The thousands of studies that have been done on aging are beginning to point to one inescapable conclusion: we may be able to modify our aging process by changing what we consume and how we live.
Rewards are a great way to stay focused and motivated when you are trying to achieve a goal. Why? It’s simple: It’s normal for your feelings of motivation to change from day to day. If you have a reward waiting that is based on your success, you have another reason to stay on track—even if you are not feeling motivated that day. Because weight loss can be an ongoing challenge to resist the temptations presented by advertising, workplace candy bowls, and even family dinners, you are much less likely to stray from your program if you have a tangible reward waiting for you.i
Rewards There are two types of rewards: negative and positive. While many people swear by negative rewards (“No dessert if you don’t eat your vegetables!”), you are much more likely to stay motivated by a series of positive rewards.
The best way to use rewards is to make them incremental. Choose a small reward for the first small victory and then increase the reward as you continue to achieve new goals. Focus on more than just weight loss and think about rewards for dropping a pants or dress size, for exercising, or for drinking your Energizing Smoothee every day.
Here are a few small reward ideas for when you reach your first goal:
- Go shopping: books, flowers, earrings, or some other type of small item that will make your day brighter.
- Make a date: meet someone at a coffee house, movie, batting cage, museum, or some other event.
- Pay it forward: donate to a charity, help someone else start to lose weight, volunteer for a favorite charity.
- Go shopping: new clothes that fit, new cookware, a new bicycle, or other items that fit your new lifestyle.
- Take a class: art, exercise, cooking, computer, or self-defense.
- Take a short trip: a trip to the mountains, beach, or a town near you.
- Treat yourself: day spa, manicure, pedicure, or massage.
- Enjoy: Create a fresh feeling for the new you. Get a makeover with a personal shopper or an image consultant; reorganize your office, closets, or kitchen.
- Vacation: Go somewhere you have never been, or revisit a favorite place.
- Tickets: sports activities, ballet, opera, or Broadway show.
The idea behind all rewards is to pick something you want, but haven’t yet received. Choose rewards that tell everyone (including yourself) that you have done a great job (because you have done a great job!) The key is to pick things that will keep you moving towards your goal. Rewards are a great way to stay focused throughout your weight-loss journey. In a way, losing weight by using rewards is a two-for-one deal. Not only do you get rewards along the way, but at the end you look and feel amazing—which is the best reward of them all.
iYanovski SZ, Devlin MJ. Role of behavioral therapy in the management of obesity. Endocr Pract. 1995 Sep-Oct;1(5):340-5. PMID: 15251581.