Rewarding yourself in simple ways for small accomplishments can take a variety of different forms (which we’ll get into very shortly).
Rewards and actions are closely related; everybody performs an action expecting a reward. This can be as simple as performing the action of getting in the car and driving, with the ‘reward’ of arriving at your destination.
But when we’re stuck in the middle of what can seem like an endless list of tasks, it’s easy to feel like you’re in an endless cycle of actions with no rewards. And this isn’t just bad for you personally, it’s bad for business. With the lack of motivation that this type of cycle brings, productivity will inevitably dip too. However, if you put a personal reward system in place, you’ll find the reason(s) to keep going. What’s even better about this is that even the smallest of rewards can get you motivated to do more.
The reason for this is that every time you receive a reward, your body releases dopamine which creates a sense of pleasure. This in turn will increase productivity and motivation. As such, you can use this to your advantage by giving yourself small rewards as you work towards a bigger goal. When you are on a journey to realise your goals as a business owner / leader there is more often than not no external entity there to recognize all of your hard work. You might have spent the whole week tied to your desk, replying to every email, barely sleeping and exhausted – but only you’ll know how hard you have worked for it.
Which brings us back to why rewarding yourself for achieving goals is so important; YOU are the only person who can reward yourself for your work. YOU are the only person who can motivate yourself to keep going. So for the benefit of your health, sanity, and your business – don’t miss out on the opportunity to reward yourself!
Before we are going to the lists of the self-reward you can choose to celebrating your success here are 6 Tips For Picking A Reward for yourself, so you won’t regret your self-reward.
- Don’t pick a reward that negates what you’ve just achieved. For example, if you’ve decluttered, don’t buy stuff as a reward. If you’ve sorted out a great morning routine – don’t reward by having a lie in. If you’ve reached a goal weight loss – have non-food rewards and don’t use food or alcohol as your treat
- Pick a relevant rewardthat is something to do with what you’ve just done – to reinforce your good work. For example, you’ve finally sorted your bedroom and organised it all – so treat yourself to an early night and enjoy the room a little!
- Pick something that truly motivates youto get the job done. If you can look forward to something then it drives you to get the job finished that much quicker, and can be a really good positive reinforcement to get things finished that you set out to do.
- Make the reward something easy to achieve quickly– for example, don’t reward with a holiday if it’s going to take you a year to save up…
- Reward yourself with a treat that’s on the same level as the task. Small rewards for small tasks, and large for large ones.
- Remember, rewards don’t have to cost anything– you can get pleasure out of the most simple things if you allow yourself to really enjoy them.
When you’re trying to make a lifestyle change for weight-loss or even for overall health, it’s difficult to keep going even when you have a powerful why or reason. But, on a day to day basis when you’re in the thick of it all, rewarding yourself in simple ways for small accomplishments can go a long way. Why? It’s all about dopamine. Dopamine spikes in your brain when something important is about to happen and gives you a surge of pleasure as you accomplish the task. This in turn increases motivation and productivity. Use this piece of science to your advantage by giving yourself small rewards along the way to a bigger goal. Your brain latches on to the physical evidence that your workout or healthy eating habits are worth it, and increases your chances at making the routine a habit.
Below are just a few ways we like to reward ourselves for hitting targets, reaching goals, clearing our inbox, and more. Remember though, the reward must make you happy. Missing the reward must make you feel the pinch for this to really work!
- Make a cup of tea / coffee
- Go for a walk
- Take a long lunch
- Play your favourite song, at full volume, from start to finish
- Treat yourself to a takeaway tonight
- Pick up that dessert you love
- Take that product out of the ‘wish list’ and through the checkout
- Buy a ticket to that show you’ve wanted to go to
- Finish work early (logging off even 15 minutes earlier is still a reward!)
- Read a chapter of the book
- Book a table at your favourite restaurant (for tonight, tomorrow, or two months away – either way it’s a treat to look forward to!)
- Have a bath (bubbles, candles, the works – make your home a spa!)
- Catch up on the episode of your favourite TV show that you missed last night
Not all of these will appeal to you, and that’s where you get to be creative. Reward yourself with the things that motivate and appeal to you. This will ensure that even the small rewards are enough to get you off the couch and moving.