Readers with long memories will recall that my 2010 resolution is to spend 15 minutes per day working at my desk. The order of operations is: banking, inbox, blogs. I printed each month out and I get a star each day I met my goal. You can see how well January went.
A funny thing happened as the year progressed. I started using the calendar to keep track of other things I had accomplished too. This came about because of an excellent connection of the dots. Often times, self-improvement suggestions make the point that if you have done what you want to do to improve, you should reward yourself. I tend to struggle with the “reward” part. Every single reward I can think of either costs money or takes up time I would rather spend doing other things. So the reward concept, though I’m behind it, is something I never really do for myself. I enjoy my life and at the same time have to complete a number of tasks to ensure my life runs smoothly. Then, I read the advice that marking a star on a calendar could be the reward.
Holy cannoli! I think making stars on calendars is the most excellent reward ever. So the stars for the 15 minutes of desk time were next joined by a circle when I practiced my guitar. Then by a triangle if I swept the house for five minutes. Then a square if I spent time looking for a teaching job. And on and on. Now my calendar is full of rewards and I am one happy camper.
Here’s a key for everything that can appear on my day:
5 = Get up at 5:00
M = Meditate
G = Garden
Circle = Guitar practice
Square = Teaching job search
Triangle = Sweep the house for five minutes
b = blog
V = cook a vegetable
e = exercise for 30 minutes
E = exercise for 60 minutes or more.
I don’t hit my desk time every day, and I think I’ve only been able to put everything down for the day once, but this is a great way for me to track what I’m doing and seeing how well I’m staying on track.