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A little gimmick that's helping me focus

First, I'll just say that I have a lot of fitness and health knowledge, but when it comes to motivation I tend to respond best to gimmicks. If you are the same way, here's a gimmick that might be useful to you.

I listed 12 positive actions I could choose daily--from a 30-minute aerobic workout to drinking 8 ounces of water to getting to bed by 9:30. Most of the actions were directly related to fitness or eating habits, but some were mental well-being items. For each of those actions, I earn a point. For some, like the 8 ounces of water, I can earn multiple points in a day by doing them over and over.

Then I listed 6 negative actions I often take, like eating a serving of junk food (I count a serving as six bites for this purpose) or taking a second helping. Each of those loses me a point.

I then simply set a point goal: I'm working toward earning 15 points in one day. Once I do, I will work toward earning 15 points consistently for a period of time, and then set another goal.

I have been struggling to motivate myself where food is concerned (harder for me than fitness activities) and this worked like a charm today.

Any other ideas out there for those of us who respond well to silly little games like this?

Wed. Apr 18, 11:06pm

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its not silly in My opinion if it works for you. its a tool to get you where you want to be. its a good idea to make a list of good habbits and bad habbits. another list you can make is to list things you want to change about your life. and things you like about your life. you may be surprised the positive just may outweigh the negative and it will give you a lift to make the day be a good one full of positive choices instead of negative ones

Thursday, April 19, 2007, 4:17 AM

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LOVE your gimmick

Absolutely LOVE the idea of of the point system! What an ingenious concept!!! I'd love to see your list if you wouldn't mind sharing it. How do you decide how many points things get?

Thursday, April 19, 2007, 6:08 AM

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it sounds more like a strategy than a gimmick! thanks for sharing!

Thursday, April 19, 2007, 8:36 AM

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Here's my list

but yours will likely be different. Because I eat when I am bored, stressed, or emotional, mine includes things that support my mental well-being.
As far as points go, this time around everything is just one point (though I had another system like this in which various fitness/health items earned me a number of points between one and five that corresponded to my perception of how difficult that item was for me).

Okay, the list--Positives first.
I earn one point for:
Each 30 minutes of aerobic activity
Each set (based on what we do in my kickboxing class) of strengthening exercises
Each raw fruit or vegetable I eat
Each ten minutes of everyday physical activity like walking or biking or playing baseball with the kids
Each half-hour of housework
Each 8 ounces of water
Each 20-minute Pilates session
Each ten minutes of stretches
Taking my glucosamine
Showing a weight loss from the previous day
Getting to bed before 9:30

I lose one point for:
Each serving of junk food (six bites)
Each second helping (raw fruits and veggies excepted)
Choosing kiddie cereal over the better stuff
Each 15 minutes online after my first hour
Showing a weight gain from the previous day
Getting to bed after 10:30

I just keep a tally of each, gains and losses, and then at the end of the day I do the math and figure out my final score.

Currently I have a goal to earn 15 points in one day. Yesterday I earned 10. I ate WAY better than I have been and worked out on a day when I might have skipped otherwise (because I was subbing a half day at a local school).

Today I've earned 9 so far, and knowing that I can beat my score from yesterday just by walking around the block and having a glass of water is motivating me...

Thursday, April 19, 2007, 10:52 PM

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keep it up.. way to go. you will get the points.

Friday, April 20, 2007, 5:00 AM

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