Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 21, 2021

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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: Wynand van Poortvliet via unsplash.com

More by this author

5 Excellent Ways To Reward/Punish Yourself To Reach Goals

Trending in Goal Getting

1 How to Start Taking Action on Your Goals and Dreams Now 2 10 Ways To Turn Your Big Dream Into Reality 3 How To Make Your Dreams Come True in 9 Simple Steps 4 How To Use Goals and Dreams To Achieve Personal Success 5 Stop DREAMING, Start LIVING… Why We Need to Take Action

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on April 8, 2021

How to Start Taking Action on Your Goals and Dreams Now

How to Start Taking Action on Your Goals and Dreams Now

I’m going to tell you the secrets on how to start taking action on your dreams. When you decide to turn thoughts into action, there are specific, actionable steps you can take to move forward.

The first thing I want you to do is think back to when you were a child. Our childhood selves hold many of the secrets to realizing our real life dreams. Think about what you loved to do most and how you told yourself it was possible without worrying about what might get in the way. I’d like you to reconnect to your imagination and playfulness.

By taking the following steps, you’ll do some playing and storytelling to reveal your dreams and start making them come true.

1. Tell Your Story

Your life story is unique and has brought you here today. The next chapter of your life is in your power to write and to realize by taking action. Not everything that happens to you is in your control[1], but the actions you take and how you choose to feel about what happens are in your control.

Finding out what our future lives and dream lives might look like can be done effectively through the eyes of our childhood selves.

Can you remember what you loved to do most as a child? Maybe you enjoyed collecting things like me–I always had a collection of pebbles in a carrier bag that smelled of seawater nestled under my bed. Perhaps you loved taking care of your pets: I had a dog, a tortoise, and many guinea pigs. Or maybe you were really great at making stuff.

You can use the instincts, passions, and skills you had as a child to fuel your progress toward your adult dreams.

I’m inviting you to really think about what you wanted to be when you grew up[2] and the memorable activities you enjoyed as a child, the ones that gave you a real sense of freedom and excitement, or the pursuits that you truly lost yourself in.

Advertising

What we call getting into our flow state[3] as an adult is what came naturally to us as children. So, go back there now and think about how that felt. It may clue you in to what still remains true and important to you today.

2. Define Your Dream

The first secret when you want to start taking action on your dreams is to know what they are. This sounds obvious, but so many people only have a loose definition, such as: “more free time,” or “more money.” Busy people know there is something else to life apart from slaving away for a job, or a boss they don’t like, but if you’re too busy to even know what your dream looks like, how can you make it come true?

Once again, I’d invite you to connect to the optimism and playfulness of your childhood self. Go back to thinking about what your dreams involved at age seven or eight. Some of those may still be what you want today.

Now, write down what it is that you want and when you want to achieve it. Note down how you’ll know when you’ve got there and made this dream come true. How will you measure your success? Be as specific about your goals as you can.

A study at the Dominican University in California[4] proved that writing down your goals, accountability, and commitment are three key ingredients to successfully achieving our goals and learning how to take action.

This step also involves building motivation for the steps to come. If you need help in that area, check out Lifehack’s free Ultimate Worksheet for an Instant Motivation Boost.

3. Picture Your Dream Coming True

Think about exactly how it will feel when you start taking action and ultimately achieve your dream, the sense of freedom and excitement. Imagine it in as much detail as you can with all five senses. If you’re finding it hard to imagine a different life, imagine a childhood memory with all its sensations.

As a little girl, I loved to ice-skate, making huge swirly patterns across clean expanses of beautiful glistening ice. The feeling of freedom, of trust in myself to balance, of speed. It felt very immersive, the coldness and my breath turning into little clouds in front of my face.

Advertising

Imagine a childhood memory like this, and then imagine the future you want, with as much detail and attention paid to how it looks, feels, tastes, smells, and sounds.

Draw, paint, speak, or write your future story.

If you loved to create pictures like I did as a child, or write stories, or play on the computer, use your natural creative skills and what you love doing to map out your exciting future. You could create a picture, vision board, written story, or audio file.

Then, let’s put that future story somewhere you can easily access it. Make sure that you include a timescale for when you want to achieve this dream by, how you will measure your success, and what you need to get there. If possible, start breaking your dream down into small, manageable steps.

