I work way better with rewards. I’m more likely to stick to my running regimen and less likely to gorge on chocolate cake if I know there’s Lululemon at the end of the tunnel. All my hard work pays off and I pay myself off for my hard work. It’s a win-win! But rather than sweetening the pot with something sweet, take healthy lifestyle coach Diana Mikolajewska’s advice and reward yourself with calorie-free incentives. Here are a few of her faves…
Calorie-Free Rewards by Diana
It’s not surprising to find that the most common New Year’s resolutions are to get more exercise and lose weight. Starting a diet and exercise plan can be challenging. Sticking to it is even harder, especially because we’re used to comforting ourselves with food. Our weight loss efforts don’t provide us with instant results and after months of hard work we sometimes get discouraged and fall off the “health kick” wagon. It may be wise to start by rewarding yourself along the way, so that you’re more likely to stick to the plan. Over the years I’ve kept my rewards calorie-free. They keep the digits on my scale stable and my diet and exercise efforts on track. Personally, I absolutely hate running, but I make myself do four miles outside three days a week at 5:00 a.m. I do it because I know that an award is awaiting me if I stick to the plan! So remember to give yourself a reward–a calorie-free one:
*Treat yourself with a trip to the movies. Who doesn’t like a good flick and a couple of hours of relaxation!
*Pamper yourself with your favorite spa treatment. Manicure, pedicure or massage, anyone?
*Buy a book you’ve always wanted to read and carve out time in your day to get lost in its pages. Better yet, you can read and put in several miles on a stationary bike. Multitasking is great!
* Treat yourself to new workout gear. When we look good we feel good. When we feel good, our workouts tend to be better.
*A day (or half-day if that’s all you can afford) of doing whatever you want.
*(My favorite!) Keep a list of items you really want and purchase one when you have an accomplishment to celebrate. Treat yourself!
Some of us need to be held accountable, myself included. If that sounds like you, then hire a trainer, ask a friend or family member for support, or check out a program like Gym Pact. It’s based on the simple principle that if you skip the gym, you’ve broken a contract with yourself, and you’re charged a penalty for slacking. Gym Pact charges your credit card a penalty of $5 each time you don’t go. We hate to take a loss and I am sure we can think of ways to spend the money elsewhere.
To learn more:
16 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions