On Saturday evening, my family got together via Google Meet to play Yahtzee. The last time we tried this, each of us kept score on our own. This time, my sister created a scorecard in Excel and shared her screen while keeping track of our scores electronically during the game.
Though Yahtzee is nothing like bowling, the experience made me think of how much fun it was to go to a bowling alley with electronic scoring. You’d bowl a strike (or a spare), and a fun, celebratory animation would play on the monitor above the lane before your total would update. This was a huge deal as a kid, and, though the novelty might have faded a little as an adult, a festive announcement is visible confirmation of your skill at knocking down pins (and avoiding a gutter ball), providing bragging rights for at least a moment.
Though we didn’t have festive animations during our game, we did have lots (and lots) of cheering.
We cheered when anyone rolled a straight, a full house, or the sometimes elusive five of a kind, for which the game is named.
When it comes to fitness, you may have found an environment in which cheering for individuals in the group is part of your positive experience. From running groups to sports teams, belonging to a group and working together toward the same or similar goals can provide a built-in support system.
Cheering for yourself might not seem as natural when you are exercising on your own, though the practice can provide positive reinforcement and keep you moving toward your personal fitness goals.
If it feels cheesy to cheer for yourself the way that you would cheer for others during a group activity, remember that you can cheer for yourself in a number of ways.
When you exercise as you planned, consider taking a few seconds to acknowledge your success in showing up.
When you reach a fitness goal, such as walking for 3 miles without stopping or jumping rope for 200 hops without tripping, consider taking a quick minute to celebrate your success in reaching a milestone.
Further, when you are working consistently over a period of time and setting goals for the future, consider taking a few minutes to review and honor your success in transforming from who and where you were in the past to who and where you are now.
Cheering is an expression of support, and you can do this for yourself quickly, regularly, and, perhaps, silently (if that feels better than talking to yourself out loud).
We know that celebrating wins together is powerful. When others cheer for you and your success, you feel good, and the positive energy is contagious when you are cheering for others.
Why not harness the power of cheering for yourself and give yourself an extra boost of support when you need it?