Reward Yourself Without Food
The beginning of a new challenge you’ve set for yourself is exciting. You’re motivated to get going and enthusiastic about hitting your goal. But in our fast-paced and technological world, we’re used to getting instant gratification, and achieving a goal such as weight loss or better health just doesn’t come quickly. So it’s important to find ways to keep up that enthusiasm as you go and not let your motivation disappear. One of the best ways to do this is to reward yourself along the way. Make a plan to give yourself a treat after big milestones (like losing that first 10 pounds!) or for sticking faithfully to your plan for a predetermined length of time (like congratulating yourself for going 30 days strong!).
If you’re like me, when you think of rewarding yourself, food is the first thing that comes to mind. For most of us, food rewards get ingrained early in childhood. We anticipated the lollipop we received at the end of a doctor’s visit, or maybe you got a cookie from your parents after doing all your chores. As kids, our minds are trained to think of food as a reward for doing something hard — and that sticks with us, which is why so many of us resort to comfort food after a bad day of work or ice cream to soothe a broken heart. But if health and weight loss are your goals, rewarding yourself with food doesn’t make a lot of sense. So it’s time to think outside the box and find some rewards that will be truly beneficial for your mind, body, and soul.
It may be cliché to suggest pampering yourself as a form of self-reward, but it’s also highly effective. We all live busy lives and we don’t have a lot of time to indulge ourselves in fun and relaxing activities. So let your reward be to have a set amount of “you time” with absolutely no guilt! Get your nails done, go get your hair blown-out, or book a massage. Or if you’re trying to keep your reward on the frugal side — turn off your phone and binge your favorite Netflix show. Or get in your comfiest PJs and take an afternoon nap! Anything that makes you feel relaxed, self-indulgent, and peaceful will be a much-needed reward for all of the hard work you’ve put in.
Brighten Your Day
Rewards don’t have to be extravagant, expensive, or time consuming. Sometimes just a little token of self-appreciation will go a long way. Buy yourself flowers and arrange them beautifully in your kitchen. Every time you walk in the room, you will be reminded of your hard work and they’ll bring a smile to your face. Not the flowers type? Give yourself permission to skip your routine chores one weekend. A little extra R&R could be just what your body and mind need.
Keep Your Goal In Mind
If you’re working hard towards a goal, what could be better than to reward yourself with something that will make achieving that goal more fun? Buy new workout clothes so you can look forward to your next gym session. Or get a cool new kitchen gadget that gets you excited about cooking your meals at home rather than stopping at the drive thru. Rewards that make you feel good AND push you closer to crushing your goals are a major win-win!