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The Benefits of a Reward System

So, we have made it to the middle of the week. Congratulations! This is the perfect opportunity to talk about rewarding yourself.

Why am I doing this?

Now, I know that some of you may be thinking that rewarding yourself for trivial things is pointless. It’s really not. What we want to accomplish is a boost in your self-esteem. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just enough to motivate you. On days like today – the middle of the week – we need some sort of a reminder of what we have accomplished in order to continue pushing forward. After all, rewards are not just for kids.

People with depression have a tendency to focus on the negative. It’s not our fault, it’s just the way that we are programmed. This is just one tool to reprogram our mind and keep track of the positive. Be warned: reprogramming your thinking is a difficult thing to do. Give yourself time and patience. It will all work out in the end.

Your Goals

The first step is to identify simple, achievable goals. This is for you so it can be whatever you want.

Examples:

  • To work out 4 times a week
  • Go out more during the month – at least two times this month
  • Leave the house at least twice a week
  • Meet new people through new activities

The Calendar

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I highly recommend that you get yourself a wall calendar (if you prefer a bullet journal, that’s fine too). Again, it doesn’t have to be fancy, just something that you can see everyday. Why?

You can track your accomplishments on here and keep track of your goals. I also recommend that you get yourself some stickers or coloured markers for this.

For instance, if your goal is to work out more, you can give yourself a sticker or mark a symbol on each day that you worked out. If you managed to work out for the full four days, you can give yourself a nicer sticker. At the end of the month, you get a visual representation of what you have accomplished.

I also like to add comments for myself for each day as a motivator (you can do this on your bullet journal as well!).
Example: “Planked for 45 seconds!” or “Went to a new event!” or “Spoke to three new people!”

You have full control over what you put on there. For inspiration, feel free to search on Pinterest. There are so many examples.

What if I didn’t reach my goal?

That’s fine! This happens. All you have to do is ensure that you are working towards it. Be kind to yourself. This is all a process. You will have good days and bad days. Just keep track of all your activities. The idea is that at the end of the month, you will have a calendar full of random marks and stickers to outline your progress. At the end of the year, you can remind yourself that you are making strides in bettering yourself.

 

Types of Rewards

Examples include:

  • The sticker system. Give yourself a cheap sticker for each small accomplishment, then a nicer sticker for larger successes (for example: going out at least once every week for that month)
  • Buy yourself something that you want (a book, an accessory, a trip, etc.)
  • Give yourself a day off to do nothing but relax.
  • Dance or do karaoke by yourself (this may not work if you are living with other people)
  • Do something that you enjoy doing (ex: go watch a movie, go for a walk, etc.)

What this doesn’t include:

  • Alcohol – alcohol is a depressant and for our purposes, counter-intuitive
  • Junk food – you will be introducing bad habits that are harder to break
  • Smoking – this is an addictive habit that you don’t want to associate with improvements

 

Go forth everyone, and:

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2 comments on “The Benefits of a Reward System

  1. You had me at party says:

    This is such a great idea for people like me who are terrible to sticking to goals, thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I hope it helps!

      Like

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