4. What Part Do You Play?

You can’t control everything, so you need to be realistic about your role in taking action and making your future dreams come true. Think about where you need help. During childhood, we were not afraid to ask for help from a parent, friend, or sibling to realize our dreams and plans.

Whatever we needed, our eager and enthusiastic childhood selves would reach out for support. We’d be resourceful with whatever we had to make our creative ideas a reality.

As adults we also need to ask for support and help, and at the same time to notice what is in our control and what we can do to take action today towards our dreams.

5. Who Can Support You?

If you’ve noticed you need a bit of help, then get your tribe together. Which friends can cheer you on, and which can connect you? Who in your family will indulge in your dreams with you? What about the pragmatic ones who might help you work out what you need to get there?

Advertising

Whether you need someone to check in on you and see how you’re progressing, or need a buddy to brainstorm with to help the ideas flow, bring a few of your friends into the plan to help you move forward. Successful people know that the habit of taking action is best built with help.

6. Ensure Your Dream Is Realistic

Maybe the dream you’ve outlined just feels impossible. It costs too much or will take too much time to achieve. Instead of telling yourself “no, but,” try the “yes, and” approach. This is much more representative of how a child’s mind works.

When we were little, we weren’t scared to fail, as failing was not a concept to us back then. Let’s harness some of that kid energy and see how “yes, and” can move us forward when our dream feels unrealistic.

Let’s look at an example: maybe your dream is to have a hit record, and you think you can’t sing, or you don’t believe you have any musical talent. Instead of closing that down, if we “yes, and” it, we can say: “I want to have a hit record. Yes, and there are so many ways to achieve that. Some people have a hit record by working for a music business, and others might design the cover art. Some people speak on records instead of singing… yes, and someone has to write the lyrics or have the idea for the song. Yes, and I know someone who organizes a choir every Christmas at their local bar, and everyone in the bar is on the record. That amateur choir even got on TV as it was so much fun and all the money went to charity.”

So, before you decide your idea is unrealistic, try “yes, and-ing” it to see how you can start taking action on your dreams, even if you think it sounds impossible!

7. Use Small Wins and Rewards

On your journey toward achieving your dream, there will be small wins and important milestones; it’s not just about going straight to the destination. Measuring your progress is important and can be a chance to celebrate.

Finding a way to measure it that is visible can really help. Whether it’s a chart or an app, whatever you choose, following and celebrating your progress is key, and celebrating that win is part of the joy. Being in the process and on the journey is just as important as reaching your target. Celebrate with the happiness of a small child: do a dance, take a photo, tell your friends.

8. Update the Map

You might find the plan you made isn’t working for some reason. Things have changed, and your goals and targets are not working out for you . Let’s look at how you can change things up and put new life and energy into the project.

Advertising

Take it apart and put it back together again, but start small. Define the new plan and the new goals, and start on the next phase of the journey, equipped with the knowledge and learning from what didn’t work last time you tried to put your thoughts into action.

9. Make Space

Achieving our dreams might mean losing something else, and that’s ok. It could be a literal swap, such as giving up wine to save money towards the goal. Or it could be something more ideological, like giving up saying yes to everything to make more time to focus on your pursuits. Think about what you can give up to make space for taking action on your dreams.

10. Use Your Superpower

What’s your superpower? Use this to take action on your dreams today! Perhaps you’re awesome at using your network to find solutions to problems. If that sounds like you, then consider picking up the phone and start asking for some ideas and connections.

If you prefer to research, get reading or watching TED talks and presentations to find practical ways to achieve your particular dream. Who else has overcome a similar problem? How did they do it? What can you borrow from what they learned, and what can you learn from how they won or lost along the way?

11. Keep Your Energy up

Remember to take a rest and recharge on the journey towards taking action on your dreams. Take breaks, eat and sleep well, exercise, and listen to and tune in to what your body and mind needs to thrive.

Final Thoughts

Achieving your dreams is unlikely to be an overnight task. It’s more likely to be a winding road with setbacks, lessons, obstacles, and new discoveries. It might take years, but every step, no matter how tiny, can be enjoyed, even the struggles. Maintaining a mindset around enjoying the journey will really equip you to thrive and see those ambitious dreams become a reality.

More to Get You to Take Action Towards Your Dreams

Featured photo credit: Tom Rogerson via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next