Once in a while I set a goal for myself that seems, when I set it, totally doable. For example, I once decided that I would go to the gym and work out at least 3x a week. That seemed like t totally attainable goal. But that didn’t last long. I was either too tired to go, or I thought the gym would be too busy, or maybe I just didn’t feel like going. Whatever the reason I lasted about 2 weeks and I was over it. It seemed vastly more important for me to watch The Biggest Loser than actually go and workout. I couldn’t find the motivation I needed to stick to it. Until now.
I accidentally stumbled upon the biggest motivator I could ever ask for by wasting time playing video games. See, over Christmas break I started playing Angry Birds. I loved it. Since then it became my mission to achieve three gold stars on every possible level. And I did it. I found everything that was on offer to find in that game and I did it to completion. I was super proud of myself. I still am actually.
About the same time that I was making Angry Birds my bitch, I signed up for the President’s Challenge – it is a lifestyle and fitness challenge aimed at lazy Americans. Basically you sign up for an 8 week lifestyle overhaul, committing to put in at least 30 minutes of exercise 5x per week + you make a small change to your diet each week. By the end of the 8 weeks you are supposed to look and feel great, and you get some sort of certificate from President Obama. As if that were not incentive enough, each week you complete you are awarded a big old GOLD STAR. I love it! I have three of them already and I am working toward my 4th, which means I am half way done. I am seeing awesome results like hottie toned legs, and the discovery of my abs. I had always figured they were in there somewhere.
I realized that I need more than just a goal for my efforts, I need a reward. I know that the gold stars I receive from Angry Birds, or the Presidential Challenge are not real in the tangible sense, but I still feel like I earned something and it makes me feel good. I like to be able to track my progress and see how far I have come. I also like to collect gold stars and feel like a total badass, which I do.
I guess the moral here is that if you want to get me to do something, offer me a Gold Star chart and a reward system. So far I found out that I am able to kill ALL OF the green pigs, that I can write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, and that I can work out 5x a week every week. Not bad. Who knows what else I can do? I’m shooting for the stars.