In elementary school, before the days of grades and curves and final exam weights, I remember getting graded on the following scale:
√- You did a pretty bad job. Too much “Full House” and not enough studying.
√ You did alright. Nothing to write home about.
√+ Way to go!! This score will really come in handy when you are gathering your fourth grade papers together for your college applications.
√+ with a sticker: YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!! Buy a new magnet, Mom, because this is going on our refrigerator forever!!!
There was something really special about getting a sticker on your test or paper. Even better if they had some kind of pun, like an astronaut saying “Out of this world!” or a teddy bear saying “Beary good!”
At the grocery store as a kid, after I was sure that we bought a sufficient supply of Count Chocula cereal and Koala Yummies, I headed straight for the sticker kiosk, looking for the latest in sticker trends. I’m sure my mom complied because, hey, at least the stickers don’t have sugar.
I am here to tell you that no matter how old I get, I will never lose this desire for stickers.
Even at 25 years old, I still like to be rewarded for doing good things. Thank you notes and flowers are nice, but there’s something magical about being able to reward myself in the form of a sparkly butterfly.
So I have recently devised a system where I can reward myself each time I exercise. And if I reach my goal — which, right now, is 10 stickers for the month of April — I get a prize.
When I first heard of this idea from an elementary school teacher friend, she told me her prize would be to get a pedicure. I’m not a big fan of pedicures, so my first thought for a prize for myself may or may not have been “Ice cream sundae!” So that won’t do.
So, I ask all of you for your thoughts: Other than a sheet full of stickers, what should my prize be if I reach my goal? And what are your favorite memories of stickers?
If you leave a comment, I may just give you a gold star.