When something triggers my curiosity, I want to find out what it is all about!
That’s exactly what I did the first time I found out about the Whole Life Challenge back in 2015. I have to admit, my first thought was: “No not another fitness-challenge!” But, when I took a closer look, it was more than getting fit.
The Whole Life Challenge doesn’t focus on one particular aspect but on 7 daily habits that are intertwined with each other and that will help you to become healthier and happier.
Throughout the Challenge, you’ll practice the 7 daily habits, with the ultimate goal of incorporating them into your life.
You earn points for the healthy steps you take — and lose points when you didn’t manage to get all the daily habits in. As a player you join a team (I encourage you to join the Backyard Hikers of course!) and then log your points online. Although it’s not about perfection, the competitive edge and the accountability of your team keeps you in the game.
The first challenge I joined was purely out of curiosity. I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about. So, I enrolled, not realizing that it would have an impact. An impact on my Whole Life!
We are now five years later. I can’t remember exactly in how many challenges I’ve participated but I guess it must be about 18-20 challenges. It changed my life in many different positive aspects. In so many ways that I even decided I was ready to start coaching others through this challenge. As a team captain of the Backyard Hikers I hope others can experience the same positive impact the challenge can have on their lives.
So how does it work? You select one of three nutrition levels that get progressively stricter. This is a relief if want to play without losing your daily glass of wine (the “Kick-Start” level). But all three tiers ban beer, soda, bread and cheese; it is a challenge, after all.
If you manage to stick to the compliant foods for a full day, you get five points. You lose a point each time you cheat. It is all about making conscious decisions. Nutrition is however only one piece of the puzzle. And that is what I like the most about the challenge. It doesn’t focus on one lifestyle aspect but on others as well which makes it a total concept.
You also earn five points for exercising 10 minutes a day and five more for getting a good night’s sleep. The other habits are stretching for 10 minutes a day, drinking water, writing down your personal reflection and a weekly lifestyle challenge will all get you five points. Failing to complete any of those subtracts five points.
If you play it by the rules, you’ll have a chance to earn bonuses. That way you can incorporate a rest day or eat something of the non-compliant food list but still keep your score.
I have to admit that in my first challenges I was too focused on getting that perfect score that I wasn’t seeing the whole picture. When I couldn’t get that perfect score, I would be disappointed and couldn’t find the motivation to keep going.
That is by the way something I see happening to a lot of participants. If I can’t get a perfect score, what is the use? Well, the whole idea is that every challenge you improve, you get better at incorporating those 7-habits and you achieve that healthier lifestyle not only during the challenges but your whole life! Making conscious decisions will become second nature and you forget about keeping score.
That is what participating in the Whole Life Challenge for the past five years has done to me. As soon as I managed to see beyond that perfect score….
Exercising, meditating, drinking sufficient water, mobility, journaling, sleeping well and eating way healthier have become daily habits I don’t even have to think about anymore. Ironically, that perfect score now comes naturally.
All these are pieces of that puzzle towards living that balanced life! I’ve not only lost a couple of kg’s but I’ve got a lot more energy, no more sugar dips and I can say that my sleep has improved drastically.
Thanks to the Whole Life Challenge, my persistence and believe I realized that living a healthy, balanced lifestyle is also the key to controlling the two autoimmune diseases I have – Hashimoto and Celiac. More about that in one of the upcoming blog posts.
Do you want to give the Whole Life Challenge a try yourself? Then participating in the short 4-week Summer Challenge might be a good way to start! Kickoff is on Saturday the 18th of July. You can register here.
Looking forward to welcoming you in our Backyard Hikers team!
Yours truly, Peggy – Life Coach and a Backyard Hiker