Why I Have Obnoxious Stickers on My Car

Shortly after I got my back from my road trip this past summer, my car, Old Red, underwent some cosmetic changes. First of all, I washed off the small nation of bugs I had accumulated from the front of the car.

Secondly, I added a butt-load of stickers to the rear window:

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I know, I know. It looks pretty obnoxious. Ugly, even. My friend Jen has already expressed her hatred for the asymmetry that's going on. I would agree, and I apologize for assaulting your eyes and your fung shui.

I never thought I'd be a car sticker kind of guy. Here's why I have them displayed so obnoxiously on my car:

It's not for you. It's for me.

I have a goal to get to every national park in the United States. It's a goal that lodged itself in my gut a few years ago, and I've become pretty serious about making it happen.

Those stickers are a visible (even if unattractive) reminder every single morning when I walk out to my car that I have a goal that I'm working toward. When I look in my rearview mirror, those reminders are there. When I get out of my car, those reminders are there. I even see them when I check my rear view mirror. The asymmetry only adds fuel to the fire to start putting more stickers on to even it out. And the stickers don't just remind me that I have a goal; they remind me that I'm making progress. I need that.

Three months ago, I had eight stickers on my car. Now? I have eighteen. That feels pretty good.

I also know that I still have forty parks to go. Every day, because of that window, I'm thinking about how to get my next sticker.

Yeah, Paul, I still think that's pretty stupid.

Okay. That's fine. I understand. But sometimes you have to get weird or obnoxious or a little crazy to make your goals happen.

Your goal is probably not the same as mine. Your strategy to accomplish your goal doesn't need to involve an annoyingly asymmetrical arrangement of stickers on your car window.

But you might need to get weird about it if you really want to see it happen.

Do whatever it takes. Write messages to yourself on the wall. Have friends call/text/email you reminders at certain times of the week. Eat a bowl of ice cream every time you take a step closer. (That one I will not apologize for.)

In any case, I know I can't fit forty-eight stickers on my window. It's physically impossible, I probably (hopefully) will have ditched Old Red by then, I think it would be illegal, and it will definitely be unsafe. At some point, I'll have to find a new way to motivate myself to check the rest of the parks off my list.

You can bet it will be a bit crazy and a bit weird. You've been warned.