On Friday, my friend Darreby and I went to The Christmas Tree Shop in Portland — a store that started as a Christmas store, and grew and grew and grew until it carries all kinds of odd lots, craft supplies, furniture, candles, lamps, even a full line of groceries. I was in search of materials for my reward system — I choose habits I want to change, or changes in daily menus and schedule. I assign a certain number of marbles to each task, and at the end of the evening, I remove however many marbles I earned or achieved that day from the big bowl, and put them in the tall vase.
When the vase is full, I give myself a reward — not a Blizzard or a meal out, or even a day off my routine. My first reward will be a trip to the big Goodwill store and buy new shorts, or a top, and/or pants, in the amount of $25.00. Then I’m going to lovingly dispose of the 20+-year-old shorts I still wear.
This whole system was Darreby’s idea, and I am anxious to see how it works for me. If I respond in the way I expect, I will continue this program up until our cruise in the fall of 2014. I have other ideas as well, but I am going to concentrate on replacing some unproductive, unhelpful habits with more positive ones.
Today, for this new start, I am grateful. The program is non-punitive — I don’t lose marbles if I don’t use a new habit, but I gain marbles every time I replace my old habit with a new one. I plan on starting with a couple of exercises, and a couple of food habits. Easy ones at first — climb up and down the stairs once every day, 45 minutes pedaling every day, no refined sugar, some others. And also, at first, several marbles for each accomplishment, so my bottle fills quickly. As these new habits become more, well, habitual, I will decrease the amount of marbles, and pick two or three more changes to make.
As always, I am thankful for my health, my home, and my family and friends. My oldest niece is very close to the birth of her second child, and we are ready to greet little S., a girl. In fact, I know all of the family — grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and my niece and nephew-in-law, parents, of course are grateful for this little miracle coming into our lives.
I feel good, and expect to feel better soon. I am a very lucky, and a very contented woman.