It’s remarkable how gratifying and addictive a jarful of marbles can be. I use them to “score” myself to ingrain daily habits.

Adopting constructive new behaviors is hard. No matter how beneficial they are for us or how determined we are to make them work, we will fall short and probably give up on them, unless we measure them.

There’s a famous quote attributed to Peter Drucker, the legendary management guru… “what gets measured gets managed.” It’s as true in our personal endeavors as it is in managing a business. A version of this concept that I love is, “measure what matters.”


I use my jars of marbles to “measure what matters.” Here’s an example – it’s critical that we reach more people with the good work that we do at MidStrong, so I set a goal of directly communicating with at least five new people every day. For every one of those touches, I move a marble from the big full jar to the little empty one. The jars are front and center on my desk – impossible to ignore. The tinkle of each marble dropping into that jar gives me a little thrill. Filling that little jar is immensely gratifying. Likewise, all the while that jar sits empty, it bores a hole in my conscience, which motivates me to get it done early.


Then, I use a monthly calendar and check off each day that I’ve “moved my marbles”. At the end of each month, I’ve got a scorecard that shows my progress and consistency. Every check on that calendar is gratifying and motivating. And every date that’s missing a check glares back at me and motivates me to be more consistent.


We’ve used similar tracking calendars in the past for various MidStrong challenges, like last year’s wildly successful 6X30 June Challenge. Dozens of MidStrongers consistently got six workouts per week of at least 30 minutes for that entire month. We are doing this challenge again in a couple of months, so stay tuned.


Whether it’s marbles or calendars, using some visual and obvious method to score ourselves is a proven method to measure what matters. How could you use a similar approach to inspire consistency and make progress toward your fitness goals?

At MidStrong, we’re making lives awesome. Sure, we can help you burn fat and lose weight. But, what we truly strive for is to guide and inspire you to move steadily closer to becoming the remarkable person you are meant to be.

You can do this. Don’t settle. Join us.

Stronger than our excuses.

PS – We’ve got a bunch of awesome MidStronger fun and activity planned over the rest of this Year of Doing Cool Sh*t. We just launched our Spring Into Spring Accountability Challenge. In April we’ll be inviting friends and relations to give MidStrong a try with a repeat of our successful VIP Guest Pass program. In May our MidStrongers will have a blast with a night of axe throwing. As I mentioned above, in June we’ll be repeating our 6X30 Challenge. And that’s just the beginning of all the fun we’ve got planned through ’22. You don’t want to miss any of this!



Paul Reilly

Paul is the Owner and Founder of MidStrong. He created MidStrong in 2017 to train men and women in midlife who are busy with work and family to build muscle and burn fat so they can look and feel better than they did in their 20’s. MidStrong is making Functional Fitness training safe and fun, and inclusive. He and his wife, Julie also own and operate MidStrong locally, their bricks and mortar business, previously called ACCELERATED Strength & Balance. It is a boutique fitness center specializing in training folks in and around Westborough through the challenges of midlife for more than five years.