Throughout the research we can read about the fact that rewarding yourself after you reach an important milestone or achieve a goal, is important. Because having something to look forward to makes you go forward, right?
So true! And so often misinterpreted!
I mean, how often have you been taking steps towards your preferred direction, but then telling yourself that it’s not enough and that you should have done more? And therefore, not rewarding yourself of the progress? Of the work you have already done?
There seems to be this unspoken, yet still existing rule, that reward only comes after we’ve done something really b i g.
But the big things always come together from the small stuff. The big leaps are the sum of the small steps we’ve taken along the way. As they add up, it seems like one big leap. In reality, it’s just a point in time, when all finally comes together.
“The purpose behind reward is to teach your brain to link pleasure with taking steps towards the wanted direction.”
The purpose behind reward is to teach your brain to link pleasure with taking steps towards the wanted direction, no matter how small steps they are. Actually, the smaller the steps, the better. As long as you reward yourself for them.
By rewarding ourselves already for the small steps, we start to build success on success. And doesn’t that journey sound much more compelling than the one with disappointment after disappointment?
Thinking that we only deserve to reward ourselves after we’ve achieved the actual goal, makes for a very miserable journey. One, after which, the goal in itself turns, most likely, out to be a disappointment. It’s hard to suddenly enjoy, when the whole journey has been about misery.
I know, I’m exaggerating. But, you got the point, right?
For example, few weeks ago I mentioned that we got an important quotation done with one of my dearest colleagues. Each time we were working on the quotation, we rewarded ourselves by verbally championing each other. It made the process so much more enjoyable. We also celebrated when it was done and sent. And blessed it with love on its way to serve the highest good of all concerned. It was a beautiful journey that was most pleasurable and rewarding already in itself.
Guess what? On April’s fool day we found out that it was accepted and we start the project this month. Yes! We are celebrating again! Yet, this is just another milestone on the way to the final goal. Which is about the wellbeing of our fellow entrepreneurs.
What I am sure of, though, is that this journey is going to be a happy one, even though we’re sure to face challenging parts, too. Why do I know this?
We designed it to build on a small success after another. Not just for us, as the coaches, but for those who participate, too.
It’s so vital to design your journey in making your dreams and goals come true, in a way, that you are able to continuously build upon your success. A.k.a. dividing it into small, actionable items, and rewarding yourself after completing even the smallest item – of showing up for your dreams and goals.
Also, remember to design your rewards so that they take you towards your preferred direction, and not away from it, and you’ve got a secret formula.
For inspiration, here’s my list of 10 fun and simple ways to reward yourself. What’s in your list?
- Do a fun activity with your loved ones
- Go for a nature walk
- Listen to your favorite music (and sing along)
- Go for a picnic
- Listen to an awesome podcast
- Throw a party or plan a night out with your friends
- Go star gazing
- Try a new (healthy) recipe (or go with the old time favorite)
- Take a long bath or shower
- Change clean sheets on your bed
To sum up, if we only celebrate the big leaps and allow rewards only then, we miss a lot during the actual journey. And no shitty journey has a happy ending. A happy journey has a happy ending.