When you’re running a business, or trying to make a lifestyle change (possibly to live and work in a more sustainable way), it can be difficult to keep going even when, on paper, you have all the ‘right’ reasons and motivation to do so - which is why rewarding yourself for achieving goals is so important.
However, it can be difficult to know how to reward yourself for accomplishing goals; it doesn’t have to be a trophy or an award ceremony (though if you have the resources to do so - why not!), nor does it have to be reserved for only the ‘big’ tasks you have on your to-do list.
Rewarding yourself in simple ways for small accomplishments can take a variety of different forms (which we’ll get into very shortly).
Rewards and actions are closely related; everybody performs an action expecting a reward. This can be as simple as performing the action of getting in the car and driving, with the ‘reward’ of arriving at your destination.
But when we’re stuck in the middle of what can seem like an endless list of tasks, it’s easy to feel like you’re in an endless cycle of actions with no rewards. And this isn’t just bad for you personally, it’s bad for business.
With the lack of motivation that this type of cycle brings, productivity will inevitably dip too. However, if you put a personal reward system in place, you’ll find the reason(s) to keep going. What’s even better about this is that even the smallest of rewards can get you motivated to do more.
The reason for this is that every time you receive a reward, your body releases dopamine which creates a sense of pleasure. This in turn will increase productivity and motivation. As such, you can use this to your advantage by giving yourself small rewards as you work towards a bigger goal.
When you are on a journey to realise your goals as a business owner / leader there is more often than not no external entity there to recognize all of your hard work. You might have spent the whole week tied to your desk, replying to every email, barely sleeping and exhausted - but only you’ll know how hard you have worked for it.
Which brings us back to why rewarding yourself for achieving goals is so important; YOU are the only person who can reward yourself for your work. YOU are the only person who can motivate yourself to keep going.
So for the benefit of your health, sanity, and your business - don’t miss out on the opportunity to reward yourself!
Below are just a few ways we like to reward ourselves for hitting targets, reaching goals, clearing our inbox, and more. Remember though, the reward must make you happy. Missing the reward must make you feel the pinch for this to really work!
- Make a cup of tea / coffee
- Go for a walk
- Take a long lunch
- Play your favourite song, at full volume, from start to finish
- Treat yourself to a takeaway tonight
- Pick up that dessert you love
- Take that product out of the ‘wishlist’ and through the checkout
- Buy a ticket to that show you’ve wanted to go to
- Finish work early (logging off even 15 minutes earlier is still a reward!)
- Read a chapter of the book
- Book a table at your favourite restaurant (for tonight, tomorrow, or two months away - either way it’s a treat to look forward to!)
- Have a bath (bubbles, candles, the works - make your home a spa!)
- Catch up on the episode of your favourite TV show that you missed last night
- Turn your phone off for the evening
- Make a cocktail at home
- Watch the sunset (or sunrise)
- Make the fanciest lunch / dinner you can
- Do a workout
- Call your friend for a catch up
- Buy some flowers
TIPS FOR PICKING A REWARD
- Don’t pick a reward that negates what you’ve just achieved. For example, if you’ve just cleared your inbox, don’t sign up to more newsletters (no matter how enticing).
- If you can, pick a reward that relates to what you’ve just done. For example, you’ve finally got off of back-to-back Zoom calls, so treat yourself to a good thirty minutes away from the screen.
- Pick something that truly motivates you;. if you are actually looking forward to something then it will motivate you to complete the job that much quicker.
- Create rewards that are on the same level as your tasks. ie: small rewards for small tasks, and large rewards for large tasks.
Remember - if you hit a target, or achieve even the smallest of goals, you deserve that reward. It’s good for you, and it’s good for business.