The Stick and The Carrot

The Stick and The Carrot

Do you ever find yourself, in these strange times, losing track of what day it is? More and more it seems like the days are picking up and flying by- I intend to get things done, but it feels like I turn around twice and it’s already the weekend again. Whew!

Things are opening up here in Freedom-loving Idaho, for which our family of extroverts is EXTREMELY thankful- but we still find ourselves losing track of time on occasion. Or thinking we have more time when we really don’t. It’s the illusion of “taking care of it tomorow” or “I’ll start on a Monday” that is inherently the Master Procrastinator’s problem.

And the calories… good grief! Polls are showing this enforced staying-home time has caused most of us in America to gain the pounds, on an average of fifteen to twenty pounds PER PERSON…and I mean? It makes sense, SOMEONE has to eat all that bread that’s been baked. It’s not gonna eat itself.

In any case, our household needed a change. One thing I’m BIG on is goals. But it’s not fun to just set a goal without some kind of carrot in sight.

(I’ve called this ‘The stick and the carrot’, in reference to how you might entice a stubborn mule to move where you want it to.)

We’re big on carrots here. And you might even say we’ve got a competitive streak. We find fun in competing- but we’re not going all “Biggest Loser” because 1) men lose weight like crazy and 2) not everyone needs to lose weight- but EVERYONE can set goals for themselves 🙂

So earlier this week, I made up these charts for everyone in our family (and a few family members who we’re in daily contact with) and everyone wrote down 11 goals they wanted to accomplish on a daily basis. You’ll note mine is specific to me:

Bible Reading
Exercise 20 minutes
Drink 1 Gallon of Water
Wake up When Alarm goes off
1 Load of Laundry
Involve Ministry Work
Make Bed
Take Vitamins
Write 500 Words
Lilla Rose Work
30 Minutes with the Kids (no screens)

So it’s just a list. It can be as simple or as challenging as you make it. The purpose is to have healthy habits over a period of time. The Carrot part is that the most consistent to their own goal chart wins $20 cash. If there’s a tie? The $20 gets stacked on to the following week. So it’s nice to have a goal to work towards, (and frankly, since I put up the $20, I’m loathe to see someone else beat me!)

The other benefit here, is I’m able to look back and SEE that my days had purpose- I didn’t spend Summer 2020 glued to the TV screen. I made my days have some purpose. Consistency is something that we can ALL work on- you’ll notice I have some super easy things on my list- take vitamins, make bed- those aren’t hard things- but they’re something I’m simply terrible at taking on consistently.

And hey? I might get $20 out of it. Better yet? I might lose weight, be healthier, keep up on the laundry, and get some of my BIG PICTURE goals dealt with. All because of a nice carrot and a little competition. 🙂

Here’s a blank copy if you’d like to make your own goal chart: Please feel free to use and enjoy!


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