sleep it needs.

This doesn’t mean that you should sleep in: The WLC Advanced Challenge asks you to set your life up in a way that allows you to get the sleep you need, be it a work-day or weekend-day. This might mean going to bed earlier, creating a routine before bedtime so that you fall asleep faster, taking a bath before bed to wind down, making your bedroom darker, setting an alarm for bedtime, shutting off electronics an hour before bed, or any other routines.

The test is simple: Did you awake without the use of your alarm?

Sleep Scoring

0 points – Got less than your “normal” amount of sleep, or took no action last night toward improving the quality or duration of sleep.

1 point – Got at least your “normal” amount of sleep and took an action last night to improve the quality or duration of your sleep. You do not need to take a “new” action every day to earn a point. If you take an action and repeat it daily (like installing black-out curtains), that counts each day as a point.

2 points – Woke up this morning naturally, without the use of an alarm or any other un-natural waking device (like your child or a pet). **Note: You are only eligible for your second point if you got at least your “normal” amount of sleep and took an action to improve the quality or duration of your sleep.

Suggestions for improving the quality or duration of your sleep include (but are not limited to):

  • Going to bed 15-30 minutes earlier,
  • Darkening your bedroom,
  • Blacking out all light emissions, from clocks, power buttons, speakers, televisions, etc.,
  • Shutting off all electronics 30 minutes to an hour before bed,
  • Taking a bath before bed,
  • Stopping caffeine-intake just after lunch,
  • Setting an alarm for bedtime,
  • Preparing for bed after dinner so that going to bed is quick and easy,
  • Turning off the TV instead of falling asleep in front of it, and
  • No television in bed.



The benefits of meditation—of slowing down long enough to be present in your own life, even if just for five minutes—are immeasurable. Most of us live our lives dealing with the past or worrying about the future, spending almost no time in the present. This requirement of the WLC Advanced Challenge is your chance to establish a regular daily meditation practice.

Meditation Scoring

0 points – did not meditate.

1 point – meditated for at least 5 minutes.

2 points – meditated for at least 15 minutes.



As with the Whole Life Challenge, you will earn a point daily for sharing your experiences with your team and the community.

Reflection Scoring

0 points – did not write & post a reflection.

1 point – wrote a reflection of at least 25 characters.


The What, Why & How of the WLC Advanced Challenge

What is mastery? That is the question we asked ourselves when we decided it was time to consider the next level of the Whole Life Challenge.

The Original Whole Life Challenge was built on the tenets of a practice of consistency and persistence. For many people, the context for “advanced” involves doing more, training harder, practicing more intensely, or spending more time. And while this can be harder, for us, the more advanced path is about the awareness of and choice in what it is you’re practicing.

In just about everything, a beginner is served by rules, often a lot of them. For a beginner, rules move you forward.

Think of a martial art. The beginning stages are all rote with little to no spontaneity. Wax on, wax off: You learn and repeat the forms until you can follow the rules and execute them well, without thought.

As you progress, you learn to apply the rules practically, in more real-time situations. This becomes important to your progress In martial arts, this might look like sparring. For the Whole Life Challenge, it’s the  time between Challenges. You have to decide how to use what you know to make the right choice.

As you grow in mastery over time, hanging on rigidly to rules will hold you back from discovering what is truly possible. A master knows when to break the rules.

Once true mastery is achieved, you are the rule. Everything you do is the style. There are no questions because there are no absolute answers. Your complete responsibility for mastering your life will not only give you the results you want, but also real freedom: Did you do your best today, and did the way you did it serve you best? A master does what is needed in every situation, wrestling with the right choices for you.

The WLC Advanced Challenge is the next step toward mastery. We were inspired, not to make something that is more fixed, but instead to create something that is looser—something in which  your understanding is required to earn full points.

Whereas the original Whole Life Challenge provides a framework for making healthy choices, The Advanced Challenge asks you to make the choices that are right for your health and your life without a defined framework. You may not know exactly what is right for you when you start, but the Advanced Challenge forces you to pay attention, so you will know better by the end.

We designed the WLC Advanced Challenge to apply your understanding of what serves you best in the four areas we believe make the biggest difference to your health and well-being: exercise, nutrition, sleep, and consciousness. In the WLC Advanced Challenge, you’ll get the opportunity to fully choose the actions you take in these areas, and then evaluate their effectiveness or appropriateness.

The WLC Advanced Challenge is EXCLUSIVELY FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE COMPLETED THE ORIGINAL WHOLE LIFE CHALLENGE. Without having first learned how to make choices inside of a set of rules, addressing it without rules makes little sense. It is an advanced conversation for an advanced mindset. You are free, and encouraged, to create teams with your friends, but you will not be able to invite newcomers to this Challenge.

You can live with someone else’s rules your entire life. That would be fine. You wouldn’t be punished or wrong and you would probably end up getting many of the results you want out of life. The WLC Advanced Challenge is an opportunity to learn how to take a higher level of responsibility.That’s the kind of freedom we’re all looking for.