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5 Excellent Ways To Reward/Punish Yourself To Reach Goals

5 Excellent Ways To Reward/Punish Yourself To Reach Goals

We all know that we need goals in life. Getting them done, though, is hard. And beating yourself up because you’ve failed to reach another goal does not get you anywhere.

You need to learn how you can stack the cards in your favor and how you can take willpower out of the equation. When you know how to use rewards and punishments in the right way, it will seem as though reaching your goals is an inevitable outcome.

1. Treat yourself when you get it right

When trying to reach a goal you should aim to treat yourself every week.

You can probably break your big goal down into little milestones. You should try and reach milestone per week. The great thing about milestones is that it breaks down the goal and lets you know when you are on the right track. Every time you hit a milestone you should treat yourself.

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The treat you give yourself does not have to be something massive. But it should be something that you really enjoy and look forward to. It is important that the weekly treat does not set you back in terms of your goal. If you’re looking to lose weight, it might not be a good idea to make your weekly goal a tub of ice cream, for example.

Having a weekly reward will provide you with a fresh burst of motivation each week. You’ll feel rejuvenated as a result of the treat and the small milestones will make progress seem easier.

2. Tell everyone about your plans

Nobody wants to fail in public. Public humiliation can be one of the most motivating factors ever when it comes to reaching our goals.

Mention to someone that you’re going after a big goal. Try and find someone who is going to give you a hard time should you fail. Someone who will make a comment or two when you’re failing and will let the rest of the world know too.

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This might sound like a bad idea, but it can be really helpful. You do not want this person to spread the bad news. It will feel even better when you reach your goal and you can prove to them that you were capable of reaching your goal. Pick the right person and just watch how motivated you’re going to feel.

3. Place a bet

If there is one thing we all hate, it’s losing money. You can take advantage of this psychological quirk by placing a big bet with someone based on your goal.

A big bet often tends to vary depending on who you are and what your salary is. For most people, however, 2% of their yearly salary seems to be big enough. Set an end date for your goal and then get to work.

Make sure you and the other person included in the bet are clear on the terms.  Ensure that the each of you have an agreement based on how you’re going to measure this goal and its achievement.

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4. Create your own consequences

Should you fail to reach a weekly milestone, you may want to put yourself through something that you really don’t like. This might take a little bit more effort when compared to everything else that has been mentioned, though it can still be helpful.

For some people, a cold shower might be the right kind of punishment for failing to reach a goal. Other people may decide that failure to reach a goal should result in them having to buy a gift for their least favorite person in the world. You could even consider donating to a charity you don’t like.

5. Have a friend support you

When it shooting for a goal, the support of a friend can really help. You should try and convince a good friend to reward you when you reach a goal.

This tends to work for a variety of reasons. Firstly, you do not want to let your friend down, and so will do everything you can to reach your goal. Secondly, you’ll work hard because you want the aforementioned reward once reach a goal. You’ll also have someone to talk to when the going gets tough.

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Provided that you have a great friend who cares enough to stand by their word, this technique can be a real godsend.

A New You?

Reaching your goals can be hard, especially when you’re relying on willpower.

However, you now know of 5 ways in which you can reward and punish yourself, so that you end up reaching your goals. With these tactics, you shouldn’t ever have to worry again about failing because willpower held you back.

Featured photo credit: Coffee & Sweet Cake Break/FOODIE’S FEED (JAKUB K.) via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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