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How To Reward Yourself The Right Way

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I wrote this post for our Nutrition Challengers, but thought it’d be valuable to share to our whole community. Rewarding ourselves the right way is a big part of our personal stories and can have a great effect on what we achieve.  It can also greatly affect what we accomplish beyond our accomplishments. Will we make them last or just go back to our old ways?

Our Challenge has come to an end. Chances are you celebrated with something this past weekend. Maybe it was an alcoholic drink or a trip to Jupiter Donuts. Some of you are still waiting to do your follow up InBody test so it’s possible I’m catching you before the epic celebration meal or drinks.

I’d feel like a big jerk if I told you there was a right and a wrong way to celebrate a great challenge. It’s your life, and you should reward your hard work as you see fit in order to inspire more hard work.

But, I think I can show you a better way to reward yourself and celebrate your wins.

Let’s do a little roleplay.  Pretend your best friend has struggled with being an alcoholic for years and finally started 2019 by going 6 weeks without alcohol. They then ask you out for a drink at Square Grouper to “just have one” and celebrate their success.

As their best friend, what do you suggest?

It’s a known fact we give better advice to friends then we do ourselves. There’s a certain amount of clarity that comes with solving other people’s problems.  So what would you tell them?

Hopefully you’re starting to see the similarities between your boozy best friend and yourself in this past nutrition challenge. If you managed to avoid alcohol for 6 weeks, do you go right back to it the first chance you get?  Let’s replace alcohol with your vice food, donuts, pizza, or ice cream. Did you go without it for 6 weeks only to plan your post challenge binge?

There has to be a better way.

Suggesting an alternative reward that doesn’t involve the vice you went without for 6 weeks is the best start. There are so many more healthier ways to treat yourself and recognize your achievements then setting yourself up for falling backwards.

You could treat yourself to a massage, spa or float treatment. Or maybe you go to Lululemon or bellbottomsfit.com and buy yourself a new workout outfit (a size smaller than before obviously). You could do something outside like go to the beach, rent some stand up paddleboards, or book a staycation is sunny south Florida. There really is an endless list of possibilities. Plenty of things that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated rather than crappy and regretful.

I’m all for rewarding yourself for working hard, but if you still see the alcoholic drink or sugary food as the reward, did we accomplish anything? Have we made progress that will actually last this time?  

This isn’t the last time you’re ever going to do a challenge or accomplish something worth a reward. You’re probably already setting new goals for the next 6 weeks.  We will have more chances to get this right.

When you’re looking to set new goals with rewards, pick things that will enhance the experience of reaching that goal.  

Let’s say you have a goal of going to the gym more. After a month of going to the gym 4x/week, reward yourself with a new pair of workout shoes.

You have a goal to cook more homemade meals. After a month of only eating out 2x/week you reward yourself with a new Ninja Foodie.

You have a goal to read every night before bed. After a month of doing so by candlelight, reward yourself with a new Amazon Kindle.

Rewards can be so much more fun and interesting then simply indulging in the thing you set out to avoid in the first place.

Notice how the above rewards come after efforts you have given, not results you’ve attained.  

The rewards weren’t contingent on pounds lost or weights lifted. They were there once we completed the actions we set out to do.

Looking back, even if you didn’t have an amazing challenge transformation, find something you can reward yourself for. I don’t care if it’s a new frying pan because you only drank 1x/week and that’s really good for you. It’s important to recognize any wins, no matter how small they may seem. 

Reward yourself with something that will enhance your next 6 week challenge.  Something that makes your life easier. Something that will actually last longer than a 5 minute sugar high. 

Keep Living Superhuman,

Tony