I don’t know how to put this any other way. I am a 32-year old woman, and I am still motivated by sticker charts and marble jars.
Everyone remembers when they were in elementary school, there was always a sticker chart or a marble jar to help motivate students to act like civilized human beings/not drive their teacher crazy. In the end, there would be some kind of prize. Hell, I still use that system in my classroom for my students. For some kids, it works; for others, they couldn’t care less about the damn marble jar.
Here’s the thing…that method still works for me.
Once I had a friend ask me what the purpose of a Fitbit was. “Why do you need to track your steps and exercise? If you know you’re working out, why does it matter? What do you even do with that information?”
The purpose is to motivate people like me who like to see a physical goal written down and then visually achieved. For example, Fitbit and Apple. I have since moved from Fitbit to Apple Watch (thanks to Santa Carlos), and let me tell you, closing the rings is my only objective throughout the day. I will do some crazy shit to make sure those rings get closed every single day. Is there a prize at the end? Nope, but the circles are whole, and that’s all that matters to my Type A mind. Right now, it’s almost noon, and two of my rings are already closed…I’m pretty thrilled with life right now. It doesn’t take much.
It’s not even just fitness. One of my goals is to meditate every day for at least 10 minutes. I use the Calm app and guess what they have a calendar and put a little blue dot on the day if you meditate that day using the app. I love it when my calendar is full of little blue dots.
Even when I’m working, I’ll make a list for myself. The goal to finish the things on it before the end of plan time. Seeing those little stars or checkmarks, I give myself really lights me up.
I think we should bring back more sticker charts. Stickers for making it into work, stickers for getting out of bed, stickers for going to the gym instead of happy hour. Think I can get everyone on a sticker chart bandwagon? Probably not…but I’ll still try.
So in this season of making resolutions (and probably breaking them), get yourself a sticker chart and see if that motivates you.
I am a 5th grade teacher and writer. Contributor at Bolde.com