Give Yourself a Gold Star!

Welcome to a new year!  This is when we resolve to improve ourselves by starting something new or stopping something that no longer works (or never did, actually).

I spent a lot of time in December reviewing my year and came to the conclusion that taking risks in new ways really served me well.   Saying yes to the Robbins Coach Academy and walking on fire in March really kickstarted a chain of opportunities that eventually became my new Dreams Arising program.

I spent 4 days camping alone – a first for me.  That was a stretch that left me feeling empowered and bold!

There were challenges as well.

For me, a big challenge has been a lower back issue; I call it “Sitting on My Butt Disease.”  It began while I was still employed at the J.O.B., and even though I’ve customized my workspace, it occasionally flares up.  Those lower back muscles are weak, and so are the abs.

One of my resolutions for this year is to change my habits around movement.   To do that, I’ve dusted off my Classic Nordic Trak and set it up in the basement.  When I bought it in the 1990’s, I successfully sculpted myself into a slinky size 4 and felt fantastic.

I’m going for it again.  30 minutes a day.  It worked before, it’ll work again. (And, I’ll settle for a size 6 this time around <wink>)

But wait, there’s more!

The other change I’m making is to resume my meditation practice.  I remember from before that it’s easy to forget until it becomes a real habit.  10 minutes every day.  Every day.

That’s the plan.

But how to remember?

For the last few months I’ve both exercised and meditated, but a bit sporadically.  It feels good, I like doing both of them, but I know it’s going to take a while to make these two efforts a habit.   And, based on past experience, I know I need a reminder.

Being a visual person (you too?), I knew there had to be something sparkly and fun to reward myself.

Enter the Gold Star.  I find this to be simple, pretty and instantaneously rewarding.

For every day that I do both, I get a Gold Star.  You can see in the graphic above that I’ve already had two successful days and I’m feeling pretty smug already!  Can’t wait to see that whole page covered!

I’ll be posting updates along this journey to my Instagram account @debradev and my Facebook page.  Follow along and post comments to encourage and keep me accountable.  (Even coaches need accountability!)

What would you do?

There will be days when I don’t do either which means no star, of course, but what if I exercise but don’t meditate?  Or mediate but don’t exercise?

Do those days get a different color star, or do I hold the bar high and leave it blank?

What do you think?  Leave a comment below, and let me know what you’re planning for the New Year!  How will you keep track and reward yourself?

4 Replies to "Give Yourself a Gold Star!"

  • Rick
    January 3, 2018 (12:52 pm)

    My wife and I just discussed how to make resolutions stick because they usually don’t. We spend a lot of time first getting to our true intentions. Too many goals and resolutions have their roots in “shoulds” from guilt or social pressure. We frame the intention with an affirmation or a “command to self” that is short and to the point, like “I quarantine toxicity” or “I love and care for myself.” For myself, I add these to my affirmations app on my phone so I see the affirmations several times a day. With the pure intention in place and reviewed daily, it’s time to put into action. One challenge with starting new habits is that it’s often framed as all or nothing. Pass or fail. It’s too easy to fail, which leads to discouragement and quitting. Because our intention is general, we can implement with a “good, better, best” menu of options. Some days I just don’t feel like or have time to do everything to care for myself, e.g., eat well, brush teeth, and floss, and wash face, moisturize, apply anti-aging, and lift weights, and go for a run, and take all vitamins and supplements, and… The intention is there, but what’s good enough? I define a minimum or a way to make up the minimum for good enough. And on a day when I’m ready to do more, I do more. And on a perfect day, I do it all. The key is that good enough is good enough, and perfection is not required to succeed. We believe that the true positive intention coupled with self acceptance and compassion while starting a new habit makes it easier to stay committed because it’s virtually impossible to fail.

    • Debra
      January 3, 2018 (8:01 pm)

      Rick – I love this! You really bring out a good point about intentions supported by affirmations. So useful in framing how to choose which actions to commit to. Positive intention + self-acceptance = a fantastic foundation!

      For me, the gold stars represent positive feedback, a concrete way to visually SEE how awesome I am, and secondarily as a tracking device to maintain consistency. That’s how I build new habits. I give myself a gold star for doing the minimum basics. hum . maybe there’s another reward for doing extra? I like rewarding myself!
      What are your thoughts?

  • Cateline Corbin
    January 3, 2018 (3:53 pm)

    Happy New Year Debra….I too have made not resolutions but commitments to be more fulfilled in this we call our Life..I had started doing yoga in November so am continuing with that as well as meditating. I have also been reading a lot about healing stones, etc and being a rock/stone lover this seems to come very natural to me. Thank you for your newsletters they are always very interesting and insightful….again Happy New Year so get ready 2018 cuz we’re here! 🙂

    • Debra
      January 3, 2018 (8:06 pm)

      Thanks Cateline! Now I’m curious about healing stones… if you have recommendations for reading, or links to websites, please share. Heck, you may see them again in a newsletter

      And thank you for your kind words. I love sending that newsletter; it’s a totally creative effort. I’m glad that they’re resonating for you.

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