Heart, Soul, and Rough Edges — A Gypsy Journey of Words and Wonder

Make Visible: Rewards

Here is an idea to motivate yourself using rewards, rocks and index cards.  I adapted this idea from a post on The Simple Dollar.


Step One:  Index Cards


First, you get 20 index cards for each of your goals, ones you have trouble motivating yourself to do.  The three goals I picked out were exercise, homework and reading.  Make a number of Xs on each card.  For something that takes a lot of time, like homework I only have three Xs, for exercise, 10 Xs and for reading 12 Xs per card.  Then every time you do a step towards your goal, say go for a walk, you punch a hole in the index card.  When you have the card full you give yourself a reward of your own choosing.


Step Two:  Rocks


I like a visual reminder of how far I’ve come.  So every time I punch a hole in one of the index cards I give myself a rock and put it in a glass vase.  I have different color rocks for each goal and a small green pearl every time I fill a card.  I got the rocks at a dollar store.


Step 3:  Rewards


When I fill an index card with punched-out holes I give myself a reward.  They are inexpensive gifts I give myself.  Every other card has 2 rewards and every 5 cards has an extra reward.


Step 4:  Review


Every so often review how far you’ve come and what goals you are still having difficulty with.  I haven’t been doing well on homework, but have been doing great on exercising!  If you try this motivational method, let me know how it works for you.


“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

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4 thoughts on “Make Visible: Rewards

  1. Anne, neat idea. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Anne Westlund on said:

    You’re very welcome, Peggy. I hope you try the index card/reward method out.

  3. Love this, Anne! You’ve added the incentive / reward for actually doing the jobs, and a way to track — so you’ll remember and give yourself credit for what you did. ( How often do we conveniently forget that part, and focus on what hasn’t been done?)

    I really appreciate that you reward yourself incrementally — your system of making each card relevant for the project in terms of number of punches, and then increasing the “Yay, me!” factor when you’ve completed several cards.

    Well thought out! Keep us posted on your progress.

    (My hubby looked at me funny, and finally had to ask why I bought two bags of rocks mostly used in aquariums or maybe for flower vases, since we don’t have any fish and only rarely have cut flowers around. Took them and several jars of various sizes up to my office.

    (“They’re for a tracking project. I’m going to move rocks from one jar to the other to track weight loss, and use different color rocks (and different jars) to track exercise sessions. Might use them for other projects.” He was last seen and heard shaking his head and mumbling, perhaps about rocks in my head….. That’s cool. )


  4. Anne Westlund on said:

    Michele, I’m glad I inspired you! Just figure out what works for you. That’s me, always trying new productivity methods. 🙂

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