The Reward System

Ever had a hard time sticking to a goal you set? Why pick an apple over chips when the chips are practically calling your name? I tend to have this problem sometimes, so I came up with a system for myself that helps me pick healthy options, but doesn’t totally take away the goodies that I love.
When I was younger my mom used things like, if you keep your room clean for a whole month, I’ll let you pick out a toy at the store. So, after spring break I started a little system like that for myself. I broke out my calendar that was collecting dust, and I put it to use! On a piece of paper I made a list of things I love to do (but don’t necessarily have to do), like going to the movies, shopping, etc., and a list of foods that I enjoy (but aren’t healthy), like ice cream, chips, etc. I stuck these up next to my calendar to remind me of my goal. 
If I eat healthy for an entire day, I give myself a checkmark. Same with working out. For ever day I exercise, I give myself a second checkmark. I set a goal that after 20 checkmarks (which is totally not a long time, only ten days if I’m good with working out and eating healthy) I could do one of my fun activities on the list, or eat something off of my food list (like a bowl of ice cream, or two cookies, not like 25 because that would defeat the whole purpose!). I can only pick one for every 20 checkmarks though. That way, I’ll still have something to work for! 
The downside to this is you def need to practice some self-control. Even if your friends are chowing down on Twinkies at lunch, you gotta keep your goals in the back of your mind. Also, it might be hard at first to remember to do the checkmarks, so if you want to try it and think you might have this prob, just put the calendar somewhere where you will see it everyday. After a while, it will become a habit, and you’ll start to choose those healthy foods over the bad ones. 

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by Ashley Barrett | 2/1/2016