Today we are talking about ways in which you can reward yourself if you hit a milestone or accomplished a goal. My clients know for every achievement we are planning a reward. I am constantly asking, “What are you going to do to celebrate?”
This is really hard for Type A women because for us, achievement is what is expected so the thought of getting a reward for something that was expected is a hard concept for us to wrap our minds around.
What I find is it’s not hard for Type A women to be convinced that a reward or celebration is a good thing. It’s logical when you think that this could be a great way to allow the experience to sink in and to motivate you to do the next thing.
No, where they get stuck is deciding what reward to give themselves. Type A women often put rest, relaxation, fun and enjoyment last on their list of priorities and so it can be difficult to think of something in the moment.
I have a colleague who thinks it’s hilarious to ask me every time we meet up what I’ve been doing for fun. My response every time is, “I don’t have do anything for fun, I bring the fun.” And then I change the subject.
Another struggle can that what is a reward for those around you, may not be something you are interested in. I have a friend whose favorite reward is to have dinner in really nice restaurant. The whole experience lights her up. For me, I can’t fully relax in that kind of environment. The food and drinks are delicious but when the bill comes, I get sticker-shocked and the last thing I experience is that I have been rewarded.
For those of you who might hesitate or balk at being asked “what are you going to do to reward yourself?” I’ve got some ideas for you. These are just ideas to help you start thinking about what would be a reward for you. Ultimately only you know what gives you a sense of reward.
Let me start by saying that the reward needs to bolster the achievement. If you’ve lost weight you don’t want to reward yourself with pizza and ice-cream. If you’ve hit your goal of saving a certain amount of money or paying off your debt you don’t want to reward yourself with a shopping spree.
You want to think about rewards that feel good but will also help you to move forward with your goals. On the podcast Happier, Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft discuss this at length.
An example I have from my life is, after I released my book which required a lot of long hours of focused attention I allowed myself a day to putter. The definition of putter that I like comes from Merriam-Webster and it is “to work at random.”
I didn’t necessarily take an entire day off from my business but I didn’t structure my day. I allowed myself to do what I wanted to do in any given moment. If I felt like doing my bookkeeping, I did bookkeeping. When I felt like cleaning the bathroom, I cleaned the bathroom. If I felt like reading, I read.
My day was a mix of unstructured personal and business projects. It was aimless and freeing, and by the end of the day I had actually accomplished a lot but none of it was required which is what made it feel like a reward. As much as I love structure I also love freedom so this was perfect for me.
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