Are you trying too hard? Maybe you should stop keeping score.

published4 months ago
2 min read

Hey Reader!

When I was a kid growing up in the 1970s, we were all about Evel Knievel on our bicycles.

We spray-painted 100 yards of our street in 10-yard increments so we could play tackle football and measure our wheelies.

I can remember being so frustrated as I tried to master the skill.

Eventually, I became the neighborhood record-holder, with a 100-yard ride on my rear bicycle wheel.

That’s when all the work I'd put into wheelies got fun. Beating the competition. Until then, I put way too much pressure on myself to "catch up" with my competition (all boys and no helmets).

The surprising freedom of not keeping score

Those frustrating days are impacting my approach to learning disc golf.

Whether I’m alone in the backyard practicing or on the course with my friend, we’re not keeping score — at least not beyond whether or not we made par.

We celebrate great shots, and we laugh at bad shots. With each trip to a course, we celebrate a little more than the last time.

What disc golf is teaching me

  1. Keeping score isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.
  2. It’s a terrific activity in my role as Quirky Honorary Aunt.
  3. Staying uptight and frustrated is no way to get better at anything.

Should you stop tracking "streaks?"

If you have diabetes, you need to track A1C levels. That we have the technology to monitor biodata is a remarkable tool that lengthens and improves our lives.

We track daily habits to predict outcomes. For me, it’s moving a minimum of 10 minutes a day and standing 12 hours a day. Doing so has made a remarkable difference in my well-being over the past 90 days or so.

Sometimes we go overboard with setting streak goals.

Most "failed" journalers quit because they broke a streak, whether it's 7 days or 7 months. Perfectionism kills their progress.

Writing notes to your Future Self has nothing to do with streaks.

How notes to your Future Self change everything

Writing daily-ish notes to your Future Self is less about streaks, technique, or “doing it right.” The notes you write give you permission to write or not to write, and show yourself grace either way.

The whole idea of seeing your Now Self as someone entirely different from your Future Self is to:

  1. Believe you can and will change with your Now decisions.
  2. Get outside your own head and observe yourself as you would a friend.

It's a battle to get outside your head long enough to see who you are and where you really want to go. It is for me, anyway.

A consistent practice of writing a note to your next day self forces you to think and write differently about yourself - even when you don’t feel it.

Dear Wednesday Tracy...
(the note)
Tuesday Tracy

In the doing of this, you are making a choice - to treat yourself with respect.

You might think "everybody else" has it all together. Chances are, they think you have it all together.

So much of this life is less about keeping score against someone else and more about measuring - and celebrating - progress. It's not as easy as it seems.

Lots of people have asked me to do another workshop about writing notes to your future self, and that’s happening Saturday!

June 10, 2023

CDT: 10:30 am to 11:30 am
UTC: 03:30 pm to 4:30 pm

In case you missed the one last week:
Sign up here!

What's next with the newsletter?

For the next few weeks, you’ll learn how the Note to Next Day Self process helped me design a self-messaging set that got me from a sedentary life to disc golf in about 6 weeks.

You can make incremental progress — without keeping score on everything.

As always, I’m eager to hear your story, your struggles, your questions, and your insights.


Wheelie Champ Full Disclosure
Talk about Quirky Honorary Aunt; Back in the early 1990s, I thought I'd be cool and show my favorite twins how to get the most out of their new stunt bikes. I broke my foot. Luckily, disc golf is much safer.

Tracy Winchell

I use Future Self Journaling and AI to help you unlock your full potential and achieve lasting transformation ✨ | PKM | Age 50+ ADHD | Empowering individuals to create their best future selves | Ghostwriter | 🚢 Ship 30

Read more from Tracy Winchell