There are a few things that are important to know concerning goal setting and goal achievement that you should keep in the back of your mind as you progress towards you desire results. Firstly, a goal is not about constant sacrifice alone. At some point in the process, you can (and should) take a breather and reward the progress you have already made.
Let’s talk about learning how to reward your self throughout the goal setting process.
There is nothing wrong with rewards. They are a pleasant gift for a job well done. The job is not the achievement of the goal, but making it through the milestone steps along the way that make the goal possible. If people waited until the end of the line to reward themselves, most probably would never make it.
Think of a marathon runner. During the race, he gets thirsty. There are stations set up along the course that allow him to fill up with water in order to replenish his strength and finish the marathon. Waiting until the end of the race to get something to drink is not practical and can be dangerous. It’s the same with your goals.
Going without the encouragement that rewards can bring during the goal seeking process is also not practical. Rewards can be anything that will incline you to strive to reach it. All rewards can be chosen ahead of time or as you go along. There’s no set way to compensate yourself.
Ask for help when coming up with rewards. Open the floor up to friends and family members for suggestions. Rewards can be things like spending money, taking a trip, having a celebration, or a few well deserved breaks in the goal process. Those close to you may come up with some good ones that you yourself never thought of before.
Write down a variety of rewards on small pieces of paper. Fold each piece in half and place them in a jar or a box. Everything on the slips of paper needs to be something that will motivate you to reach that reward point. When a milestone is reached, pull a slip of paper out of the jar. That is your reward.
A reward system keeps your focus on the goal. When you begin feeling the temptations that make you want to throw in the towel, look at that reward jar and believe that some good thing is on the way with each small step you reach.
Rewards work best when they are realistic. A trip to Paris is a great reward but if you can’t afford to do so, it won’t motivate you to continue working towards the goal. Choose goals within your realm of possibility, both physically and financially.
A reward system can work with goals in every area of your life. Just be sure the rewards are in line with the goals. You wouldn’t suggest an ice cream sundae as a reward for losing weight or give yourself a shopping spree for saving money over the past three consecutive months.
Rewards are meant to motivate you so you will continue to follow the course of your goals. Without them, you don’t have small triumphs to look forward to along the way and the probability of reaching your goals is lessened.