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How do you pick rewards?


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm having trouble with rewards... They just don't mean much to me... its all just stuff that either you need (so eventually you will buy it) or you don't (so really, why buy it?). I'm trying it, 'cause SP is so adamant about it, but so far no big thing... A book I wanted I got in October, but keep thinking, hmm I wonder if I could have gotten this at the library; A new christmas sweater for meeting my thanksgiving weight loss goal... but, it just didn't bring a glow-- more of a chore. Well, there was one reward.... My spouse went with me on a hike as my reward in November for losing 10% of my total weight. He was a great about it, although a little bored. He's a forester so being out in in the woods exploring 3 miles of trail on a rainy day lacked a thrill for him. I loved it. He'll go with me as "my reward" again, but really I'd rather have a regular hiking buddy who loves it as much as I do... So how do you pick rewards?

The best idea I can come up with is to take clues from my nonexistant motivational collage... Haven't done that yet, but that's the my goal for this week... What movtivates me to do this? Maybe when I get a clear picture of my true motivation, I'll see what my rewards are/should be.

Lately I feel like I'm going thru the motions, but why? I'm tracking and exercising... but why do we do this-- all this work?
I like feeling muscles.
I like stretching sore calves and tight hamstrings.
I like reading everyone's blog and cheering.
I don't really like walking in the rain around town or even tracking all my calories -- but I do these things... why?
I like that there is less of me.
I like being strong.
I like having better balance.

I have my spouses support because he sees me committed to getting strong enough to ski again -- but really the idea of me skiing is scary. Last time I tried I couldn't turn because of a bad ankle (now more or less fixed)... but its been 15 years... scary. Will I get off the bunny hill, or will I disappoint him? Do I care? I am eager to be on that damn bunny hill. But its been so long since I've been in "the game" and I can't help but feel perhaps the expectations of a partner on his black-diamond adventures will not accept the realities of a day on the bunny hill.

So maybe I want my reward to be a return to my old life with my husband -- one of activity. But you cant bring back 20 lost years of inactivity. scary.

All this was going through my head today.... It was a "thinking day". (I seem to need "thinking days" fairly regularly, as in at least once/week). "Oh, by the way," sez DH. "I ordered you hiking boots online." (I've been trying to get something firm with serious water protection and ankle support, but I'm such a weird size, no one has anything in stock for me to try on. I was going to try again in a bigger town after christmas.) "I ordered several sizes to check the fit. We can send back what won't work. You need to get boots to get out in the woods in this weather." ?!?

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My best friend and true love understands better than I do why I'm doing this. I miss the woods. I miss being brave and exploring new trails. I joined a local hiking group that goes out once per month in all weather. DH wanted to make sure I wouldn't miss their next adventure -- He found on-line the out-of-stock boots I'd been looking for. He realized I need those NOW. Not a month from now. I always try to fit into the family schedule/budget -- expensive boots for me comes after the Cristmas bill have been paid. DH saw a different priority. Amazing how your spouse still can amaze you after 25 years together. I've always said you REALLY don't know someone until you've been married at least 15 years... he's still someone I'm getting to know. I like that.

I still will try to find "rewards". But I'm pretty content. I don't want anything. I have my DH, my home, my kids, and soon I'll have a good pair of hiking boots .... How do you pick rewards? Any suggestions. Is it REALLY that important? Thanks.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SROBERTS82 3/8/2011 10:59PM

    That's so sweet of your hubby, what a great way to be supportive. And to go hking when he thinks it's kind of boring! That's great. My hubby is supportive too, but he just doesn't love hiking like I do. I wish you were closer :) I have had to learn to enjoy hiking with my dog, and learn to enjoy being alone a bit.

I have been thinking about rewards lately. A friend is also doing rewards for her big results, and I want to think of something to do too.



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SILLYHP1953 1/20/2011 9:04AM

    What a wonderful thoughtful thing your dh did for you. I, too, have trouble with rewards, but you and your friend's comments gave me a lot to think about. I tried skiing once (at around 50 years old) and constantly fell down while in my beginners class so never even made it to the bunny slope. The teacher wouldn't let us use our ski poles, which I think would have helped me, but who knows. I have 99.9% accepted the fact that I cannot go back to my younger self even if I do lose the weight I've gained since turning 40.
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MMNICKS 12/29/2010 8:12PM

    My rewards are never tangible things. If I have a great week I reward myself with a play day with the grandkids, or a special movie night with the hubby. I pick rewards way in advance and then get excited as I get close to being able to do the thing I planned!!!

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MUEHLBBO 12/29/2010 7:51PM

    I think all the ideas offered are great ideas, and I agree with you that sometimes we reward ourselves with things that maybe we would have gotten anyway. I love what your husband did and that in itself is a great reward. Because I'm like you and don't really need things, I'm rewarding myself by helping others. For every pound I lose, I buy one pound of food that I can donate to a food pantry. I donated 40 pounds at Thanksgiving and am now putting more aside. My big reward hopefully will come someday when I have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Good luck to you and Happy New Year.

