Negative Reinforcement

Last week I wrote about Positive Reinforcement to help you achieve your goals, but this week let’s talk about the other end of the scale, Negative Reinforcement.

As I’m sure you’re aware, Negative Reinforcement is the concept of punishment for bad behavior, and sometimes we need to be held accountable for our actions when Positive Reinforcement just isn’t doing the trick.

You should set your rules and punishments ahead of time, knowing what you’ll be punished for, and what that punishment will be, will hopefully deter you from breaking your promises to yourself.

First decide what you’ll be punished for. Here are some examples:

  • You missed a workout
  • You didn’t meet your step goal or calories burned goal for the week
  • You didn’t stick to your nutrition plan
Image from

Next you need to decide what your punishment will be. These can be basic, or you can get creative to really deter you from breaking your rules:

  • Donate a predetermined amount of money to an organisation that doesn’t align with your values – like to a religion you don’t follow
  • Complete someone else’s chores for the week
  • Get gross and replace the protein in one of your meals with liver

Make sure the punishments are something that will be really unpleasant for you, but not dangerous. Don’t make yourself under-eat, or over-exercise, these are unhealthy, and may push you off of your path to health. If you’re feeling brave, team up with a friend and choose each other’s rules and punishment!

Image from Pinterest

x Laura

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