Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's come to this

I'm a very organized person, but for whatever reason, I'm having trouble getting a few things done around here. I think it has more to do with a lack of motivation than anything else.

During lunch yesterday, I mentioned this to Hubs and he said, "when I have a client that struggles with that similar problem, I suggest they make a contingency calendar."

(Side note: I am not at all offended when Hubs begins a sentence with "I tell my clients..." People pay hundreds of dollars an hour to hear a therapist say things I get to hear for no charge. Plus, Hubs trained for 6 years to learn what motivates people to initiate change in their lives, so I'm happy when he's willing to share those insights with me)

Contingency calendar? He suggests that I make a small list of things that challenge me on a daily basis (getting up the FIRST time the alarm goes off and be out of bed by 5:40am, walk Doopers, and perform one 10 minute tidy). Then, give myself a predetermined reward if I complete the list for the day.

Here's the thing- psychologists REALLY do this stuff in their own lives. A good friend of ours from Omaha who went through Internship with Hubs (and is also married to a psychologist) had a hand drawn picture of a stereo speaker hanging on their wall in the kitchen. Next to the picture was a bar that was about 1/3 of the way colored in. I asked Hubs what the drawing was for- he went onto describe how they want to upgrade their stereo system and each time they did something around the house, they got to add money to their stereo system pot. When they added more money, they colored in the bar that gave them a visual of how close to their goal they were. Once the bar was totally colored in, they had enough money to upgrade their stereo system.

After talking about this with Hubs, I decided to set aside $3/day. If I complete the three things on my list, I get the $3 for me. If I don't complete the list, Hubs gets the $3. I decided that if I didn't complete the list and the money just sat around, I'd be less inclined to complete the tasks. However, if I knew the money would go to Hubs, that would provide extra motivation for me to stay on task :-)

So after work last night, I stopped by the bank and cashed a check to receive $100 worth of $1 bills. When I got home, I hung a cork board in our bedroom behind the door and tacked $3 to the board 14 times (to get me through 2 weeks). I also have two jars on the dresser- if I earn the money, I put the $3 for the day in my jar, otherwise, the money goes to hubs.

There are several things I've been wanting, but have been unable to purchase since we consider them luxury items (and, we're trying to be in the saving money mode)- a couple of Premiere Jewelry pieces, a new DSLR camera, etc. As I earn money, I should be able to save enough to buy these items.

Here's the board:


Oddly enough, when I grabbed my digital camera to take this picture, it didn't work. The lens opened, but the screen got stuck on "access." I played around with it for a few minutes, changed the battery, and it's just broken. So, now I'm without a camera. It sucks! I had to use my cell phone to take the picture of the board.

I wonder if this takes my new camera (that I've been wanting for months) out of the "luxury" category and moves it to the "necessary" category....




You're my hero! Let me know how it works. Who would get my $3?


What a great idea! You'll have to give us a weekly total of what's in your jar. Or maybe you could have a ticker, or are those just for countdowns? I guess this would be a count-up...anyway, I love it!

And tell Shennie she could send her $3 to me. :)