after a fun-filled summer, 9-year-old jack was having a rough time transitioning back into school mode. not only was he suffering from the typical back-to-school brain fog, he had also started a new school, which meant he was missing all his old friends + taking out his frustrations on his family. he was in major need of an attitude adjustment. what better way for his mom (that would be me, katy) to give this goal-getting journal a go?
the good news: kids will do just about anything for a reward, so when jack was gifted with a fitbook junior from yours truly, he was determined to earn his stickers every day + eventually reap the rewards of all his goal-getting. after just the first day, something strange happened. jack came home from school, walked right up to me + greeted me by asking “is there anything i can do to help you around the house today?”. and the attitude 180 didn’t end there! here are 7 things that happened when jack journaled in his attitude-adjusting, goal-getting, healthy-habit-making fitbook junior for 30 days.
1 [he helped out more around the house]
let’s just say jack wasn’t clamoring to clean before he started fitbooking. in fact, even a request as basic as making his bed was often met with moans + groans. but just one day into his fitbook junior, not only was he happily obliging when asked to help pick up, he was even taking the initiative to tidy up on his own - no elbow-twisting required. jack’s mantra quickly became “gotta work hard if you wanna earn that star!”
2 [he exercised daily]
an active kid already, jack took his exercise up a notch to make sure he’d have something to write down in his fitbook junior every day. instead of coming home from school + watching tv or begging for computer time, he ran straight outside to jog around the yard or shoot hoops or dribble the soccer ball. when his dad would work out in their home gym, jack would be right there next to him, learning proper push-up form or hopping on the elliptical. in addition to the health benefits, it became nice bonding time for jack + his father. “fitbook inspires me to exercise more because it’s good for my health. plus, i want to be like my dad when i’m older, and he’s very healthy,” said jack.
3 [he went right to sleep at bedtime]
maybe it was all that cleaning, or the extra exercise just wore him out, but a few days after jack started his fitbook junior, the stalling of his bedtime and getting up multiple times for water or to be re-tucked in or to go to the bathroom (again!) were things of the past. he fell right asleep + slept like a champ until morning. his take? “workouts are tough! it makes me tired by the end of the day. plus, i know if i keep getting up, my mom might take my sticker away!”
4 [he chose healthier snacks]
like most kids, jack would happily choose a cookie over carrots any day, no doubt about it. but when he knew he had to log his food + hit certain nutrient goals in order to earn his star stickers (+ this his rewards), his outlook on afternoon snacking was very different. he looked at food more as a source of health. instead of coming home from school + asking for granola or chocolate-laced trail mix, he dug right into fruits + veggies, checking off his nutrient boxes in his fitbook junior as he ate. his favorite aspect of logging his food: “in the future, if i ever want to go back + see what foods i had, i can.”
5 [he was more respectful]
jack’s a great kid, but he’s definitely had his moments of sass in his nine years. but something about using fitbook junior magically shifted his sass to class, making him much more respectful toward not only his parents, but his little brothers as well. his reasoning: “it’s weird, fitbook makes me feel like more of a grown up, so i feel like i need to act more mature + be responsible.”
6 [he finished his homework without whining]
pre-fitbook junior, jack would protest every time he was asked to do his homework, begging to do it later or asking “why do i have to do it nowwwwwww?!”. once he started fitbook junior, he was so eager to earn his stars each day that arguing + back-talk were no longer an option in his mind. therefore, each afternoon, he got right down to the business of homework as soon as he got home from school - and he was all smiles while he did it. he even learned to like the new routine, saying “i like getting my homework done right away. then i can check that goal box off in my journal + relax all night + i don’t have to worry about it.”
7 [he started setting goals...for everything!]
as with the OG fitbook (for big people), fitbook junior is all about goal-setting. the motivation to go the distance, of course, being the reward you earn in the end. jack was so enthusiastic about this system that he actually began applying it to everything he did. cleaning up his room? if he finished in less than 20 minutes, he’d promise himself 20 minutes of “imaginating” (his absolute favorite pastime). shooting hoops with his dad? he’d set a goal to make 10 baskets in a row before he could have a square of chocolate. it made him more driven + enthusiastic about every single thing he does on a daily basis. “i think setting goals is awesome, because it gives me rewards to look forward to!” jack enthused.
jack loved feeling like he had ownership over something, saying “i like that i feel like fitbook junior is just for kids because we need our own stuff.” however, as a mom of 3 boys, i knew using junior was a good fit for my 9-year-old, but a little too advanced for the 2 younger ones (5 + 7). so as not to create a serious sibling rivalry, the 2 younger ones got their very own healthy kids goal chart to start learning goal-getting now so they can graduate to junior someday - just like big brother.
right on, jack! we’re so proud of your goal-getting devotion + beyond thrilled to have you as part of our fitbook family! fitbookers: how do you instill the idea of setting healthy goals with your children? we want to know!