Friday, January 25, 2013
Hello sparkpeople!! I need help determining some ideas for non-monetary rewards that I can give myself for meeting my goals!
I've been reading a lot about the neurology behind habits (making good ones and breaking bad ones) and I have determined that my plan lacks "small, tangible rewards" For example, the books I've been reading suggest that, "If you make a goal to stick to a budget, and you do, then rewards yourself in a small way, if you meet your goal. For instance, have a glass of wine after you asses your budget for the week"
The author suggests that the reason we often find it difficult to stick to a budget (monetary or caloric) because these goals don't have short term payoff. For example, I swore off my $4/day latte habit, because I could see it was adding up to lots of cash and calories! However, the latte provides a short term reward (caffeine/sugar rush) where as the $4 and 400 calories I saved, provide a long term reward (saving money / eating healthy) It may be a month before I feel healthier or a year before I take that vacation. There lies the problem. I need a small way to reward myself, now!
How do I reward myself in a way that doesn't involve spending money or eating/drinking rich indulgences? I like the idea of a glass of wine, but I don't like wine. I don't drink and even a glass of wine gives me an awful headache. However, I LOVE the idea. It's a very small way of patting yourself on the back and having tangible evidence you did something good. I think of it as the "gold star" effect. So, I need to translate this into rewards that apply to my situation.
I had considered actual "gold stars" literally keeping a kindergarten-inspired calendar and putting a gold star on it every day I meet my goals and frown-y faces for bad days! (lol)
I also considered a small square of dark chocolate or a scoop of fro-yo (however, this is still food....)
I love to have my nails done and considered giving myself a manicure, but that's too much like work on most days (I keep an insanely busy schedule.... even manicures have lost their fun & having it done professionally is too costly!)
I considered a "guilt-free" movie night with my fiance, where we put on netflix and switch off our phones and laptops and watch a nice movie (but let's be honest, I can't sit still for 120 minutes!)
I don't have children, so family rewards are out.
Then I considered the idea of very SMALL monetary rewards (example, $1 splurge on a burrito... but then, that is both food and money... might as well have my latte!)
I also considered the "dollar in the pot" game, where every time I meet a goal, I put a dollar in a pot, which is "free money" that isn't included in my budget and can be spent any way I choose. Then I realized, I need every dollar in my budget and even a few dollars a week can make a difference on a tight budget....
I'm really struggling with this! Help! I can't figure out how to congratulate myself without spending money or eating something!
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!! :)