Finish It Monday: Getting Started And The Star System Tracking Chart

So here we are at the beginning of it all. Yeah baby!

Today is a week to get organized, start planning and get into the habit of doing something each and EVERY DAY that will keep your progress moving forward so you can finally reach your goals. So are you ready? Close to 100 people have already made the decision to join the Finish What You Started Challenge, and if you’re one of them, you’ve already written down your goals.

As you head into your chosen healthy eating and fitness activities for this week, here are some things to consider:

  • Don’t overwhelm yourself with the pressure of an “all or nothing” approach. It doesn’t work.
  • Work on becoming awesome at one or two small changes at a time, and don’t beat yourself up for the areas you’re still struggling in.
  • Get strong and consistent in the changes you’re focusing on, then build on that by adding more positive changes.
  • If you mess up and need a do-over, you canNOT quit. Finishers don’t quit. They get up and keep going. That’s the kind of person you are.

A word on Planning: Anything less than a plan is a hit or miss situation. Planning creates a sense of urgency and expectation. It encourages you to be disciplined and consistent so you actually follow through. Your plans will tell you ahead of time what must be done, how it will be done and when you will do it. Planning sets you up for action. And then you take those actions. Each day this week and every day throughout the Challenge, plan to have a daily plan. That’s how stuff gets done.


It’s time to get familiar with the Star System Tracking Chart, a personal system to rate your daily progress and achievements. Each day you will award yourself zero, one or two stars in each category for food and fitness (two stars being the best). This means you can earn up to 2 stars in the Food Category and 2 stars in the Fitness Category for a total of 4 stars in a given day.

Here’s how the ratings translate in each category:

  • Two stars = Great day!
  • One star = Meh, but still decent.
  • Zero stars = You need a do-over.

You have the opportunity to earn up to 28 stars during a stellar week (4 Stars x 7 Days = 28 stars), plus extra stars in the “other” category of the Star System Tracking Chart for any mini-challenges I dish out to you that you complete successfully.

The star system is for YOU to analyze your progress and pinpoint where you are excelling or need to improve. It’s for you to see just how much work you’re putting in (or lack thereof) that’s either keeping you stagnant or propelling to you the finish.

Here are some “gray area factors” to consider when rating yourself:

  • A scheduled fitness rest day counts as 2 stars, because rest and recovery is vital to your fitness.
  • Occasional indulgence on sweets, high carbs or fatty foods also counts as 2 stars (what!?), but only when you gnaw in moderation. The key here is “occasional indulgence”. If indulgence turns into an overeating-fest, that would not be 2 stars.
  • Be honest in your ratings. You know without anyone telling you whether you’ve done well or not. If you don’t rate yourself honestly you cannot expect to improve.

Bonus Star activity for this week, August 1 – August 7th: Give yourself 1 bonus star on the Star System Tracking Chart if at the end of this week (on Sunday, August 7th), you consistently logged your stars on the chart each and every day. And yes, I will be nosy and wanna know how many stars you earned. That’s called accountability.

Okay! There ya have it. Let’s get it STARted!

On “Finish It Mondays”, please link up in the comments to any posts/vlogs that document your journey during this Challenge.


  1. Miz says:

    DANG. You are ready for this monday. for august.
    not so ready here yet.
    Ill be baaaaaaaaaaaaaack.

  2. Devona says:

    Is it crazy that I have been stalking my Google Reader waiting for this post, haha. Time to print the chart so I can get started.

  3. SkippyMom says:

    The stars sound like a great system Josie. Who doesn’t like getting a gold star? :) Good luck to all the participants.

  4. Coco says:

    Loving it! The timing’s not right for me with my vacay next week, but I’ll be cheering from the sidelines and taking notes for September. :-)

  5. Jackie says:

    Sounds great, I signed up and am ready to get started :)

  6. Dee says:

    Dee…reporting in and ready for duty…let’s do this

  7. Jenn says:

    I’m ready to get this party started!! Love the start system.

  8. I did the Insanity Fit Test yesterday, woke up this morning, hobbled out of bed and read your post.  What have I gotten myself in to??  Is it bad that the Fit Test kicked my butt?  Oh well…I can’t quit now, I only just started!!  Besides, I can’t wait to see some REAL changes in my own ‘after’ photo!! =)

    • yumyucky says:

      Don’t worry, Lynn. That Fit Test kicked my booty, too! I’m seeing changes after only one week. This program is gonna get us both some serious results!

  9. Emma says:

    I am R_E_A_D_Y !!!! And the stars…. icing on the cake! Ummm not literally

  10. Donna says:

    I’m looking forward to this. I’m just delayed a bit as I spent 12 hours in a car yesterday, driving home from vacation & will be moving slow this morning. I will be spending some time today setting goals & then plan to jump into the fray tomorrow. Ready to rock & roll!

  11. @SOMERSKYS says:


  12. Goals Set.
    Star Chart Printed.
    Domination Imminent.

    That is all.


  13. I blogged about it. I will try to get a pic today to use for progress.

  14. Cher says:

    Great post!  It’s the all or nothing feeling that leaves so many in a position to give up.  One step at a time.. that’s all it takes.  WE’RE NOT PERFECT!!

    I posted on another blog about how sometimes we focus so much on what we’ve done wrong and it makes us a prisoner of what we can be doing RIGHT!

    Great post!!

  15. charlotte says:

    I like it! Star (sticker) charts work well with my kids so why not? I like the positive emphasis.

  16. Erica says:

    Started today!!

    Started a blog for this challenge! –

    Here we go!

  17. DaenelT says:

    And I’m a day late…  Already.  LOL  But I’m still with you.

  18. Kaypee says:

    Im In!!

  19. thirteenlbs says:

    Happy to be here. :)

  20. Shannon McCall says:

    Well I have started. I have to say that writing it down and checking for my goals is helpful (and yes even annoying when I don’t wanna move). Even though I am making small changes only in hopes of recharging myself into my former goals I have been happy with small steps for the first time ever. I am the get it done now suffer type typically but that works great for me only in the short term so I need to make the changes I can stick with and still be healthy and happy. Moving everyday is my biggest goal. Instead of focusing on 5 grueling workouts and extreme dieting that has been my chosen method in the past and always backfires with injuries and exhaustion and fatalism! So finding that right balance is now my goal. Yesterday I was so grumpy at the world working out just seemed like a hassle when I just wanted to lay about and veg! But my chart said move so I did. Afterwards I was less grumpy and proud that I prodded myself into that walk and a few strength moves it made me more conscious of my food as well. Hoping to lose just 15 pounds and get some of my old vigor back is my goal!

  21. HA! I’m gonna do this… along with a bunch of other stuff… Been MUCH better on water an dmovement. A bit less on veggies (yuck).
    Just kidding – I don’t REALLY hate them.
    All the time….

  22. The IronDog says:

    Mind, Body, Spirit! You have to make up your mind to start. The mind tells the body we can to this. Your spirit keep everything going! It Works! Try it!

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