With less possessions and fewer distractions (like Facebook), I’ve found more time to manage.
Which is great! But goals can get lost and muddled when there’s no clear path.
So my husband and I decided (at the recommendation of a good friend) to start the sticker system.
What is the sticker system?
The sticker system is nothing new – you might have used it in elementary school. It’s just modified to help us “grown-ups” to be productive (and, yes, to play with stickers).
You set goals and gain stickers when you reach them. Simple as that.
It’s been really helpful in getting us out for exercise and getting us to read and write regularly. There are a few short and simple considerations before you start if you’re interested:
What is it that you really want to do?
Start by setting some main goals. These can be something you want to do this year, this month or this decade. They can even be ongoing projects (for me, that would be this blog).
Think of all the goals you want to work towards in different aspects of your life. Mine focus on the physical and mental “categories”, but yours might just as well be socially or emotionally motivated.
Write them down.
It’s important to have them visible and out in the open. Tell a friend or partner about them and ask for support.
And of course, don’t let your goals stagnate. Change when you feel like it’s time to change. It’s okay to change.
Break it down
Next, choose tasks that will help you reach your goals. I want to get in shape, so 25 pushups gets me a star. Running a mile gets me a star too.
Don’t go too big! If you regularly run eight miles at a time, then your star task might be more general like “go for a run”. I’m just starting to get back into running, so it’s more rewarding and encouraging to keep it small.
Don’t get too in your head either, because there’s no absolute formula for sticker-earning. I think that’s what makes it so fun. You could earn stickers for eating breakfast or for showing up to work on time or for doing a cartwheel. You are the master of your fate, you are the captain of your stickers.
Pick a reward
My husband and I decided that at the end of the month, we get to cash out. One sticker = one dollar. We can use this towards a purchase of our choice.
I’ve got my eye on some Saltwater sandals (they’ll replace three pairs of shoes in my closet!)
Your reward might/will look different. Maybe it’s a coffee, or maybe it’s an expensive yoga class. Maybe you’ll require at least x number of stars before you can redeem your reward, or maybe your reward is based on how many stars you end up with.
How gamification helps
I’m naturally motivated by competition, and many Millennials are, so seeing a physical manifestation of my progress is encouraging.
It’s a fun way to address issues like motivation, fitness, health and professional development without making them seem impossible. This TED Talk is an awesome inspiration to get started:
And since this post is live, I get to add another star to my sheet.
What can you gamify?