I love making sticker charts for 20-somethings. Mostly because they look at me like I have LOST MY MIND. It’s good fun. It is an easy, visual reference for me and whoever it is for to see what progress is being made. I also never label it with “we’re working on this problem” so it can hang proudly on the fridge without anyone else in the house, except Aaron of course, having to know what is going on.
I remember one young lady in particular who had a habit she was trying to break. It wasn’t one that was fun to talk about and although I’m not shy about these things, I also try not to go out of my way to make people feel uncomfortable. I made a deal with her – 28 days without this habit and she could pick a reward of her choice. It was usually coffee or ice cream (which was just fine with me)! We also had a chart ready to go as soon as one filled up, we could start the next one.
When I made her charts, they didn’t have any dates or time limits. It was just a piece of paper with 28 boxes. Ideally it would be filled up in four weeks, but it didn’t have to be. I could easily see if stickers were being added regularly, but if one didn’t go up at night, I knew maybe it was not a good day for her. I also made sure she knew bad days didn’t derail the entire chart. If she didn’t get a sticker one day, tomorrow was a chance to try again.
Over time, this habit improved significantly and I’m thankful for her patience with my love for charts, stickers and rewards. I’m also thankful she trusted me enough to show her progress, acknowledge when she came up short and continue to try. If you need a sticker chart in your life, print one out and be sure to assign a reward! God is good to deliver us of the things that ensnare us if we ask and put in the hard work!