Lets be honest, working towards a reward is fun. Sometimes our ultimate reward of losing weight and feeling good is a far way off, so adding in small incentives can be a great way help to boost your motivation.
It’s important to predetermine your rewards though. Simply saying, “I’ve been working hard, I deserve to have [whatever is in front of you right then that you want]” can lead to you continuously making justifications for why you should reward yourself. Set up a system, and try to limit other treats for the time frame of your reward system. Limiting other treats will make you look forward to your rewards more, making you work harder for them.
The first thing you need to decide is what you’ll be rewarded for. Here are just some ideas:
- Completed all scheduled workouts for that week
- Stayed on track with your healthy eating all week
- Dropped a dress size
- Dropped a predetermined amount of weight (5lbs, 10lbs, etc)
- Trained for and competed in an event (a marathon, Tough Mudder, etc)
- Met your step goal, or calories burned goal everyday that week
Next you need to determine what your reward should be. Try to stay away from food rewards, you’ll just be setting yourself back and sabotaging your hard work. Here’s some ideas of non-food rewards:
- A new dress or outfit
- A massage or pedicure
- A day at the beach
- A night at the movies
- A new piece of workout clothing, or new running shoes
- A new tattoo
- A new bathing suit
You can even get crafty and make something to visualize your progress and how close you are to your next reward, or team up with a friend and determine milestones and rewards for each other for some extra surprise.
Make sure the rewards you set will be something you’ll really look forward to. This will drive you to work hard to meet and earn your rewards!