Is It Time For A Reward?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
We are several weeks into the New Year. For many people that also means several weeks into new goals and resolutions. I hope you are doing well with your healthy living goals and finding success without being overwhelmed. Now is a great time to take a quick inventory of the positive steps you have made.

Have you begun using my tip for healthier eating and selecting items with the shortest ingredient list? How are you doing with the tip to take control of mindless eating? Are you beginning to make conscious choices about what you eat and drink? Have you begun to monitor more than just your weight? Are you making positive steps forward in your short term health and fitness goals?

It is far too easy to overlook or minimize our achievements and only focus on mistakes or shortcomings. This behavior quickly lessens our motivation and can cause us to give up on our quest for healthier living and reaching attainable goals. One way to focus less on the areas that still need work and shining the spotlight on where you have seen achievements is by rewarding yourself.

Public praise and notice of our weight loss accomplishments can be encouraging. Unfortunately, when that encouragement is missing it can cause us to lose our motivation. Learning to be your own best cheerleader can help you maintain your focus on your goals and keep you moving toward them. Rewards are one way to cheer yourself on to success.

Small daily rewards can be very helpful to stay focused on making positive daily choices. For instance, I reward myself with my morning coffee after I have consumed three cups of water. I don't treat myself to a diet soda until all my water intake goal has been met for the day. These little daily rewards keep me motivated to meet my daily water goals, which can sometimes be a struggle. You might treat yourself to a bubble bath, reading time or watching your favorite television show at the end of the day when you have met all your daily goals. Pick any small daily reward that will motivate you to meet your daily goals. Be sure you are willing to forgo the treat if you don't meet your goal. Missing your reward today will motivate you to meet your goal tomorrow. You can also use small rewards like movies, song downloads or new books for goals such as meeting nutrient intake or exercise goals for an entire week. Bigger rewards such as clothes, trips, or jewelry are great for larger goal accomplishments such as reaching your weight loss goal or completing your first race.

Healthy habits come from repetition. Rewards provide motivation to keep going and help reinforce consistency. You can reward yourself with anything that helps you continue making positive lifestyle choices. Whether you treat yourself to a new song download or a massage at the end of a successful week or a trip for reaching your weight loss goal, rewards provide self-motivation. Be sure the rewards you select and build into your plan are meaningful and motivating to you. Be careful not to focus too much on monetary rewards. Focusing on small opportunities to pamper yourself can be the best treats in the world especially when you have earned it.

What rewards do you use to motivate yourself to success?

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TURQUROISE 8/17/2020
Thanks for the idea Report
VHAYES04 7/24/2020
Ty Report
SURFIE 1/23/2020
I like to reward myself with things or experiences that help further my goals - better earbuds for listening to music while I exercise, new running shoes, a massage therapy appointment, etc. I haven't bought the shoes yet, but they're on the list. :D Report
ROBBIEY 1/19/2020
Good ideas Report
Shopping but I use the thrift stores. You can find some very good items there. Report
I don't believe I take care of myself the way I see other ladies take care of themselves but a change is coming..... Report
I like to have a snack type reward like everybody else but since joining SP my choices vary depending on type of day & my mood. Thx SP!!! Report
Massages twice a month Report
thank you Report
Rewards I think keep us going. Give us something to look forward to . To motivate us!!! Report
I find rewards that enhance your inner and outer beauty are just as satisfying as my favorite cheeseburger & fries..... Report
Spas are a great way to reward yourself and sometimes, I'll just go in the sauna as that relaxes me, loosens me up and helps the soreness in my muscles, yeah! Report
Really haven't thought about what kind of rewards I would give myself. Report
I do not reward myself but maybe it is time to start. Report
I started looking for ways I love myself more and some of the rewards I give myself are: osteopath every 8 weeks; massage, spa & steam at the YMCA every week or so, face or hair ( haven't done in ages).
I also get health check ups at the doctors.
After a race I love to buy some active clothing! Report
It's a good idea, and this blog was helpful to me. But isn't using food and beverages for a reward a slippery slope to get stared on? For one thing, it sets your mind up to think of these things are more desirable, and more rewarding, and for another, I mean jeez, the whole point is to get healthier not to just get thinner, so using something like soda for a reward seems counter productive.

I liked the idea of fresh flowers or a relaxing bubble bath though, cause how often do we take time and money to do that sort of thing for ourselves? Report
Well, I guess, I am not the only one who does not reward themselves. I too, did not grow up with given rewards, I was told you did a great job, but I can't remember something specifically given too me. I am going to start rewarding myself to. My ideal is write down as many reward ideas as I can find, and place them inside a box and when I reach a goal I will draw one out at random and that is what I will reward myself with an added SURPRISE! Report
I bought fresh flowers, I'm enjoying their beauty and life, and they are a reminder to savor the moment.
Thanks, SparkPeople, for my new energy. Report
I rewarded myself for working hard at the gym with a polar watch that keeps track of heart rate & calories burned. No more food rewards for me. Report
Rewards instill a positive mindset. If my exercising for the week has gone well, my caloric goals were met...I reward myself. I make this a time to stop and weigh myself, try on clothing that hasn't fit for awhile or even just relax and watch a movie I have never seen. Report
Reward would be doing something with grandkids, or watching movie or listening to book on CD from local library.
I get massages, pedicures, etc. I have had the hot stone massage, (rayki, can't spell it), and really like it, it is very relaxing. These things are perfect gifts for me. Report
I ask my family to give me massage gift certificates for birthdays, Christmas, etc., and then save them up to use for rewards. Report
"rewards" are probably the worst thing for me to do as part of my recovery.

I think it comes from being a kid -- and never being praised -- and grew up with more incentive not to do bad --- due to punishment or grounding -- instead of rewards for good --- that in itself should be incentive enough to help me reward myself more. Report
Thanks for the reminder. I tend to forget to reward myself when I do well! Report
The only daily reward I use is to see my nutrition tracker where it should be or as close as possible. For me that is the best reward for my effort well done.
When I want to dine with others. I exercise choices and portion control and when the tracker tells me EXACTLY what I ate I am rewarded with having had the pleasure of a good meal and good company. Then back to the daily way. I love SP living. Pat in Maine. Report
I read Judith Beck, PhD's "The BECK Diet Solution" so I give myself credit everyday, so I don't have to have physical rewards. We have a Spark Team here for support. Report
Good article - I think it does a good job of stating that we need to building in small rewards to keep up motivation and to give ideas that it doesn't have to be centered around food. Report
It's difficult to find appropriate awards though. I don't want to reward myself with food for successfully maintaining good eating habits. So what other "little" treats can I use for small successes? A five-minute break or something like that, maybe. Report
I have been working very hard this week. I am keeping both my husband and myself on track with our nutrition goals. This is also my second week back at work after being out on injury for six months. 50 hours logged this week and I still recognize my children! So with that being said... I am scheduled for a massage Saturday morning! Woo-hooo!! Report
I like this article. I have not built in a reward system for myself yet. I guess I really need to think about this. Report
nice article. I try each day I am on my treadmill to give myself around of applause for job well done when I get off that thing. Positive praise is also important. I also agree with rewards too. I never use food as that is what got me overweight to begin with. And I have been thinking about something special for myself as I have been working hard on workouts. Report
My reward this week will be a nice new kitchen scale. Isn't it funny what we get excited about. Report
I plan on rewarding myself by getting my hair done as soon as I get a job! It's (another) driving force to keep me searching and applying Report
I reward myself all the time. Maybe have my hair done, lunch with a friend, a small trinket, like new earrings etc. Next reward will be a massage, the most wonderful treat there is. Report
I go snow shoeing in the Wallis for a weekend with my loved one. It's booked (incl bed and breakfast) and what will I get there: fresh air and more exercise! :)

I occasionaly buy sports gear on sale, which then motivates me to do more. Or I get a new fitness DVD. Report
I was reading some of the comments and walk to the thank the person that commented on Netflix workouts. I just checked it out and am so excited. I didn't realize they had them. Yahoo! Report
I think this is great advice. I have only believed that I am due a reward for meeting my overall goal. I think a daily reward like a bubble bath would definitely be something to look forward to! It also would help to reduce my overall stress which then helps my diet. It's a win-win! Thank you! Report
I will start looking for ways to reward myself for the good I
do. I will look to reward myself with a manicure or pedicure when I rea h my shot Report
The best reward I can receive from all of this hard work and dedication is the feeling of health. Weightloss is just the gravy for me now. I AM paying attention to what I eat, not limiting anything just quantity. I am a person that can't cut anything out or I binge eat! For the first time in my ................. well for as long as I can remember I am now in control to do and eat and drink what I want. The second most valuable reward is being able to keep up with my EXTREMELY energetic son who is going to HAVE to be kept busy outside when spring hits! The third reward is being a leader not only for my family but for my teenaged daughter as well. Being a good influence in making healthy food choices, teaching her she how to be responsible when treating herself with food and teaching her how not to let it control her or take her over! Fourth being a good healthy influence on my husband ..................God love him but he has diabetes and has an even harder time than I do with food the pore soul. Hopefully what I do will rub off! I love that man! We all need to do what we can to ensure the healthy lives of ourselves and be a positive leader to those who need one! God Bless Each and Every One of Us!
Lisa Report
My main goal is to be healthy enough to play with my five grandchildren. And of coarse the look on my husbands face when I'm toned up and looking darn good! Report
great thanks Report
I loved this because it is soooo easy to say "well, i lost but i didn't have perfect week... I ate ______ or missed one workout....
I love it. Thank you. Report
Great article. I especially like the part about drinking more water and not allowing yourself to drink pop until you've completed your water intake for the day. Great idea I am going to use it.

Looking for suggestions on music to listen to when I work out. My resolution for 2011 is to find more high energy music than the normal Top 40 stuff. While searching for music I found this video, its pretty funny and the song gets me moving. Wait until the end for a url to get the song for free:

Music suggestions welcome. Any songs you can’t go to the gym without?
He doesn't know it yet... but a nice relaxing massage from the boyfriend is all I ask!!! :) makes me feel sexy afterwards too!!! Haha! Report
If I meet my goals this week, I will treat myself to a manicure! Report
Main reward is the daily ease of sliding into a pair of once too snuggly fitting jeans!!!! Second reward is a new pair of NB running shoes (approaching max mileage on current pair). Bigger reward will occur this upcoming summer --- no jiggling in my bathing suit!!! Report
I reward myself with a big glass of sweet iced tea when I meet my daily goals, but weekly my reward comes when I step on the scale and I can truely be proud of the pounds God has helped me loose! Report
Facial or a clothing item Report