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REALLYHOPIN 12/29/2010 1:31PM

    I used to think a lot like you... and my weight would go up and down and up and up and down and up... and I would dread doing the right nutrition and exercise routines... and because I dreaded the healthy things I would avoid them and my weight would go up...

On December 1 of this year, one of my teams put out a monthly water challenge. I decided I NEEDED to do SOMETHING and that maybe joining this challenge would be the thing to get me rolling. I decided that I would give myself a new bubble bath at the end of each week that I successfully drank 64 ounces of water each day. The first week I was successful. Off to walmart I went and bought my $4 bottle of bubble bath. I took the time to actually take the bath and enjoyed it. It was time for me. Time to think. Time to relax.

So the next week I decided I would add 20 minutes of exercise every other day to my challenge... and again at the end of that week I met with success...

Now I've completed four successful weeks, each week adding new challenges to the old ones and all the while creating new habits that are foundations of a healthy lifestyle.

I found that by focussing on a reward at the end of the week, it changed my outlook and therefore my motivation.

Before I would think how I'm fat and ugly and feel like crap and food is the only thing that easily makes me feel good, even if just for a little while, it's still yummy and I enjoy it. I deserve the goodies. I am worthy of some sort of enjoyment in life (even if it is bad for me). Exercise is a pain. I don't want to do it. If I have to do it, I'll hate it, but I'll still do it... and then I didn't...

Now... my mindset is such that I know that as long as I do these challenges, I am going to take the time to reward myself. I deserve my reward (my bubble bath). I'm being good to myself, TRULY GOOD TO MYSELF. These habits that I'm forming are going to help me along the way. I look forward to meeting my goals. While I still don't look forward to eating my veggies, I do it so that I can honestly meet my goals. It's not so much for the bubble bath now, but it is for ME. And while the activities are all the same as they were before, my attitude about doing them is all new and improved.

So... whatever you choose as a reward, make sure it is something for YOU. A gift you can give to yourself for being good to yourself. Maybe it's time in a bubble bath. Maybe it's a manicure. Maybe it's a new shade of fingernail polish or makeup. Maybe taking the time to go to the salon and let them just wash your hair (I always loved how it feels to have someone else wash my hair).... just something that's for you... maybe a new song... maybe a new candle... maybe a new air freshener... new hand lotion... a new kitchen gadget (I love my Ninja food processor)... a new pen... new paint for your bedroom... a new houseplant... some of the better dark chocolates that tend to be a little more $ than you'd normally spend and aren't bad for us in moderation...

the reward in the long run will be that you'll build good habits to last a lifetime...

Be good to yourself...

~ Barbara

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NEELIXNKES 12/29/2010 10:39AM

    I'm not rewarding myself as much as I should be but my rewards of choice are not items but events. Like getting the much needed manicure but I don't like to spend the money on it so it is one of my rewards. When I break into Onderland I am going horseback riding because I miss doing that. When I finally reach my wedding weight again... I should have already been there, we are getting a formal portrait taken as we haven't had one done since our wedding 10 years ago. The little things are just extra clutter to me but this are things that are nice events and the big ones will create memories.

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MEMARE 12/29/2010 8:25AM

    What a sweet DH you have there! I think your DH would take a week of days on the bunny hill with you if it was necessary.

I'm pretty much the same as far as rewards... and felt the same way you do at the beginning of my SP journey- confused about the focus on rewarding myself. If I need something I get it. I'm not frivolous when it comes to things either, I can be very practical. I don’t ‘get’ the rewards of manicures-pedicures –I’d rather save the money and do it myself. I’m that way about many things.

My rewards are the satisfaction that I’ve done the deed, accomplished the goal. Everyone is different; some need the physical presence of a ‘token’, others just need the satisfaction from the knowledge/skill gained.

I like your idea of returning to the ‘good old days’ with your DH – you can attain that. 20 years of inactivity can be reversed, it won’t happen overnight but you can do it. I applaud you on eyeing this as a reward. I think I may join you! I want my relationship to be a more active one with my DH; it seems after 27 years we’ve gotten lukewarm and I want to reignite our own spark to become the best friends we used to be.
Thank you for this very insightful blog.
I think 2011 is going to be a good year.


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SEAWAVE 12/29/2010 7:32AM

    I'm the same way about rewards: most seem frivolous and just more clutter to me. One thing I do want is to get out in the woods more when Spring comes, and sometimes I get plants as rewards or gifts (e.g. I got a tree for Mother's Day). The other thing that may work for me is the challenge of SparkStreaks. I think trying to keep the streak going may fit my personality (I'm rather new at this, so I'm not sure...). I've seen some people buy a song on I-Tunes (if you have an I-Pod) as a weekly reward. Cheap, and goes towards enhancing exercise. Maybe something like that would work for you?


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DAV128 12/29/2010 3:36AM

    About those rewards - Maybe just acknowledging your own JOB WELL DONE is it's own reward!

Good Job - emoticon

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