Then the inevitable happens and we are confronted with temptation. Should I eat dessert? Should I stay home with the family and miss this week’s yoga? Everyone looks so happy drinking beer and wine at the party, should I join in on the fun?
With temptation comes an important decision to either indulge or stay committed to your goals. When you choose to indulge it’s easy to justify your actions with, “I have worked really hard the past week and this will be my reward.“ For a minute you feel instant gratification, but soon that happy moment is replaced with long-term disappointment.
Why did you do it? Why can’t you break the pattern of giving in to temptation and finally achieve the results you desperately want?
It starts with the way your reward yourself. Rewards are powerful. They can undermine your progress when used inappropriately and nurture your commitment, confidence and concentration when use effectively.
Rewards are designed to influence positive behavior. When you achieve your goals each week, it is important to reward yourself for a job well done. The problem arises when you choose a reward that offsets your efforts to be healthy. When your goals are to eat less and move more, why would you reward yourself with eating more and moving less?
Stop rewarding yourself with things that counteract the progress you’ve made. Instead, reward yourself with other things you enjoy. Take a few hours to read a book, get a pedicure or massage, buy a new shirt or journal about your achievements. Use these rewards to symbolize a ‘pat on the back’ for a successful week.
Only reward yourself when you achieve your weekly goals. That way, it will have a greater effect on your confidence. When you feel confident, you’ll be more motivated to have another successful week. When you’re motivated, you’ll be more focused on your nutrition and fitness. When you’re focused, you’ll achieve more results.
Call to Action: Write down three possible rewards for yourself. Choose one and reward yourself for achieving your goals this week. Do not put your reward on hold for when you have time. Make time this week to reward yourself and then use your confidence to commit to next week’s action plan.
Believe and Achieve,
*Haley Perlus, Ph.D.*
P.S. be sure to leave a comment to let Dr. Haley know your thoughts.