The Kids Are Alright, Are You?
If you want to reach a goal, tell your kids. Break a bad habit? Your 10 year old will turn into the eye in the sky. There’s nothing like being busted by a boy who takes his job very seriously. Shame is a powerful motivator, yes? Seriously though, toss in a healthy dose of practicing what you preach and you will find yourself standing up straighter, picking up your socks, saying please and thank you, finishing what you started and being a better listener. You’ve been teaching them some version of the Golden Rule since they’ve been born, you don’t think they’re going to give up the chance to hold you to it, do you? By making yourself and your actions more visible, more open to scrutiny and accountability, you are acknowledging – and eventually eliminating – the puniness of excuses. Because excuses are slippery slopes and your kids will call you out when an adult might cut you some slack. Right is right, wrong is wrong and if you said you were going to leave 20 minutes early for basketball camp because you’ve been late before, then push it by trying to squeeze in a load of laundry, prepare to be called on the mat. Grab your keys and hit the road, Jack. For those who lack their own in-house accountability minions, there are always apps like Beeminder, a goal-tracking app with teeth (they’ll literally make you pay when you go off track) or kinder, gentler tracking apps that you can find here for everything from tracking your running or walking mileage, to quitting smoking and conquering your daily to-do list. And how to ace the art of motivation? Try 5 Things Highly Successful People Do to Stay Motivated or How to Train Your Brain to Stay Positive. Mini rewards can work wonders, too. A new pair of running shoes when you hit your first goal, a pedi, a hot bath or a handful of Enredos Extreme Tortillas Chips for an afternoon snack. And by all means a five-year-old motivational speaker never hurts.