Work It On Out – Star Charts

Yesterday while I was high on endorphins during an especially aGrid with chores for childrenwesome workout I was getting really pumped up and was like “This is the first day of February! I should work out every day in February! It’s totally manageable because it’s the shortest month! I will call it Fitness February! Endorphins! Weeeeee!!!”   Then I jumped around a little because I was hopped up on dopamine and was having difficulty containing my energy.  You know how I’m going to track my goal? A star chart!  Yes, the chart you have on the fridge for your kids to do their chores.  I love star charts for making and keeping track of goals.  It doesn’t have to be fitness either, it can be any goal your little heart desires.  And it doesn’t have to be an every day thing, it could be that you want to work out 3 days a week. That’s a great star chart goal too. Here’s how I like to do it.

1. Get a specific goal. Similar to New Year’s Resolutions, all goals are easier to maintain and track if they are specific.  My goal of Fitness February isn’t enough, I needed to define Fitness so I don’t cheat myself out of accomplishing as much as I could. I decided that exercise must be at least 30 continuous minutes in the form of either a visit to the gym or a work out video.

2. Write It Down.  Self-explanatory.  Put it somewhere visible.  Mine is on the fridge.

3. Make your chart! For my goal all I needed to do was go to Word and make a February calendar.  I put “Fitness February at the top” and then every calendar spot gets a sticker.  Sometimes I have more than one related goal going at the same time.  In that case I just make a table in Word and every square gets divided into two or three smaller squares, like so:

Sample square from a star chart showing one grid square divided into three parts for three goals.

4. Come up with a reward. Honestly, for me, just getting the stickers is pretty satisfying, but I like to come up with a reward for myself once I’ve met my goal.  Anything you want. I usually like to make it something a little self-indulgent because you want to feel motivated and you deserve it!

5. Watch the stickers stack up! Be proud of yourself. Star charts are fun!

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