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Why We Keep Score (and How to Do It Like a Pro)

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The next Whole Life Challenge starts in:

Each day during the Whole Life Challenge, you’ll pursue the 7 Daily Habits — and you’ll give yourself points for completing them. 5 points each for Nutrition, Exercise, Mobility, Hydration, Sleep, Well-Being Practice, and Reflection.

Given this daily scoring, you’d be forgiven for thinking the score itself is the point of the Challenge. That line of thinking goes something like this:

  • Score higher and you’re doing better.
  • Do better, and you “win.”
  • Winning is the point of playing games.

And while this may be partially true (should you find it motivating), it’s important to know that we don’t keep score because “winning” is important. Instead, we keep score because:

  • Understanding where you are is important.
  • Pursuing personal improvement is important.
  • Having the accountability of a daily check-in is important.

In other words, the primary role of your daily score is to show you how your current lifestyle stacks up against one in which you’re doing everything possible to live a healthy, balanced, connected life. Once you have that comparison in hand, it’s easy to see how you might improve — getting the opportunity to improve your hydration, to sleep a bit longer, to experience a few less slips come mealtime.

And once you see how you might improve, the very act of recording your score every day helps you do so, keeping you accountable for improving. Put more succinctly, your score is a tool for improvement (and it’s not for anyone but you).

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Important Things to Keep in Mind When You’re Scoring

  • Your daily score isn’t a judgment, it’s a record. It simply shows you where you are (and where you’ve been) in adopting the 7 Daily Habits, helping to motivate you to get where you’re going.
  • Because you’re keeping a record, you’ll want to make sure you score yourself every day of the Challenge — whether your score is low, high, or somewhere in the middle.
  • As you examine lower scoring days, do so with compassion. Know these days are a reflection of the demands of daily living (and the difficulty of self-improvement) rather than a comment on your character. They also represent opportunity rather than failure, embodying the possibility of future progress.
  • In the end, the point isn’t the score — it’s the adoption of Habits. While you may find scoring motivates you to adopt Habits faster, realize that the point of the Whole Life Challenge is to make healthy, mindful choices a permanent (and automatic) part of your life.
  • Take the long view. Adopting a single Daily Habit takes time, never mind all 7. You may require all six weeks of the Challenge, and then multiple Challenges, before you’ve learned how to fit each of the Daily Habits into your routine.
  • If achieving a perfect score makes you miserable, perhaps it isn’t a “perfect score.” As you pursue the Challenge, be content to make small, meaningful changes to improve your life (without causing yourself unnecessary suffering). Treat each new day and each new Challenge as the opportunity to take a step forward, to build on what came before.

Of course, if you have any questions about scoring, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you, and we’re always here to help.

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Jon Gilson
Jon Gilson is a coach and writer, and the former CEO of the Whole Life Challenge.

Previously, he founded Again Faster Equipment, a functional fitness equipment company created to serve the CrossFit community. Established in 2006, Jon took the Company global in 2012, twice landing on the Inc. 500/5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies.

From 2007 to 2013, he served as a Senior Lecturer for CrossFit, Inc., training aspiring CrossFit trainers at over 100 seminars, including engagements in Iceland, Afghanistan, Moscow, Holland, the United States, and Canada. Jon also served on the CrossFit L1 Advisory Board, helping establish policy for the organization’s training efforts from 2011 to 2013.

He’s also done stints in state government, gym management, and consulting — and currently teaches classes at CrossFit City Line.

Jon graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2003, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in Psychology. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Finance and Control from the Harvard Extension School, 2006, and has completed coursework in data analytics.