Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Reward Systems

A lot of different sources - magazines, message boards, blogs, etc - recommend setting up a reward system to aid in your weight loss journey. Every time you meet a self-determined milestone, be it a percentage of your weight, a new 'decade', or a loss in a 10 or 5 lb increment, you reward yourself with a pre-determined prize. I've seen lots of people using spa treatments, new clothes, vacations, or makeup as rewards to motivate themselves.

This won't work for me. If I want a new bottle of body lotion or a new lip gloss or a haircut, I'm going to go get it. These things are 'rewards' to me. They're everyday (or every-now-and-then) purchases.

But I am very reward driven. I'm visually motivated, so I've got a calendar in our hallway that I see every time I walk anywhere in our apartment, and every time I exercise I get a star sticker on that date. Great visual reminder if I have a week without many stars!

The other thing that sticks out to me as a potential way that the mini-reward for weight loss would fail for me is that sometimes, no matter how hard you work, the scale is not your friend and won't move. I'm trying to keep that in perspective this time. Deb blogged about setting goals that are things you DO, not things you want to HAPPEN.

So, in hand with my June set of goals, I'm setting a reward for myself. If I complete my two fitness goals - 600 minutes and trying out a Zumba class - I'm going to reward myself with something that will make fitness more fun.

Mama needs a new pair of shoes.

These are my current kicks - about 7 years old, coming apart at the seams, scuffed, and frankly, cheap, ill-fitting, un-supportive, not great shoes.

How do you reward yourself? Are you motivated by 'working towards a carrot' or does it frustrate you? Is weight loss itself the greatest reward?


RescuingLisa said...

This is funny, my next month's reward for completing all goals is to purchase a new pair of runners - so important to have when people are as active as you and I :)

PS - Wait to you see how gross my runners are :)

Breanne said...

One time I did a jar of money - I think I put in $5/lb? I can't quite remember now, but then when I got to my goal weight I used the money to buy a new bathing suit! It was a good motivator because I could see it building up, and because it wasn't a huge chunk of money each week it felt like I got a free bathing suit!

Now? I'm doing a race in July... so that's a bit of a motivator for exercise (i.e. I don't want to have to run alone, so I better be training because my friend is much faster than me!) - but I'm finding it hard to follow a proper diet. I'm thinking about joining WW actually - although I can follow the point system based on my Mom's books from the 90s... it's a bit of a motivator to be PAYING for something. Y'know? And they'll give me $20 towards a running class... so that'd be good too. :)