Friday, April 14, 2006


In my younger days I used to love gold star charts. Getting stars for reading books in school or finishing my math homework. I used to make my own gold star charts for doing my chores. Somewhere along the way though gold stars were no longer enough. It doesn't make me feel like I have been rewarded for my accomplishments anymore to simply put a sticker on a piece of poster board.

I wonder what the grown up equivalent to a gold star chart is. I imagine everyone has their own way of "rewarding" themselves for doing the hum-drum things of everyday life. I need to find something that will work for me because my discipline has gone out the window!

As a grown up it seems that "rewards" are double edge swords. You did great on your diet this month so you "reward" yourself by having an extra piece of cake at that birthday party. Good idea right, until the next day when you push yourself extra hard in your workout to burn off those calories. You have curbed your shopping habit, haven't bought anything in months. Treat yourself to a new outfit for that wedding you're attending. Great treat right? Until it comes to the end of the month and you realize that you probably spent a little more than you should have. You've gotten all today's chores done so you treat yourself to a bubble bath. Great treat right? Until you go into the living room and your husband has that puppy dog face because you didn't spend your free time with him. Is there a good "reward" in "grown up land"?

I think that lots of other people give us good rewards. It feels so nice when someone compliments you, or when you get an unexpected letter or email. When someone calls just because they were thinking of you. All those things are great treats, but we don't give them to ourselves. And if we did would we believe them as much coming from our mouths instead of someone elses?

I sure need some motivation to do those hum-drum things, but I don' think resurrecting the gold star chart is going to cut it. I wonder what will and what does for other people.


Lindsay said...

A reward for finishing school is that I am getting a tattoo. I've been waiting for that for 5 years. As for the hum drum stuff, I too have no motivation. I need to find some rewards to keep my going. I don't really want to cover my body with tattoos.

Elizabeth said...

Interesting and puzzling idea, Amanda. I have no idea what my motivator is? I'm certainly going to try and figure it out. I know what it is for gardenning, though - fruits, veggies and flowers! They make me happy.

Samantha said...

I still sort of use a variation of your gold start method. I make a huge to do list, and it's the best feeling of satisfaction ever when everything is checked off and I can erase it or throw it away (haha and start all over). I too find that people motivate me - acknowledgement of a job well done certainly helps make the job worth while - especially when its a job you really don't want to do.

Jen said...

I liked this post. I do reward myself with things that I usually end up feeling guilty about afterwards. Food, a new outfit, etc. I guess we just have to remember that we DESERVE it. :)

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