Chasing our goals and making lifestyle changes can be hard. That’s why it’s so important to reward success – big or small. We are creatures of habit, so any change can be scary or foreign. When you make a change, you should reward yourself in some way.
Why it’s important to reward success
Why is it important to reward yourself? There is a hormone called dopamine that plays a role in how we feel pleasure. Dopamine gives your brain a surge of pleasure when you complete a task. As a result, the more dopamine we experience, the more motivated and productive we feel.
Now that you know the power of dopamine and positive reinforcement, start rewarding yourself when you achieve even the smallest of tasks.
If all of this has you worried about becoming dependent on rewards, don’t worry! Over time, your brain will associate these habits with a surge of dopamine. As a result, your brain will see these tasks as positive and the motivation to do them will become intrinsic.
Be mindful of your reward system
It’s important to be mindful of how you reward yourself. There are ways to reward yourself that can be more positive than others. For example, don’t reward yourself with food every time to do something. Instead try to reward yourself with activities that you enjoy. For example, read a book, go to a park, or watch your favorite TV show.
Here are the steps to help you create positive associations in your mind:
1- Have a cue to trigger the behavior. Whether it’s getting into your gym clothes or setting a reminder, have something to trigger the behavior.
2- Go through the routine. Whether it’s going to the gym or making your meal prep, once you’ve triggered the behavior it’s time to follow-through and do it.
3- Reward yourself. Once you’ve completed the task, take time to reward yourself. Ex: Read a book or watch your favorite TV show.
List of rewards
If you need some ideas on how to reward yourself, check out this list:
– At home spa day
– Get your car washed
– Take a bath or shower
– Do a craft; painting, drawing, sewing
– Organize a small part of your house
– Watch your favorite TV show
– Diffuse some essential oils
– Turn off your screens
– Listen to music
Change is hard. Trying to create new habits takes time and discipline. One way to help yourself succeed is by rewarding yourself every time you make a change! Not only will it make the process more enjoyable, but it will help you create lasting habits. Be mindful of how you reward yourself and mix it up!