Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Using a Reward System to Achieve Your Goals

I, of all people know how difficult it can be at times to stick with even the seemingly most simple goals.  This comes both from personal experience and coaching people who have this issue.  Although psychiatric experts strongly recommend that motivation and rewards be “intrinsic” and that the reward of simply losing weight, lowering cholesterol, etc should be enough of an incentive, sometimes we need that extra push.  

If you’re having trouble boosting your own motivation, consider a reward system.  What have you been wanting for yourself?  A new smart phone? New shoes?  Weekend getaway? What about putting that on hold to use as a reward for attaining your wellness goals? Of course, you absolutely NEED to set goals the correct way in order for this to work (see my page on goal-setting)...and also have a set reward.  

If you don't already have a reward in mind or can't think of one, here's another idea; Put a certain amount of $$ in a jar each day and if you achieve your goals at the end of your set time-frame, you get to spend it...if not, put it toward charity or your child’s savings.  I’m not claiming that this reward system idea is fool-proof, as it isn’t.  But, if you haven’t tried it before, why not give it a shot and see what it does for you?  After all, it may just be the incentive you need to forgo that extra piece of cake or think twice before binging on candy when you’re bored!  

Photo Courtesy:  Greg Wagoner