A little while ago, a new gym opened in our area. I’d been wanting a gym membership, but figured they’d all be too expensive for our budget. This particular gym charges $10 a month. Yes! So now I can go work my tail off in a shiny new gym. I still have to motivate myself to get there though! So, I decided to make a chart for me to track my exercise (I used Microsoft Publisher, but Excel would be just as effective). Then I thought, “Oh boy, I haven’t bought any new clothes since I quit my job working retail. I could really use something new!” I combined something I wanted (new clothes) with something I needed (more exercise), and created a chart!

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I picked four items I would really like to have: a new top, a new pair of pants, a new dress, and a new pair of black boots. Then I thought about how hard I needed to work for each item. I decided after 25 days of 30 min or more of excercise I would have earned the right to purchase a new top. After 35 MORE days (a total of 60 days) I would be able to purchase a new pair of pants, after 50 MORE days (110 total days) I could purchase a dress — hopefully a size smaller dress! Then, after 100 MORE DAYS (for a whopping total of 210 days) I could earn a nice pair of knee-high, black boots.

By this point, I plan to give up the rewards and stick to just monitering my days. My hope is that by the time I reach 210 days, going to the gym will have become a habit, and something that’s fun for me. But for now, I’ll stick to rewarding myself for exercise. At the rate I’m going now, I figure I’ll have finally earned those black boots by 2010!

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