Staying motivated is easier if you reward yourself for the effort expended, whether that effort was physical, mental or emotional. Depending on the goal or task, the effort may not have been in doing something, but in NOT doing something.
Often the most difficult tasks we set ourselves relate to withholding ourselves from undertaking negative behavior, or that which is not in our long-term good. This can relate to intake of food, alcohol or drugs, or may even apply to unnecessary spending.
All of these things can be very habitual and give immediate but very short-term pleasure. Unfortunately, the pay-back in terms of health and finance management can be very negative and painful.
Everybody performs better if they are given a reward. Our reward-seeking mechanisms are a result of both nature and nurture. It’s built into our DNA, and further ingrained into us as children.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense to leverage this by rewarding yourself when you attain goals, finish tasks or achieve milestones. Rewards reinforce the positive behavior that helped you achieve your goals. Take the time to consider and choose rewards appropriate to your goals and your values.
For example, if your goals relate to food intake, choose non-food rewards. If it relates to substance or alcohol intake, going on a bender as a reward for abstinence is not going to help in the short or long term.
Make sure you choose something healthy and positive when you reward yourself. Here are a few suggestions.
Relax and Read
Reading a book can inspire and motivate you to achieve even more. It also provides you with great lessons in life and can allow you to benefit from the failures and successes of others without having to experience them yourself. There are only a fixed number of hours in a day.
By spending a few hours reading you are obtaining the condensed wisdom of thousands of hours, days or years that you can leverage for your own benefit and advancement. In this way your reward becomes the next phase of your success.
This is the type of leverage that is behind the success of most great people, who openly admit their success is a result of standing on the shoulders of those who came before them.
Many successful people never let a week pass by without being able to read a book or two. Bill Gates for example says he reads one book each week. The very successful Elon Musk was once asked how he was able to build rockets. He simply answered “I read books”.
In other words, when you allow yourself from time to time to “indulge” in a good book you are not just rewarding yourself for a job well done. You are also adding more value to your own skill set because of the lessons learned from each book you’ve read.
A Movie Night
Do you like watching movies at the theatre, but your time has been taken up with achieving your goal? If so, reward yourself with a night of movies. Depending on the genre, what has been said about books can also apply here. That doesn’t mean restricting viewing to dry and dusty documentaries. Many fictional movies mirror life and can vividly project an inspirational theme than can positively charge the emotions.
Buy Something Special
You have to be ‘consciously aware’ of what you are buying here and not just buy the first thing that comes along. You have to be cautious when rewarding yourself with retail therapy. Make sure you set a price limit with your reward so it fits in with your budget and does not add to your financial burdens.
Reserve an expensive reward for a super goal! Studies have proven that the greatest joys are in the anticipation rather than the obtaining of a reward, the pleasure of which can be very short-lived. Learning the benefits and joys of delayed gratification can massively assist your mindset when it comes to achieving your goals and desires.
For now, be content with buying something you use daily so you can see your reward and be reminded of your accomplishments. You don’t have to go out to treat yourself. There are plenty of ways you can right in your own home.
If you feel you can’t trust yourself shopping, you can always stay home and reward yourself with a soothing bubble bath, surrounded by candles and even ask your partner if you deserve a beautiful massage from them for achieving your goal!
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