Get set GO! How to motivate yourself with rewards

Celebrate the little things - Motivation by reward

If you are currently taking action towards achieving a goal, it is important to congratulate and reward yourself for the positive progress you make. Reinforcement and support help maintain positive steps toward change. This final article in Get set GO! series gives tips on how to motivate yourself to achieve your goals with extrinsic rewards.

Begin with why
Why reward yourself? When we first start something new there is a learning curve and a degree of trial and error to be expected. Being ready for the inevitable failures and celebrating success is important so we overcome these early challenges. When taking action towards achieving a significant goal in your life, you will frequently be pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Challenging yourself like this on a regular basis can be hard going and this is true especially if the tasks you have to do feel like a chore…e.g. get up at 5am to go to the gym before work (if you don’t like to). By using positive reinforcement along the way it helps you to avoid relapsing into old patterns or behaviours, by taking the time for yourself and to celebrate your success you are affirming to yourself that you are important which can help your self-esteem, and builds your sense of accomplishment. By rewarding yourself for the small successes you are linking progress to happiness which improves your motivation.

How to motivate yourself to achieve your goals

Make a reward plan
Identify what rewards will work for you by making a list of small, medium and large rewards. It is important these things really do motivate you, it’s okay to add to this list over time. Always be on the lookout for new and novel ways to reward yourself. The levels of rewards should vary in this system of yours and be appropriate for the milestone you have reached, but the details are up to you to decide. For example:

Small reward: Hot bath, Watch favourite TV show, Read a book, Meditate, Go for a drive
Medium reward: Spa day, Day with family, Garden all weekend, New outfit, Concert ticket
Big reward: Holiday, Party, Sporting weekend

It may help you to add a cost next to each reward and time. Keep your reward list handy – it best to look at them often to keep you motivated. Your reward plan can sit alongside your goal plan.

Decide your milestones
What will your milestones be? Perhaps you want to run a half marathon….your milestones may be running 1 mile, 3 miles, 5 miles, completing a 10k race etc. If your goal is a weight loss related, your milestones may be losing 5lbs, 10lbs, 15lbs. If you are studying for a professional exam, perhaps the end of each module is a milestone. You decide on your milestones – it is ok to amend these over time, if you have set too easy or too hard goals for example.

Once you reach one of these milestones on the way to your larger goal, then take the time to relish what you have accomplished to reinforce this new behaviour – and feel good about rewarding yourself.

Start a success savings pot
Add money to your success pot along the way and once you achieve a milestone, use the money for the reward. Not all rewards require money of course but some will, especially the larger ones so it is good to plan for it in advance.

If you follow these steps you should be well on your well to achieving your goals and it will be a good practice to use with future goals.

This article concludes the 6 month Get set GO! Personal Development series, I would love to hear about your goal setting success.

Get set GO! Goal Setting Success – featuring this article series will be appearing as a free e-book on the Elysian training Website shortly

In the meantime check out the rest of the series if you missed here:

1. Get set, GO! The FREE personal goal development series

2. Get set, GO! How to Set Compelling Goals - How to Decide your Vision and Mission

3. Get set, GO! How to Overcome Motivation Meltdowns

5. Get set, GO! How to Learn from Failure - Pick yourself up, dust yourself off

If you enjoyed this article - you may also like to read how to  'Kick Start Your Summer Manifesto'   to reach your summer goals too.

Author: Kate Tuck, Elysian Training

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