When a new president takes office, we watch to see what he does in his first 100 days. Often political commentators will discuss how he measures up as a leader by what he can accomplish during that time. The idea actually began with Franklin Roosevelt, who saw 15 bills become law during his first 100 days. And we’ve continued with that tradition ever since.
This past January, my sister-in-law gave my daughters a music assignment: they are to practice their violins for 100 days without missing a single day. The only exception is if they are very sick or the family is traveling for the entire day.
I’m not sure how much a president can accomplish in 100 days, especially if Congress is controlled by the opposing political party. But it’s been great to see how much the girls have done. Not only do they sound better and play better, but they’ve developed some great habits in self-discipline, something they’ll use their entire lives.
To help them put the idea into practice, my sister-in-law created charts for them — 100 day charts — which have 100 little squares on it. Each day they practice, they can put a star sticker on that square or simply color it in. The charts on hanging on the wall where they practice so they can keep up with them. If they’re able to fill their whole chart and practice for 100 days, they’ll receive a special award during the recital.
Seeing how well it’s worked with music practice, I decided to try that method with myself in areas I want to improve on. I have a chart for 100 days of exercise and 100 days of drinking enough water. And, because I’m learning the violin now too, I need 100 days of practice. And if I make it, I’m planning on rewarding myself for a job well-done.
Do you or your children need a visual method of encouraging yourself to reach a goal? Make a chart and plan out 100 days. It might be for chores, computer time, math practice, or morning devotions – whatever area you might need to strengthen your family’s self-discipline muscle. Then keep track of your progress. If you miss a day, don’t worry — just start the 100 days again. I’ll bet you’ll make more lasting changes than a president ever could.