Who made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight?
Gyms are counting on it. It’s crazy how many commercials I see in an evening advertising free joining fees, one free month, etc. These gyms are following a business model that assumes you will fail. They know that if they can convince you to join, you will keep paying for the membership even if you quit going. Many of us start off strong, but losing weight takes a lot of time to see success.
Just like writing.
For me, I frequently use the same reasons I avoid working out to avoid writing.
I’d rather watch television.
I only have an hour…
The house needs to be picked up.
I don’t know where to start.
I’ll start tomorrow!
However, this year there’s a new gym that just opened up and they have a completely different business model. If you join this gym for $10 a month, you can go as many times as you want each month. Want a cheaper price? If you visit the gym at least 12 times a month, your monthly fee is cut to just $5.
That’s right, a gym that’s actually rewarding you to be consistent! If you want a cheaper price, you have to earn it.
To accomplish my 2018 writing goals, I’m switching my motivational plan to one that not only rewards me for consistent time spent writing, but also has consequences for avoidance. Here’s how it works:
Take $50 (it’s got to be worth it, right?)
Put it in a sealed envelope
Label one side with your consistency goal and your reward if you meet it
Label the other side with someone/an organization you will give the money to if you don’t meet your goal (during elections, pick the opposite political party).
Imagine how powerful this will be! You genuinely want to get the $50 reward to treat your spouse to a date night, do something fun with the kids, indulge in some pampering, buy a special treat, etc. Is it the end of the world if you have to donate the money? No, but it’s not as gratifying as treating yourself and/or your family.
So this year, try a new method of motivation. Remember that slow progress is better than no progress. Push yourself, because nobody else is going to do it for you.
Heather Calvert is an Elementary Principal at Indian Hills Elementary School in Topeka, KS. She is working to finish her Ed.D. in 2018 in Educational Leadership. When not writing her dissertation, she enjoys reading and spending time with her two kids and husband. You can connect with Heather on Twitter and Facebook @heathercalvert or on her blog at www.hcstretch.com.