How to Reward Yourself Properly

define my day focus goals personal development tactics Jul 30, 2021

The other day, I wrote about the "first things first" mentality that I try to keep in order to make sure I spend my energy on what matters.

There's another component of this that I want to point out.

We can't reap the rewards of our efforts before actually doing the work.

"No rewards before work!"

That's a phrase I keep in mind when I find myself indulging in something I didn't earn.

Many times we think about doing the work. We intend to do it. And, based on that intention, we reward ourselves for something we haven't yet accomplished. Once we get the reward, we're less inclined to actually do the work required of us.

That's just not good for us. It leads to some bad habits like procrastination, dreaming more than doing, and often leads us to developing a habit of basing our success on our intentions rather than actual results.

That's not going to lead to a good place in the end.

When you feel yourself skipping the work and going straight to the reward, stop! Make a deal with yourself - "When I finish this, then I get to do this."

This is how I use the "Today I get to enjoy" section of Define My Day. 

"Today I get to enjoy..." 

  • a snack if I eat according to my meal plan
  • a beer after completing Priority #2
  • a movie if I complete all of my priorities
  • a Ferrari if I meet my sales goals. (good for you!)

This doesn't mean that you need to punish yourself if you don't meet your goals. As with anything we do, we also need to practice compassion.

Grow your ability to balance motivation and compassion, ensuring you maintain continuous positive momentum and you will change your life.