Why Should I Reward Myself?
As part of a weekly personal implementation plan (PIP), I have people list how they are going to reward themselves after they accomplish their goals for the week. After seeing thousands of PIPs I noticed that many entrepreneurs struggle to reward themselves. This can be quite dangerous for a number of reasons which I will outline. I’ll also cover the two different types of rewards and reasons it’s good to use both.
Get More Done and Be In a Better Mood Doing It
With proper rewards in place you will get more done, be in a better mood doing it and avoid some serious pitfalls. You will avoid pitfalls like burnout, a sense of being overwhelmed and those heavy energy zapping feelings of disappointment from not seeing enough progress. You can end up feeling depleted and resentful. By properly rewarding yourself you go for balance over burnout. Let me start by giving you permission to reward yourself – it’s one of the best things you can do for your business and yourself.
Why Do So Many People Struggle To Reward Themselves?
People think they are too busy. They don’t have time for a reward. That’s wrong on two levels – one is that a reward can be small and simple taking just one minute. For example, listening to part of a favorite song and doing the happy dance. The second is that the time you spend on the reward is recharging and refreshing. That makes you more productive and more innovative. This is important to fully understand.
Let’s say you are going give yourself a reward of reading a favorite or interesting book for 30 minutes. Once you complete the small project you are working on you get to read the book. With that goal in mind, you have something to look forward to – your mood improves. You take on the task with more gusto, more energy and more persistence. That’s the front end benefit. The back end benefit comes after you reach your goal and read your book for 30 minutes, you will gain back those 30 minutes because your mind is fresh, your mind is rested from work, and your mind will be more creative. I notice that many entrepreneurs get a bump in innovative ideas after a nice reward break. It gives your subconscious mind a chance to work on your challenges and provide you with a breakthrough.
I Don’t Feel Like I Deserve a Reward?
Another reason people struggle is that they don’t feel like they deserve the reward. These are people who need the reward the most. They are buried in work, buried in life, buried with busyness. The more you work without a break, without a reward the worse your productivity gets. You don’t see as clearly. You are more easily distracted. You are more likely to be pulled into rabbit holes and chase new shiny objects that make you even busier. Studies have shown that people who over work, under sleep and never reward themselves begin to work in a fog that’s similar to being intoxicated. This does not need to be you. If it is – that ends right here right now. Its ok – no – it’s IMPERATIVE that you reward yourself. Let’s learn some of the best ways to do that. There are two types of rewards you can use. One is something you look forward to and the other is something you earn.
The “Looking Forward To It” Reward
The first kind of reward you can use is one where you have something in the future to look forward to. It could be going out to eat with family or friends, attending a party, going to the movies or watching your favorite show on TV. These are rewards that pretty much happen no matter what. They are things you are planning to do and are on your calendar. It’s something you are looking forward to doing.
This kind of reward helps you in many ways. The excitement and thought of the reward helps to keep your energy levels up. You have something to look forward to doing. As the reward draws closer the energy and excitement tend to go up. Since the reward is already planned it creates a nice automatic and natural deadline for what you are working on. You can plan to finish something, some project before the reward comes. It also helps you to avoid distractions because you say to yourself: “I don’t have time for that – I want to finish this before my reward.”
Each week or even for some people each day have a “Looking Forward To It” reward on your calendar it – it pays a big dividends.
The “Earn It” Reward
The second type of reward you can use to help you is the “Earn It” reward. This is where you set a reward that you only get upon completion of your task or project. This is not something that will happen or something planned on your calendar. You only get this reward after you complete the task. For example, once I complete this article I’m going to buy the book that a Mastermind Group friend recommended. I only get to buy the book after the goal is reached. Here you should tailor the reward to the size of the task. Smaller task = smaller reward, Bigger task = bigger reward.
Choosing the Best Rewards
Good rewards are specific and tangible. It’s best if you can easily picture it and you want to remind yourself of the reward often. Rewards can be small and creative or they could be big and expensive. They could take just a minute or could involve going away for a week! Many times I use a small reward like listening to one of my favorite songs as a quick reward. You can use one of my songs if you like as well – listen to it at www.PowerfulSong.com
Be sure to make them personal – you are the only person they need to motivate. I generally try to avoid using food as a reward as that can lead to other issues. It’s powerful to use both types of rewards at least on a weekly basis. Put reward power to work for you. Celebrations can also be a form of rewards – especially when the team reaches a goal together.
You may want to create a list of possible rewards. I’ve got a list below to get you started.
Of Course Science Proves It…
There is a science to all this rewarding yourself stuff. Neurobiologically your body releases energizing chemicals as you complete takes and earn rewards. Researchers at Harvard and University of Southern California found that even offering meaningless small rewards increases human motivation. With biology and social science on your side it’s time to start setting rewards.
I noticed a nice side benefit that those who started to reward themselves consistently. They got to know themselves better. They figured out what motivated them. Then they could manage themselves better. They could get more of what they wanted out of life because they rewarded themselves. The more you give to yourself the more you realize you can expect from yourself. When you begin to push your own buttons in life – life gets better.
Your Reward List – 50+ Real Reward Examples
|Buy a new Music Album
Buy some Fresh Flowers
Play a Game You Like
Take an Hour to do Nothing
Take a 2-3 Hour Lunch
Take a Hot Bath
Buy a Product/Program You Wanted
Take a Nap
Hang out with a Friend
Take a Day Trip Someplace
Spend a Few Hours in a Bookstore
Play a Favorite Sport
Watch a Sunrise or Sunset
Go to a Museum
|Create some Art
Take a new Class
Work on a Hobby You Enjoy
Guilt Free Social Media Time
Attend a Festival / Concert
Remodel a Room
Buy a New Car
Hanging out with Grand Kids
Take a Trip or Cruise
Attend a Comedy Show
Go on a Hike
Go to the Beach
Go to an Amusement Park
Attend a Favorite Sporting Event
Go to the Movies
Take a Vacation
Go to the Spa
Take a Break
Read a Book
Go to the Gym
Do the Happy Dance
Listen to a Favorite Song
Watch a Favorite Video
Buy Yourself a Gift Certificate
Pay Someone Else to do a Chore
Go for a Walk / Bike Ride
Buy some New Clothes
Meet a Friend or Friends
The key is start today – right now for reading this article – give yourself a reward. I’m doing a happy dance right now for getting this article written!
Now it’s time to take control, set reward and make it a great day!
Blaine is America’s Chief Results Officer® and the world’s greatest creator of doneness. He knows your results matter and he can help you get better, faster and more long-lasting results. Get started with one simple and elegant results technique that activates your mind with your top goal over 100 times a day. He explains it in a short TEDx talk he recently did. Your results matter – get access immediately at www.BlaineTEDx.com