Sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated, especially if you struggle with depression or many of the other mental & physical disorders that can make getting through the day a bit more difficult. Sometimes even getting out of bed and putting on pants can be a struggle, especially when you feel there is no point and you aren’t getting anything out of it, or feel that you’re going to have a bad day anyways so why bother.
Motivating yourself with little rewards when you’re feeling rough, or any other time where you need a little boost is a pretty great idea in my opinion. Especially if your rewards are things you wouldn’t normally treat yourself with (new clothes when you normally wear your clothes until they are in shreds, some slightly more expensive pens for journaling that you’ve been eyeing for months but don’t really need, a gym membership so you can finally lose those last few pounds, etc). The rewards don’t have to be monetary either, they could also be things like getting your husband to take the kids for a day so you can have some peace & quiet (or more likely catch up on housework lol). It can be something that you’ve been putting off for months, or possibly years but really want to find the time to do.
Making your Motivational Rewards Chart
Making your own Motivational Rewards Chart is pretty simple, and you can alter any of these steps to suit you or your needs. If you decide to try this out, I’d love to see a picture of your charts & hear about it if helped or not!
- On a spare piece of paper, write down a list of the things you typically need/should to get done on an average day, or more than a few days a week.
- Decide on your point values. You’ll see that I decided on point values from 1 to 5, but it’s up to you. It could be from 1-10 or even 1-15. (On my chart, 1 is a task that is relatively easy/quick or that is pretty much a habit or something I don’t mind doing. Basically, it’s an easy task. 5 is a task that I hate to do, or it takes a long time and I just would rather not.)
- Assign a point value to the tasks you’ve written down. You might find yourself redoing this a few times, but that’s okay. That’s why we are doing this on a scrap piece of paper!
- If you think of more tasks, feel free to add them. Or take a few days to fine tune your point value to each task. I redid mine about 5 times before I was happy it.
- Once you’ve got all your points assigned to tasks, calculate how many points you would have at the end of an average day. Basically the things you really need & should get done each day. Don’t worry about tasks that you only do 1-3 times a week, just worry about the things you do daily. This number is going to be your ‘goal’ for each day (your daily average). If you exceed it that rocks, but if not it’s okay. It’s just a way to quickly see how you did for the day & to help calculate a realistic goal for your month.
- Take the number you just got for your daily average, and multiply it by the amount of days in the month, that number should be a pretty good goal for your reward at the end of the month. (Ex: If your daily average for each day is 42, and the month has 30 days then your goal for points would be around 1,260.) Since a month is a long time, I do give myself a bit of leeway at the end of the month. If I’m within 10 points of my goal for the month I still consider that winning & reward myself.
- Now that you have your tasks & points all set up and have an achievable goal to reach, decide what your reward should be. Make sure it’s something that feels worth it, or you’ll notice you probably won’t follow through with tracking it each day and just won’t care. You can also split your month up and do small rewards each week, or every 2 weeks, etc. It’s all up to you and what works best for you.
- Add it to your BuJo! You can do this however works easiest for you. If you want to add the tasks & their point values to your BuJo but on a permanent page I suggest using sticky notes for the point values in case you find after a month or two a task that was a 5 is now a 3, etc. Or the page could just be done in pencil, it’s up to you! I’ve included a few sample pictures on how you might want to track it, but feel free to adapt your own style! You can also make a special tracker for it, or simply write down the total for each day or week on your daily/weekly.
And ta-da! You’ve got yourself a pretty great motivational chart! Remember that this is just examples of how to do it, definitely feel free to experiment and find what works best for you!
Adding some fulfilling moments to your life (and chart!). It can be easy to forget about doing the things in life that you enjoy and find fun, so if you notice that each day is really boring and dull and you aren’t having fun you can add some extras to your ‘tasks’. The goal for these Fulfillment Tasks isn’t necessarily to help you reach your goal for the day, it’s meant for those days that are really rough and you just need to do something fun or that you enjoy. Even if it’s only for a few minutes. I picked a list of things that I find fun, enjoy, or that make me happy and I assigned 1 point for each task. I only count ONE of these for each day, regardless of if I do more than one (otherwise it feels too cheaty – for me at least!).
Ideas for your Fulfillment Tasks could be anything, but I decided to pick things that were easily available (things that required little set-up or work to accomplish), free (not having to go out and buy things to accomplish it), and either help me calm down or are fun/enjoyable. Here are just a few examples:
- Spending some extra time on your BuJo
- Playing a game for 30 minutes
- Spending quality time with your significant other/kids/pets
- Treating yourself to a bubble bath with candles & wine
- Visiting/calling family or friends
- Arts & Crafts (knitting, painting, sketching, etc)
- Other hobbies
- Watching a favourite show/movie
- Having a nap
- Learning something new
- Lump certain tasks together if you always do them together. As an example, if you always start your day out with a quick workout, shower, getting dressed, eating, & brushing your teeth, you can put that all under one thing, such as ‘Morning Routine‘. You can do this with chores, or schoolwork/work that you always do on a certain day (Monday Chores, Sunday Homework, etc) or anything that you find you always do altogether.
- Redo your daily task list every few months (I usually end up altering mine after 2-3 months). Things will slowly become a habit or you’ll find you won’t need reminders to do things during certain times of the year. Your daily average will be different and you should alter it to take that into account.
- Take things off the list if you no longer need a reminder to do them & add them back if you need help with it again. The goal of this chart is to help motivate you to do things that you have a rough time doing, or don’t want to do. And it’s perfectly fine to add something back onto the list at a later date, sometimes we get into slumps and things we found easy even a few days ago could feel really difficult now.
- Have fun & do what works for you! If you find it isn’t helping you at all, another approach might be helpful for you, or if you find it’s too hard to track & you don’t have the time to make spreads maybe consider using an app or a spreadsheet. It’s your chart, alter it to suit your needs.