When I speak to family and friends about how they treat themselves, I have noticed a very unsurprising trend. We all treat ourselves with food and/or drink. This doesn't surprise any of you I'm sure and didn't surprise me. We are slaves to what we want and fancy, therefore anytime we think we have done something that deserves a treat, that is what we lean on: Chocolate / Wine / Pizza / Crisps / Etc / Etc.
I have also noticed that from personal experience and from speaking to others, that we also think we deserve a reward all the time; for getting up, for going to work, for getting to lunch time, end of day, through the traffic. Treat : Treat : Treat
We need to try and understand the good behaviour and reward systems that we, individually work best with. You do not deserve a treat, for every single little piece of life that you get through, those treats become nothing, they become habit and they no longer give you that good feeling that you used to get, when they were in fact occasional treats.
Looking at this through the lens of trying to lose weight, which I know so many of you reading this, are trying to do. We need to find goals first and then establish non food related rewards, which make you feel like you have achieved something, which you will have done if you reach that goal.
I'm sure we have all heard of setting yourself SMART goals, well this is because that is the best way of setting goals, however I like to look at it in a slightly different way, rather than going through each letter and assigning things to them.
a) What is your overall goal (lose 2 stone)
b) What is a 'healthy' timescale to achieve that (1lb a week)
c) Therefore, how long will it take to get to that goal (28 weeks/7 months)
I would also very much recommend, having non weight related goals. Maybe reduce waist size by 4 inches, for example would be a great goal to have.
Once you have this overall goal, you can then set yourself interim goals, times in the next 7 months, where you can celebrate your progress towards your overall goal. Some would say, getting there would feel good enough, I don't need other goals or rewards, as feeling better will be a reward in itself. Yes this is true, but you can sometimes in-counter times when you can't feel/see the health benefits or results right away and therefore, get disheartened.
So, I would recommend have a reward every 4-6 weeks, on route to that overall goal which you will achieve in 7 months. To make it nice points to celebrate yourself and also for help pay day wise!
You have your overall goal, date you can healthily achieve that and your interim goals to get you to that overall goal. Now to set the rewards for the interim and overall goal. When I was thinking about this myself, I thought about the big end result first, what is a big thing I could buy/organise which would really mean something to me. Yes losing weight should be a good enough reward and trust me it is, but why not give yourself something else to look forward to as well!!
REMEMBER - DO NOT SET FOOD RELATED REWARDS!!!!! Your body and mind deserve not to be treated with the stuff that actually makes you feel and look like you don't want in the first place!
1. Set your overall goal reward
2. Set your interim goal rewards
I did this by making a list of non food related rewards:
- Cinema Trip
- Spa Day
There are loads of lists online, use them and take the ones you like. Then assign the biggest ones at the end of your journey, the not so big ones at the start of your journey.
Here is an example of a goals/rewards list.
I saw an amazing idea online the other day, to try and inspire/motivate you through your journey to your goal. It is a weight lose money jar, a jar set aside at home, and every time you lost a pound, you put a pound in the jar. The money can go toward your overall reward, or anything you want! Some people put more money in, to put the stakes up, but I love this idea either way, just put in what you can afford...
Thanks for reading :)