Sticker Charts and Post-it Notes
Thursday, June 20, 2013
I'm working on a "restart" checklist to prepare myself for a new approach to this whole weight loss thing. This time, I'm thinking "Sticker chart!"
I'm setting up a reward system based on stickers, though I have yet to perfect this. I will have two charts going at any one time.
The first chart is my weekly/daily chart. I'm starting off with a list of 4 tasks to complete each day. As time progresses, the list will get longer (though some goals will not be daily tasks in the future).
To start, my goals are to
1. Take 10,000 steps per day
2. Exercise for 10 minutes per day
3. Track the food I eat
4. Eat at least 3 different colors of fruit/vegetables each day.
I will also have a second chart as a reward chart.
If I complete any of the following tasks, I get to put a sticker on the second chart (right now, I'm using princess stickers):
1. Complete 100% of my goals in any given day (1 sticker)
2. Week-long streak of reaching 100% of my goals (2 stickers)
3. 4 week (28 day) streak in any one goal (2 stickers)
So, if I complete 100% of my tasks for 4 weeks in a row, I get 1 sticker for each of the 28 days, 1 sticker for each week completed, and 2 bonus stickers for each task. Naturally, as things progress, it will become harder and harder to reach these 100% goals, so I wanted a system that would still give me something even if I only stick to one or two goals.
In addition, I plan on rewarding myself with 1 sticker for every 5 pound loss and 2 for every 10 pounds lost.
When I reach a certain number of stickers (I'm thinking 100 since it's very possible for me to earn 40 or more stickers in the first month, and I simply cannot afford big rewards too often), I can get a prize. I'll probably go for a hula hoop, a Vera Bradley bag, jewelry from Etsy, and more. I may even set up bigger rewards for completing multiple charts, though I have time to worry about that.
I am still working out the details of my chart/rules, but I think this may help me. I figure that setting smaller goals will be easier for me to sustain. However, I also know that if I make the goals too easy, then I won't do it. I need to challenge myself, so I thought setting smaller goals with the intent of rewarding myself for 100% completion would be a nice balance.
Naturally, there are some tasks that won't be done on a daily basis, so I will have to figure out how to approach those. I am also going to gradually change my diet to make the goal of staying within my calorie range less overwhelming. Again, I have time for that.
Some future goals may end up helping other goals. For example, I may decide to set a goal to jump rope 60 times per day. That would count towards my 10 minutes of exercise- just as the activity I will do during my 10 minutes of exercise will count towards my daily step goal. There are also going to be some goals that are temporary ones. The jump rope goal may only be a 4 week challenge. The next month, I may set a goal to do a workout video 7 days per week (with 5 of those days being Ripped in 30; the other 2 will be Leslie Sansone). The goals I have started with, however, are permanent goals, and I will try to make the temporary ones contribute to the permanent ones as much as possible.
I've also purchased a stack of Post-it Notes to start tracking my 10 minute exercise streak.
So, any suggestions on the sticker chart concept? I'm still working out the kinks, obviously, but I thought this would be a good way to focus on habits rather than results (though, weight loss will be rewarded). I want what I'm doing to carry more weight than the number on the scale.