Rewarding Goal Achievement

What are your goals for 2013?

Some of our last few articles have talked about determining your vision and how to set SMART goals for 2013. Many times, achieving goals requires a behavior change. Behavior change often requires feedback.

Here is an example of one way to provide yourself feedback on whether you are achieving your goals.
For 2013: Make a Memory Jar
Put memories made throughout the year in the jar. Then on New Year’s eve empty and read them all from the wonderful year you’ve had 🙂
This was a very popular project last year - read more about it at Steamy Kitchen. 

A memory jar is more fun than a journal – as anyone in the family can contribute to it. The best is when one of us secretly writes memory and quietly slips it into the jar. I can’t wait to read some of the notes my kids have written all year long.

You could even write out your 7 Things x 2013 goals and add them to the jar - then see how you did at the end of the year.
What you need:

  1. A container to put small objects in. This is your GOALS feedback jar.
  2. A set of color coded objects such as sticky tabs, marbles, different types of coins, etc.
  3. A list of a few goals.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Pick key behaviors that lead to a few of your goals.
  2. Assign each behavior a specific color or object.
  3. At the end of the day, see which behaviors you performed well. For each behavior you performed well, put the appropriate object in the jar.
  4. Set goals for yourself on how many objects you would like in the jar each week.

Here’s an example:
I will use color-coded sticky tabs to represent each behavior.

Here are sample key behaviors to change, along with their colors:

  • Pink = Sleep 8 hours each night. I know I have one really busy day/night, so my goal this week is achieving this 6 out of 7 days. At the end of the week, I want 6 pink tabs in the jar.
  • Blue = Drink 8 glasses of water/day. At the end of the week, I want 7 blue tabs in the jar.
  • Yellow = Take 15 min each day to review my plans & key items due for the week/upcoming days. At the end of the week, I want 7 yellow tabs in the jar.
  • Green = Eat 5 servings of vegetables/day. I’m not sure I’m ready to commit fully to this yet, so my first goal is to have 3 tabs in the jar by the end of the week. This will indicate that I met my goal 3 of 7 days this week.
  • Red = Spend 30 min/day giving 100% of my attention to family & pets. At the end of the week, I want 7 red tabs in the jar.

Each night, I put a colored tab in the jar for each behavior I fully accomplished. At the end of the week I count them up and see how close I am to my goals. I adjust how many tabs I want to accumulate in the upcoming week to keep my behaviors and goals realistic. Repeat this process until the new behavior is a habit.

With our upcoming fitness and health challenge, now is a great time to give this process a try! 

You can use this process, or another similar one to modify any behavior or work toward most goals. What are your goals? What behaviors do you want to change? What methods of feedback and/or rewards do you find to work well? Share your ideas with us in a post!