DIY Super Simple Chore Chart

It’s so important to help our kiddos develop good habits at an early age so they are set up to win later in life.  It’s all about making those daily to-dos into a part of their routine – so it’s not something they even have to think about, they just do it.  Brush your teeth, make your bed, comb your hair, pick up after yourself, clean your dishes when you’re finished with them, put your things away when you’re not using them.

For some kids, those daily to-dos come easily but if yours is having a hard time following through on their habits every day, how about some motivation!  Our son, Dylan, is very much into sports and plays competitively and has for several years now.  Well, we figured let’s take that natural competitive nature and put it to good use with a chore chart where he’s competing with his best self!

I started scouring Pinterest for ideas on chore charts but came up short on finding something that met my 3 requirements…

  1. I work very full time and needed something that took about 2.5 seconds to put together.  I can’t be spending all day crafting it up!
  2. I wanted something that allowed us to use magnets to mark things off so we weren’t dealing with messy white boards or chalk.  I’m never a fan of a mess.
  3. It needed to allow for the chart to grow and evolve as Dylan developed and mastered his good habits.  I’m not about to go spend more $$$ every time I need to update it. No thank you.

Enter my newest creation – my DIY Super Simple Chore Chart!

Only 4 items required for this bad boy:

4-items-needed-chore-chart

  1.  A Magnetic Board – I got mine at Hobby Lobby and used a 40% off coupon.
  2. 1 roll of Flexible Magnetic Strip with Adhesive – this is only required if you want the board to be magnetic so it can stick to your refrigerator. Other alternatives would be to frame it to be hung on the wall OR, you could get double sided adhesive strips and stick it to the inside of a long cabinet if you’d rather keep it tucked away.
  3. Bistro chalk markers – I also got these at Hobby Lobby.  They make zero mess and can be easily wiped off with a cloth and water.  They are a little expensive at $11.99 for 4.  I sprung for 2 packages just because I wanted the board to be colorful and fun – and I was in a rush and didn’t want to spend the time shopping around for cheaper options.
  4. Magnets of course.  We found these small round ball magnets at Target.

Simply cut 5 strips of the magnetic strip with adhesive, each measuring approximately one and a half inches less than the width of the board.  Stick them to the back horizontally evenly spread out from the top to the bottom of the board.  Flip it over and start designing your chart with your bistro chalk markers.  Here’s how we structured it…

To make things simple for our first ‘go’ at the chore chart, we started by breaking up our kiddo’s day into morning, after school and before bed, giving him 4 things he needs to complete at each time of day.

Pinterest-chore-chart-end-result

  1. Morning
    – Get dressed
    – Brush teeth
    – Comb hair
    – Make your bed
  2. Afternoon
    – Complete homework
    – Empty lunchbox
    – Get backpack ready for the next day
    – Complete 1 chore
  3. Before Bed
    – Shower
    – Put dirty clothes in the hamper
    – Brush teeth
    – Clean up any mess around the house or in the bedroom – this one kind of counts for all day: putting dishes away, hanging up the towel after a shower, etc.

So here’s how he’s rewarded.  If he completes everything all day, he gets a star reward.  He must get 10 star rewards in order to get a prize.  So that’s 10 full days of following through on each item in order to be rewarded.  And the prize changes every time he achieves it.  Right now he’s working towards a sleepover at his DG and GG’s (grandparents), which was totally his idea and super sweet.

Dylan, like most kids today, is very much into playing games on his iPad.  In order for him to earn his iPad after school, he must complete the 4 afternoon items on his list.  This has really helped us to limit the time he spends on the iPad, because let’s be honest, if we let him, he would be on that thing 24/7.  But this way, he’s in control of when he gets it – it’s not the parents being the bad guys nixing the fun.

Because he is so into games on his iPad, other prize suggestions he had was for iTunes gift cards, which I definitely see in our future.  You’ll never see someone as excited to receive a gift card as this kid.

Here’s the kicker – if for some reason, which is not often, Dylan has a bad day at school and his teacher reports to us bad behavior, all his star rewards immediately go back to zero and his iPad is taken away for the day.  What’s great about this is the more stars he gets, the more well-behaved he is at school.

This is what works for us – and a super simple DIY way to get a chore chart in place quickly.  Hope it helps!

Pinterest-chore-chart-long

 

Friends & Family

The Friendship Vacuum Attracting Friendships that Serve You and Last a Lifetime!

What you’re about to read is a love story … well, not so much a love story as a love letter – A Soul Sister story and one of the greatest lessons of my life, to date.

There was a 5-year period in my twenties (up until about 2 years ago) where I found myself completely friendless.  Sure I had my family, my boyfriend, his family and my coworkers but I didn’t have a BFF/female/friendship connection.  It was a lonely time in my life.

