The other day, I was going through some old boxes so that I can get rid of things that I no longer need (I’m working on becoming a minimalist), and I came across four sheets of mini stickers. I immediately recognized these as the “good job” stickers that I used to put on my daughter’s completed homeschool assignments during her 2nd and 3rd grade years. She’s now a high school sophomore and the majority of her homeschool assignments and tests are online, so I decided to use these stickers on my exercise log.
I didn’t think too much about it at first, but I noticed that each day that I filled an empty space on my log with one of these mini-stickers, I felt a sense of accomplishment, like someone was patting me on the back saying, “Good job, Jheni!” It may sound silly, but this kept me motivated to exercise more than 3 times per week which was what I was used to doing. It became a personal goal of mine to fill up all of the spaces with these “good job” stickers until I stepped back and saw that by the end of the month, the entire log was filled in!
These “good job” stickers got me thinking about our human desire to be recognized for a job well done. We all have an innate desire to be praised because we’re relational beings. We need relationships that build us up and cheer us on; however, we need to make sure that we are also our own cheerleaders because we can’t expect others to always be available and know the exact words to say to cheer us up.
Here are some ways you can motivate yourself to stick with your goals and feel that pat on the back:
- Join a program.
I teach classes at the local YMCA, and I feel a sense of community the minute I walk in the door. The members in my classes know each other and are in each others’ lives. Their positive attitude makes it so easy for me to cheer them on and be cheered on.
- Become an active member of your community.
Volunteer for community service. Serve the poor. Invite a neighbor over for tea/coffee/dinner.
- Cheer others on.
You will attract the kind of person that you are. If you are positive and supportive, you will attract positive and supportive people.
- Pat yourself on the back.
As I mentioned, my way of patting myself on the back was mini-stickers. Seeing a visual “good job” encouraged me more than I imagined.
- Share your victories with others.
Because my exercise log was posted on my refrigerator, my husband and daughter would cheer me almost everyday. I was hearing, “Wow, good job mom!” and “You go, babe!” pretty regularly… and it encouraged me and made me feel loved.
After you finish reading this, go look at yourself in a mirror and say to yourself, “GOOD JOB!”