One of the ways we motivate ourselves to achieve our Goals is to give ourselves rewards for Success along the way. When we reach a milestone Goal, overcome a particularly difficult obstacle or finish the work of achieving the Goal itself, it’s a great idea to build in a reward for these achievements. Why do that? Isn’t the Goal itself the reward? Isn’t the journey the important thing, not the destination? You can certainly view things that way. Those are all true in part or as a whole, but they don’t always keep us motivated.
Achieving all the Goals we put into our Vision Statement is going to be a long process. Some Goals come more quickly than others. Some just take a really long time to fully complete. It’s natural to get discouraged, especially when that achievement of the Goal is in the far future. To stay motivated and to stay on track to build the Success your Vision represents, it’s just a good idea to have some small reward along the way. These rewards should be for a true Success, not just because you feel the need to treat yourself. For the motivation to truly work, the reward must be tied to the actual achievement of some step, process or milestone along the way. Just treating yourself because you feel like it is going to have the opposite effect.
If I really want to buy something, but it’s not a necessity, that would be a good reward. We don’t reward ourselves with the things we need or would be doing or getting anyway. For instance, if I really want to get a new smartwatch, that’s not a necessity. It would be a really nice tool to help me keep on track with my weight loss Goals though. I can tie the purchase of the watch to some milestone Goal in my plan. If I get up early and exercise every day for a month, that would be a great Success in itself. That would worthy of a reward, especially one that would help me keep going towards my ultimate weight Goal.
Not all rewards have to be tied to the larger Goal you’ve set, or even any of our Goals. They do have to support or at least not work against those Goals. If I’m going to lose 80 pounds, I shouldn’t make a trip to Dairy Queen one of my rewards. That’s counter-productive physically and mentally. Physically it adds hundreds of unnecessary, bad calories and sugars to my body. How much more do you have to exercise to work off a large Salted Caramel Truffle Blizzard anyway? Mentally it tells you that your diet and exercise is all so you can eat things you shouldn’t eat anyway, at least not when you’re working to lose weight anyway. Neither one of these is a good thing.
Rewards can be a great motivator when used correctly, and not too often. If we get a reward for every little thing, then it’s harder to tie it to the Goal itself. The rewards seem more like a regular part of life. Plan for them. Tie them to your Goals. Make them productive, or at least not counter-productive. You’ll have that much more to look forward to on your Success Journey.