Mental Health, Mindfulness

What’s Your Reward System?

Yesterday at my full-time job, I had an AMAZING day!  I had a high-pressure situation that I was in and I nailed it!  Needless to say, I was proud and wanted to celebrate.  On my way home, I got to thinking…what should I reward myself with?  And that single question, opened the flood gates for me.  I realized that I used to reward myself with food or beverages.  Adult beverages, that is.  So here’s my question to you…

What is YOUR Reward System?

When you go to celebrate, do you go out for dinner and drinks?  Do you go shopping for the perfect outfit?  Is the newest album from Luke Bryan what you decide to treat yourself with?  As you read this, you might not be exactly sure what your reward system is, but take some time to think about it.  Don’t forget to include the kids too.  Celebrating is definitely a part of the journey and I encourage you to do so.

As I said, I used to reward myself with food and beverages but as I educated myself and became more mindful, I realized that might not be the best thing to do.  Let me give you some examples to help you get started.

  • You run your first 5K – You just ran your first 5K ever.  And it’s just a 5K, it’s a 5K mud run.  Yup.  Proud of yourself, right?  I would be too.  Instead of celebrating with food to make up for the calories you just burned, reward yourself with new workout gear or a piece of jewelry, like the Alex and Ani Eros Arrow Wrap bracelet.  It symbolizes your accomplishments and won’t add to your waistline.
  • You get a promotion at your job – You’ve been working really hard at work and your boss finally recognizes you and promotes you.  The step up comes with a new desk and a little extra money, but you want to celebrate after work.  Instead of getting together with friends or coworkers for a cocktail after work, remind yourself how awesome you are with this Boss Lady coffee mug.  You’ll be able to look at it and feel proud every time you have your morning coffee or tea.
  • You’ve finally paid off your credit card – Your credit card is finally paid off!  How long did that take?  2 years?  That’s ok because it’s G-O-N-E…GONE!  You are so excited and know you should celebrate, but how?  Dinner out with champagne sounds perfect, but that one glass might lead to two, or three or, God only knows!  So instead, reward yourself with a plan.  Yup, a plan for what you’re going to do with that extra money – a weekend getaway, a new bedroom set, a new pair of running shoes…

Now that you’ve seen a few examples, do you see where I’m going with this?  When you think about your reward system, think creatively.  Think out of the box.  Don’t automatically reward yourself with food or beverages.  Yes, that will give you immediate satisfaction but in the end, it’s not very good for your health.  A reward system that does not involve food and beverages, however, can be good for your health.  Just think…you’ll smile every time you wear that bracelet you bought for completing your first 5K and release endorphins!

Now here’s your challenge.  If you don’t have a reward system now, create one for you and your whole family!  Get a process in place so when you’re ready to celebrate, you’re not immediately gravitating toward food, but something a little more fun.  Share the reward systems you have in place and any special reward you’ve given yourself recently!  I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with.


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