I use rewards a lot, both for myself and also for my daughter. I can't tell you which rewards will work for you, only you know that, but I'll suggest some things you could consider.
But first I want to say that there are two types of rewards that should go hand in hand in the long run. The one type are extrinsic rewards, the kind that have nothing to do with the behavior that you are trying to reinforce. An example would be to treat yourself to a hot bath after a long workout. The other type is an intrinsic reward where the activity/behavior itself becomes rewarding. For example after a while of doing a certain type of exercise it might become easier and so much fun to do that you feel like doing it. These are the best rewards in the long run and it's always worth looking for them.
For me this might be certain healthy foods that I really enjoy or a sport that I love.
There is also the distinction you made between short-term rewards (daily or even immediate), medium-term rewards (end of the week) and long-term rewards (reaching a goal or finishing a project).
The reason I said I can't tell you which rewards to pick is that the whole point about it is that YOU enjoy it. For instance I could not care less about spark points and never spin the spark wheel, but for many people this is important and represents success or makes them feel good. Take some time to think about what makes you feel good. Is it being with friends, writing a blog, taking the dog for a walk, enjoying nature, spending some time with a hobby, simply sitting down quietly and thinking about your day...
For the medium-term rewards I start looking more for intrinsic rewards already. Maybe you have discovered a treat that is more expensive or time-consuming to make but fits in your healthy eating plan and you take the time to make it on the weekend.
For long-term rewards my focus shifts even more to intrinsic rewards to the point where extrinsic rewards become meaningless:
The great feeling of being healthy, knowing that I have done all I can to be strong and having a body that is functioning at it's best or close, being able to encourage others around me towards a healthier lifestyle by setting an example...
Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 2/22/2013 (23:34)
You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.
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