Why it is always important to reward yourself?

Rewards are important

Ok. I hope you smiled with the thought of a reward. (…I did). But, go back to that moment and I wonder…

What do you think of when you hear the word “reward”?

How do you reward yourself?
Do you reward yourself?

As humans, rewards are very important for numerous reasons, including:

  1. They motivate us
  2. They acknowledge positives
  3. They make us feel worthy

So it’s understandable why you may have smiled with just the thought.

However, knowing why rewards are important doesn’t mean that we do it very often, or maybe as often as we could. A lack of reward may then make us feel that we aren’t worthy – or that we haven’t done a good job when we’ve tried really hard at something. So time to change that. Note to self: REWARD, REWARD, REWARD.

But the other BIG issue around rewards is our choice, in term of WHAT we choose and WHEN we get it.

Choose a realistic reward

A reward needs to be accessible to us, and in a timely manner. Rewards need to be realistic and if we are trying to help increase our motivation a reward that is too far in the future may make the incentive to do something rather low. Which therefore creates a “flat-line” in our level of motivation. Chance of making change and receiving the reward = Zero

I wonder if when you identified your reward earlier, if it was a food? This is one of the most common rewards and is tricky because it is in abundance and we can get it almost instantly! But herein lies the challenge, if your ONLY way to reward yourself is food – this is going to hinder your ability to maintain your health goals. I’m not saying that you can’t choose to go out for dinner during the week with your friends as a reward, but if it is something like chips, chocolate or cheese etc. then our risk is high to overindulge at home typically increasing our blood sugar and weight.

Therefore, rewards that are going to be better for you will be those other than food. So if you need to change your reward or are struggling to identify what a good reward could be for you take a look at the list below and pick something that will help you to feel great inside and out!

List of possible rewards:

  • Go to a show/concert/theme park or zoo
  • Watch your favourite TV series or movie
  • Have some time out
  • Have a sleep in
  • Plan a catch up with friends
  • Play a board game
  • Get a massage, facial, manicure or pedicure
  • Call a friend or loved one
  • Do nothing
  • Do mindfulness meditation
  • Get out in the garden
  • Take a long shower or bath
  • Light some candles
  • Have a day off work
  • Read a book
  • Buy a new piece of clothing
  • Go somewhere you’ve never been before
  • Book a Personal Trainer session
  • Sign up for a Yoga or Pilates class
  • Do some craft
  • Play a videogame
  • Buy a magazine
  • Go for a swim/ride a wave
  • Watch the sun rise or set
  • Redecorate your place
  • Plan a holiday
  • Take a nap
  • Take the time to help someone else
  • Sit in the sun (with sunscreen on of course!)
  • Go fishing

If you have been working hard at achieving a goal, you deserve to reward yourself! Immediate rewards have been shown to help you achieve long-term goals (Immediate Rewards Predict Adherence to Long-Term Goals).

Remember that rewards help to MAKE a positive behaviour change AND help to MAINTAIN IT. You deserve to be rewarded… ENJOY!

Please see the following articles for more information: