The picture above is a moment I am very proud of. You may wonder why I would post such a raw picture of myself. The fact is, I just loved this moment and the joy in my face counteracts all the other "issues" in the picture. This rosy-cheeked, sweat-drenched selfie was taken right after I achieved a goal that I set last January through Jazzercise. We were challenged to complete 30 workouts in 35 days. These had to be 60-minute workouts and we were required to get there on time, at the start of the class, so as to not miss any of it.
I still am amazed at the fact that I actually accomplished this, and I wondered why I was able to keep this level of intensity up for that period of time, when it has been a struggle to be consistent since the challenge ended. People might assume I am “so disciplined” to be able to do this. Not the case. At all.
The answer came to me as I was reading a book called, Influencer , The New Science of Leading Change. The book is based on intensive research of successful leaders…influencers who have literally changed the course of human history by implementing some basic principles of change. The book argues that , “Success relies on the capacity to systematically create rapid, profound and sustainable changes in a handful of key behaviors” (page 6).
The book is incredibly insightful and when I came to the chapter, “Help Them Love What They Hate,” I discovered the strategy for change that enabled me to complete that incredible Jazzercise Challenge. The principle is simply this: Make it a game. This section of the chapter started with Mary Poppins’ words: “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap! The job’s a game.” I realized that I was able to stay motivated in exercise because it had become a game. I received stars each time I showed up, and could see the progress I was making, not only in how I felt, but on what I could see on the wall each time I came into exercise. Each sticker I added made me feel more successful and inspired me to continue my journey. It had become a game and it was fun.
So, why do I speak of this now, you may wonder. Well, I find my self in a mid-summer malaise, where schedules are looser in every way. Perhaps you might feel the same way. Kids are present around the clock. Family is in town. The rhythm of normal life during a school year has been disrupted, and as a mom, this affects me.
I have decided to start August by “making a game” out of a few things I’d like to be about in my life. I will be working on some mini-goals this week—challenging enough to get me motivated and doable enough to keep me going.
Join me? What are some areas in your life you would like to change? How can you “make it a game” so that the change you desire moves from an idea in your head to an action that makes a difference in your life and the lives of the people around you?
Let’s do this!