Once upon a time, there was a VERY, VERY beautiful girl who worked out in the mornings before work. Then something mysterious happened and she just stopped. She couldn’t get out of bed in the morning and couldn’t get back into the groove of it.
I’ve read a lot of article about how to become a morning exerciser. Most of them had great suggestions, but nothing that personally motivated me. I finally stumbled upon this article from Shape.com and it gave me some more ideas. It said to “bribe” yourself. I think the world “bribe” turned a light bulb on for me. Other articles suggested treating or rewarding yourself, but it was the term “bribing” that really got through to me.
I have everything I need and new clothes just won’t do the trick. After spending this last weekend with my Mom and her Kindle Fire, I realized I really, really, really want one too! In fact, I can’t stop thinking about how badly I want one. I don’t need it AT ALL and can’t justify buying one right now, so I concluded that it would be the perfect “bribe.”
The problem is I’m a pretty stubborn person. I can’t just say well if I workout every morning for 2 weeks, I can get one. That isn’t good enough for me. I know I will miss mornings as I am easing myself back into it. And so, I created a point system for myself based on the habits I hope to build while working for my Kindle Fire. The points are as followed:
AM Workout (50 pts) – I put this at a higher point value because I need an extra push in this area. As long as I get up and get in a quick workout I will give myself the 50 points.
PM Workout (25 pts) – I don’t want to penalize myself for not working out in the morning. If I do not put a decent point value on an evening workout then I won’t do it. What would be the point? Good health? Puh-lease.
Mile Run (10 pts per mile) – I was running a few miles a day just a couple of months ago. Then I caught a cold and with my asthma it takes a lot longer for me to get back into a good running routine because I usually have to stop running for about 3-4 weeks when I am congested. Ten points seem measly, but if I can get back to running 3-5 miles a day it will add up to 30-50 points.
30 Minutes of Strength Training (50 pts) – I put this at a higher point value as well because I need some incentive to do it more. I am fully aware of the benefits of strength training, but I don’t sweat as much and therefore it feels like it isn’t a great workout.
20 Minutes of Core Training (25 pts) – I used to have a strong core. A couple of years ago I worked my abs out so hard I was having muscle spasms in my sleep and it hurt to breathe. Since then I’ve taken it easy. That is absolutely no excuse. The only real core training I get is when I do my recorded workouts with Amanda and we all know how those usually go.
30 Minutes of Yoga/Meditation (50 pts) – I always feel so good after meditating and stretching, but I take it for granted. I haven’t done this in months and hopefully 50 points will make me want to do it even more. This is also a way to earn points on rest days.
Full Day of Clean Eating (100 pts) – This is high because although my diet has changed for the better, it isn’t completely clean every day, but I do have some days that are. If I can avoid chemicals and refined sugar for an entire day, that deserves 100 points.
Sugar Binge (-100 pts) – I’m normally really good about this, but the past few days after eating so many peanut M&Ms, I can’t seem to shake needing sugar. It’s been rough and I need a higher incentive here.
Skipping A Workout (-100 pts) – This doesn’t include planned rest days. If I have workout planned and I decide to skip it I will lose 100 points. No ifs, ands or buts.
Unhealthy Snacking (-25 pts) – This is different than a sugar binge because it isn’t going overboard. Such as having a few Hershey Kisses instead of eating the piece of fruit I had available and such. Choosing a snack with chemicals in it over a clean snack is when I will lose points.
So when do I get the Kindle Fire? Easy. When I reach 5000 points. That seems a bit excessive I realize, however, my ultimate goal (besides getting a new tech toy) is to build good habits. It takes several weeks to build a good habit and I recognize that this is really about my health and not a new toy (even though I really, really, really want it). It isn’t as bad as it seems though! If I workout in the morning, run two miles and strength train for 41 days I will get it! Six weeks isn’t bad at all.
I created a chart to keep track of my points. If you’d like to try this challenge too, you can download a printable PDF of the chart by clicking here. I will keep you up to date of the current score on my Facebook and Twitter accounts… wish me luck!