Remember when you were a kid, and getting a gold star was worth doing the work well? No one wanted to be the only one without a gold star!! Maybe you were even super competitive and compared how many you could get in a week versus your friends, (looking back, no, I’m not proud of it).
We’ve all heard the term “positive reinforcement”, a lot of the time it’s referring to training a dog. Dog performs a command, asks to go out instead of using your home as a bathroom, or improves on some bad behavior, they get rewarded with a treat and/or praise. One very effective way to help keep yourself motivated is to do pretty much the same thing. If the name “Pavlov” rings a bell, (haha get it?) you may know that if you repeat the same steps in the same order, it can help condition your body and/or mind to relate that reward to completing a task or goal, therefore helping you stay motivated. It takes will power too, but the thing about will power is that the only one who can create it for you, is you. Ideally what will happen by giving yourself a reward is you will get into a routine and look forward to that positive reinforcement that means you completed something. Now, let’s be careful how and what we use as a reward.
Keep your rewards in line with the size and type of accomplishment. If your goal is to workout 4 days in a row, treating yourself with junk food is counterproductive. Instead, buy yourself a new workout shirt, or give yourself a rest day. If your goal is to save $200 a month, rewarding yourself with a shopping spree, not the best idea. If you really want to buy yourself something, keep it small. My general rule of thumb is that when you want to reward yourself for sticking to a budget, 5-10% of what you save can be used for a reward. So for example by saving that $200, get yourself something that is $5-10. Maybe you don’t bring your lunch to work that day, you indulge a bit and buy it. I think you get the point.
So start setting some small goals! Maybe bringing your lunch to work for a week? In fact, let’s all try that for this week coming. If you work weekends, start tomorrow! Believe it or not you don’t have to wait for Monday to start something new! Let’s go earn that gold star!
Have a great day!!