How and why did I find myself in this situation?  Well, believe it or not, it was by choice.

I once read that if you’re the most successful, ambitious and driven of all your friends, you better find new friends.  And in order to attract those new friends, you must first make room in your life to receive them – you must create the vacuum.

At first that sounded just a tad harsh … I mean, I loved my friends, they’d been in my life for years!  We’d been through all kinds of things together: dates, breakups, new careers and countless stupid decisions that often came back to bite us.

Some never did fool me – I knew they were only a part of my life out of convenience.  But there were a handful that I felt I had developed true, meaningful friendships with.  The idea that I might one day actually choose to move on from these friendships seemed completely improbable and highly unlikely.

But that is exactly what happened.

In 2007 I found myself longing for something more.  I was working as a Nanny and, while I loved my job, I felt deep in my soul that something was missing.  I was meant for more.  I was capable of more.  I had an entrepreneurial spirit that couldn’t be ignored.

I began studying the work of James Allen, Napoleon Hill, Earl Nightingale and Bob Proctor.

The information was mind blowing!  The idea that my thoughts, feelings and actions determine my results was a truly liberating concept.  I learned that I hold the key to the prison that is my mind.  If I could control my thoughts, I could create anything I wanted!

I remember introducing a couple of friends to my new world – those who I believed would be present in my life for a lifetime.  I was so excited to share my discovery with them and disappointed that all I received in return was skepticism and negativity.  It was deflating and discouraging, to say the least.

But then I remembered … if I’m the most successful, ambitious and driven of all my friends, I had better find new friends.  And in order to attract those new friends, I must first make the space for them and create, what I like to now call, The Friendship Vacuum.

As painful as it was I knew I HAD to make some changes with regard to the people I was hanging around.  If I wanted to become a successful entrepreneur and have the time, money and mental freedom I longed for, I needed to spend time with others looking to achieve similar dreams – or better yet, people who have already achieved them.

I started spending less and less time with those friends in my life who seemed perfectly happy and content where they were and had no desire whatsoever for something more.  They weren’t bad people, by the way; they just weren’t interested in changing or growing or improving.

Before long, I was lonelier than the man in the lighthouse.

I quickly began questioning my decision.  It was a mental battle each and every day not to pick up the phone and apologize for my mistake in order to rekindle our friendship.  But I stayed true to my decision and wished them well.

“Successful people make decisions quickly and firmly. Unsuccessful people make decisions slowly, and they change them often.” – Napoleon Hill, Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement

Months passed, then years, and I still didn’t have any new, close, true friends to speak of.  And then there was one.  Finally, after 5 years of waiting, waiting, waiting!

I would quickly discover that one is all I needed because the vision I held was very clear.  I asked the universe for a BFF who …

  • Loves me unconditionally
  • Sees the beauty in my quirkiness
  • Is interested in growing and studying together
  • Can keep a secret
  • Let’s me in
  • Makes me laugh when I cry
  • Can find the positive in any situation
  • Is driven for success
  • Operates with integrity, kindness and positivity

There are more traits I asked for, but those are the biggies.  Enter Mykie Stiller.

It seemed of the blue when she entered my life; I didn’t see it coming, yet I knew she was on her way and I welcomed the opportunity for new friendship with open arms.  Once we met it was so obvious that she was exactly who I had been waiting for – and well worth the wait.  She was all the things I asked for, and so much more.

There was no way I was squandering this answer to my prayers.  I jumped in with both feet, complete faith and an open heart.  I trusted her with my secrets.  I let her see me cry.  I let her in to my quirky side.   And I offered her the same safe space of unconditional friendship, as well.

We became fast friends.

Now, 3 years later, ours is one of the most precious and valued relationships in my life.  Where I lack, she excels and visa versa.  We’re an incredible team.

And here’s an interesting insight I experienced by creating a Friendship Vacuum:   We don’t attract to us what we want; we attract what we are.

During those lonely years, I put all my time and energy into learning and applying the material I was both studying personally and working with on a career basis.   My mind became so clear and focused on the traits I dearly desired in a true friend, that I literally incorporated and reinforced those very same traits in myself.

I attracted what I wanted because it had become who I was.   Isn’t that interesting?

The Friendship Vacuum may seem like a scary concept – and rightfully so.  But it’s worth it!  And that’s why I challenge you to really consider your relationships and whether they serve and support you in your growth.

Here’s my promise to you:  If you will get clear about what you want and who you want to be, create a space for it in your life, and be willing to give as good as you get – you will be very pleasantly surprised by the kind of quality relationships waiting on the other side of the Friendship Vacuum!

To my Best Friend, my Partner in Crime, my Inspiration, my Soul Sister … I am grateful for you every day.

I you Mykie Jo Stiller!

XO

Becca