If I keep within my calorie count, I give myself a small reward after posting all my food for the day. I have 30 sugar-free chocolate covered peanuts in a little box I made in my first pottery class (1 for each day of the month). If I've stayed within my calorie range I reward myself with a single peanut. The feeling that I've earned it seems to make it taste wonderful AND I'm proud to watch the pile go down.
The real power that drives motivation is the "reward" at the end. So if you are working out and not enjoying it, be aware of that and find an activity that makes you smile and you look forward to. Give yourself little goodies for your hard work.
Pick 4 days at random from the whole year. Place a sticker on each of those days. Those are the days you will do something JUST FOR YOU! Read a special book, try that tea you've been saving, do nothing as you sit on the patio, try that hot yoga class, go for coffee with someone, pedicure. You don't have to spend money, but spend the time doing something for you.
When I started on my journey to lose unwanted and health destroying "retirement weight" I had accumulated, I decided to do it right and enlist some help to "get 'er done"! With a gym membership and a great physical trainer I began to see tiny, yet positive, changes in my body shape and strength. Those were the rewards that I would celebrate! ...no matter how tiny they seemed. Reward came from within and I did not depend on others to validate my progress. Decisions at the journey's start...
I really enjoy shopping, but have been trying to be more realistic with what I'm buying. So, when I get to the register, I re-evaluate and put back the extra shirt or accessory that I only sort-of liked. As a reward, I take whatever the cost of the item was that I put back and put that into a little jar for vacation. I know I'll be thankful for putting back an over-priced shirt when I'm sitting on the beach during Spring Break!
At the risk of sounding disgusting: I'm a late-night exerciser, and it's been common for me to come home after working out and just towel off without showering, and then go to bed. (I'm single, I live alone...who'd know?) However, in this summer heat, I realized that it feels so delicious to come home after exercise and jump in a cool shower! It's like hitting the swimming pool! So now that's one of my rewards after the gym - very motivating! (And much more hygienic.)
So many people struggle with having any TIME. Myself included. Working long hours, cooking/cleaning, actually getting sleep, struggling with fitting in exercise... So, my reward and my motivation is... TIME!
I don't really remember where i heard of this, but if you behave five days out of the week and indulge more on the weekends, it reduces cravings and spikes metabolism. Also, it's a nifty reward for behaving five days out of the week!!
I have found that letting others know (in life, on Facebook, etc.) has helped me stay motivated. People know I am trying to lose weight so I'm not going to want to go back on my goal! They also congratulate me which is a great reward when I post that I have lost more weight or can't find clothing that fits!
Find something you LOVE! Something you know you look forward to, that's not an everyday kinda thing... Reward yourself with that!
"Eating junk food is not a reward - it's a punishment!"
I weigh exactly 10 grams of Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips (20-22 pieces) as a little reward after dinner. I place only one in my mouth at a time & let it melt (no chewing allowed.) It sometimes takes 20 min. to eat them all. Dark chocolate is supposed to be good for the heart, too.
I reward myself weekly. On Sundays I allow myself to get a cup of ice cream and a burger (on wheat, not a bun) and I'll buy a new music video or a couple of songs for the next weeks workout. It keeps me wanting to go to the gym to work out.
At the beginning of the week, I put $10 in a glass vase in my bathroom counter. I keep it if I exercise 5 times a week; each session must last at least 45 minutes and make me break a sweat. If I don't make my goal, I lose money: I only get to keep $1 for each workout during the week.
In order to save a little extra money, I check the serial number $1 bills I receive. If they begin with the first letter of my name(for example, mine is A) I tuck them away and it makes a great rainy day, reward or travel fund.
Drinking enough water has always been a challenge for me. So, now I give myself an incentive. My daily rule is no diet soda, tea or flavored beverage until after I have my 64 ozs of water for the day. After I have consumed my 64 ozs of water, I can have any non-caloried beverage I want.