If you follow sports, you will recognize the idea of the “quarters” of a game. North American football, for example, plays four quarters, with a half-time break after the second quarter. The start of the second quarter represents a check-in point where you can evaluate the situation in real-time. It’s one thing to have a single great play, or, for that matter, a terrible play. Those plays do not define the game (usually), or even the quarter, because there is the whole rest of the game to consider.

The start of the second quarter is a brief moment when we typically change our vantage point (change sides) and can reflect briefly on how the first part of the game has gone. How well is our game plan working? Are we executing properly? Are there things we weren’t prepared for? Do we need to make adjustments?

The start of the second quarter is not usually the time to panic if things are not going as intended ; it is time for initial judgments on our performance and initial decisions to stick with or change the game plan. At the start of the second quarter, there is time yet to fix things that aren’t working as planned.

The start of the second quarter is where we find ourselves today in this year’s February challenge. It’s our opportunity to look back at week one and make any necessary adjustments. Or, if we’re right on track, of course, we keep on charging ahead. At the start of the second quarter, we should expect to consider adjustments are required.

Clearly, though, all of this is simply an analogy. The reality is that we are working our way through a month-long wellness challenge, and that is not is something to be minimized. I’ll just lay out my perspective clearly here: the worst-case scenario is one where a person does not engage in the challenge at all. Everything else is at least a small win.

Trying something new to improve your wellness is a WIN. Trying and failing is still a WIN, because you tried. Since we’re only at the start of the second quarter here, it’s too early to call the game anyway. If you are somehow feeling that you have pooched out or failed already, I’m just going to say that the game isn’t over. In fact, the half isn’t even over. You have time to make a few changes and try new things, or different things. What I don’t want you to do is just sit on the bench and pout if you blew a play or had a mishap in the first quarter.

What I do want you to do is shorten your memory and look forward instead of backward. It’s the start of the second quarter. Get out there and do what you have planned and prepared for, as best you can. The best-case scenario is that, when you finally look at the month of February in the rear-view mirror, you will see yourself having tried, and tried, and continued to try. My vision is that you will experience an entire month where you set a challenge before yourself and, on balance, engaged in an effort to complete it.

It’s too soon to call the result, because the second quarter is only just starting. But be proud of your effort and keep it up. There are three quarters to go.