Did you ever have a sticker chart when you were younger? To track progress on your piano lessons, reading log, etc.?
Well, I’ve started the tradition again, and the results have been exciting, so I thought I’d write up a little post explaining how I did it.
Back in February, Eric and I attended a business conference together, and there was one phrase that really stood out in my mind. It was something like this:
“If you actually believe something is possible, you will unlock the energy required to make it happen.”
At the time, there were several big goals I had in mind for myself, our family, and our business, and I felt a little frustrated by my lack of progress.
It seemed like I was moving so slow and that the goals I wanted to achieve were so far away.
But then I got an idea.
What if I created a poster with the words “You’ve Got to Believe” written on it?
And what if I added a sticker to that chart each time I did something out of my comfort zone to move me towards the goals I had set?
The vision inspired me. I could just SEE that poster getting filled up with dots—and my goals being achieved (almost on autopilot).
When I got home from the conference, I asked our daughter Grace to make the poster for me—because she has the best handwriting.
Then I ordered a package of stickers from Amazon—featuring our LearnDoBecome colors (plus yellow!).
Next, I created a note in Evernote—in my “Spiritual Creation” notebook—called “You’ve Got to Believe.” I put my first photos and a list of my goals into the Evernote, and the foundation was set!
The only other things I had to figure out were how to record the goal-oriented tasks that were beyond my comfort zone and how to remember to put the stickers on the chart.
It seemed natural to use the original Evernote to record the goal-oriented tasks I completed, so each week, I would write the date (“Week of September 7th” or something like that) at the top of the note and then include a bulleted list of everything I had done that deserved a sticker.
Writing articles, recording podcasts, attending meetings, working on social media, reading/researching helpful material, making big decisions, etc. all earned stickers. Some hard conversations earned three.
And if I ever forgot to record as I went along, I would simply look back at my calendar and fill in the gaps. (No stress.)
To remember to put the stickers on the chart, I enlisted Asana (my favorite project/task management tool) and created a recurring weekly routine to pop up each Monday and called it “Sticker Chart.” (I know…super fancy, right?)
After filling in the appropriate number of stickers, I took a photo and added it to my Evernote.
At the beginning, it felt like nothing. Sure, I earned a few stickers here and there, but the momentum was slow, and I felt a little silly even attempting to fill in the whole thing.
But something started happening over the course of a few months. Instead of adding just 3-5 stickers a week, I was adding 20-25. I started building momentum, getting braver, putting better habits in place, and seeing RESULTS.
I look at the goals in my Evernote now, and they aren’t “pie in the sky” anymore. They’re my reality…or close to it.
And the chart wasn’t “magic” or anything, but it was a consistent reminder that I was making progress toward the goals that really mattered to me.
Here’s a video showing the week-to-week progress.
If you want to make your own chart (which I highly recommend), here’s a quick review of the steps:
- Make a poster with a phrase that inspires you. If you like my phrase, we have a printable version for you.
(There are two pages–one with the lines pictured below to color in as you go, and one with white circles for you to put stickers on as you go. Just click the image below for the PDF. Enjoy!)
- Decide if you want to color it in or use stickers. If you’re using stickers, find/order them and have them ready.
- Create a space (like an Evernote or a Google Doc) to hold your goals, progressive photos of your chart, and a record of the tasks you’ll complete.
- Then inside that space/note, add a photo of your blank chart and write down the specific goals you want to achieve.
- Create a recurring weekly routine (inside your calendar, routines list, or a task-management app like Asana) to remind you to record any out-of-your-comfort-zone tasks you completed to work toward your goals AND put the corresponding number of stickers on your chart. Don’t forget to take a photo each week and add it to your Evernote/Google Doc! 🙂
- Then when the chart is full, come back and tell us about your progress. Or just give yourself a huge pat on the back.
I want you to believe…
- that good things are in your future
- that even though life can feel hard sometimes, if you keep moving forward, things will work out
- that you are being lifted and guided by a power beyond that which you can see
- that you have the capacity to make a real difference in your life—and in the lives of others
Of course you don’t have to have a sticker chart in order to make progress in your life, but sometimes having a visual reminder of the beautiful work you are doing will give you a little lift.
And just for showing up here today, I’d love to give you your first sticker. 🙂
LearnDoBecome Challenge: We would either love for you to make your own sticker chart (or color-in chart like the one provided above) OR find some other way to track your goals and the efforts you are taking to achieve them. Good luck!!!