I’m not kidding when I say just about anything. It’s ten days into the 30 Day Yoga Challenge and I’m going strong. I feel a little bit sore and ache-y but energetically I’m amped. There is so much satisfaction in getting to select my coloured, glittery star at the end of my practice to reward myself on the tracking sheet. And wow the community and conversations these glowing adhesive numbers have sparked is incredible! (Insert $h!t Yogi’s Say voice here:) “Yeah – I’m using red stars to track my studio practices and purple ones for my home practices…” “Oh really – I’m using orange for 90min classes, yellow for 60min classes and green for meditations because they’re green like my heart chakra…” This gold star thing is seriously brilliant!
I think it was around grade three that our elementary school teachers really had us hooked into the star system. Like a drug, we just couldn’t get enough of that perfect, glistening little number. I have distinct memories of each and every Friday, having a half sheet of lined paper handed out to me. The room would quiet down to a whisper and we were all trained to write the numbers 1-10 down the left hand side and print our names clearly in the top write hand corner. It was time for Dicteé! The teacher would read each word slowly out to us and then use it in a sentence. I would always cover my work with my cupped hand so that little Michael wouldn’t copy my words over my shoulder. And then it was time to face the music. Handing it over our shoulders to the person behind us to mark. Had we studied hard enough to deserve the precious and prized little gold star? (Or smiley face or puppy sticker or Très Bon in red pen when she ran out of stickers!)
The psychology of positive reinforcement that was used on us when we were oh-so young remains engrained in us today. What would I not do for a gold star?! Getting a star for each time I go for a power-walk? DONE. In the bag. One for getting up early to meditate? I’d never skip a day to sleep in again. Heavens, I was chatting to my mom today on skype and she and my father are considering the use of gold stars on the calendar to reward ‘wine-free’ days! Awesome. Is there a cap on the star system? Does the novelty wear off? Is there a reason this is a 30 Day Challenge and not a 50 day challenge? Is there a statue of limitations on gold stars? Only time will tell… stay tuned.
What would you do for a gold star? Have you used the gold star system to create positive change on your life? Share your ideas in the comments below and spread the glittery goodness…