When you make positive changes in your life, is important to reward yourself. Rewards act as positive reinforcement, they keep things fun, and they can be strong motivators. Some days, motivation to eat right and exercise is high, and let’s face it, on other days it just doesn’t seem to be there at all. When you set goals for yourself and create rewards that you “earn” for achieving those goals, rewards can provide you with the motivation to keep on track.
Don’t wait until you’ve achieved your final goal reward yourself; reward yourself frequently along your path to a healthier lifestyle. It is best to focus on the process and not the outcome. By rewarding yourself for accomplishing small goals, it will help you to achieve the desired outcome (and possibly have some fun along the way!).
Make sure your rewards are in alignment with your goals. In other words, if you are trying to lose weight, don’t reward yourself with food. This could cause you to take two steps forward and one step back. Rather think about what other things bring you pleasure. Since we are so accustomed to using food as a reward, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Buy yourself something you want: clothing, music, DVDs, books, make-up, electronics, jewelry, an MP3 player or an i-pod, etc.
- Get a manicure (or give yourself one), get a message, take a trip to the spa
- Take time to do something you enjoy: read a book, take a bubble bath, go to the movies, rent a movie
- Do a fun activity: go golfing, have friends over to play games, go bowling
- Take a trip: a day trip, a weekend away or a full vacation
The possibilities for rewarding yourself are endless. Just think about what you like, be creative and have fun!!