Do you remember that old thrill of earning gold stars? Maybe it was in your piano book or fourth grade classroom, but either way, there was just something about that metallic shine broadcasting your success to the world that gave you the motivation to do your best and keep your eye on the prize.
I don’t think we ever really grow out of that thrill. Even my high school English students would cheer for joy when I awarded them a “rave review,” building toward their pizza party. A chart tracking your wonderfulness, one gold star at a time…what can get better than that?
So, when Mark and I were strategizing our plan to get healthier by being more intentional about exercise, we knew what we needed to keep us on track: a chart and some metallic stars.
Our system is pretty simple and personal to what we want to achieve. We wanted to start with a reasonable goal: 3 days of exercise per week (at least half an hour per day). And to give us a little incentive, we decided that four consecutive weeks of reaching our target would result in the reward of a professional massage!
So far, we’ve completed two weeks of our chart:
We recently joined our local YMCA, and after our first workout, we went to Hobby Lobby and picked out these gold and silver stars: gold for Mark, silver for me. Mark turned to me in the car on the way home and said with a grin, “I feel like a little kid again.” And you can bet, though we might forget to water the plant or to take the recyclables out to the curb on Thursdays, we never forget to add a star to chart when we get home after a workout.
We decided each small star would represent 1/2 hour of working out. But you only needed one per day to get the credit. The big star would be awarded in the margin at the end of a week of three days of working out. 4 biggies = massage time.
One week down, three to go. Small steps toward healthier living. We really like this planet and hope to be here as long as God will allow us.