Learn How Rewarding Yourself For Jobs Well Done Can Help You Stay Motivated
16 December 2022
Reward Yourself For Jobs Well Done
Insights from 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear
You can’t argue with science, can you?
Humans are wired to seek rewards for whatever we do.
And the quicker the reward for an activity, the more likely it is that we’ll repeat it, preferably on loop.
That’s the biggest reason why bad habits are so sticky.
They feel good.
They trigger the release of the happy hormones, dopamine, and serotonin mainly, giving a rush that’s hard to beat.
Most good habits, though, have delayed rewards.
It takes months before the benefits of eating well and exercising are visible.
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The rewards of being more productive at work aren’t usually obvious at all till you get a promotion or pay raise.
How do you, then, keep yourself motivated to continue with the good habits you’re building?
"By giving yourself small rewards that tie in with the new habit," says Clear.
The idea is to reinforce the new behavior, making you feel it’s worth your while to continue with it.
Say, your new habit is to eat healthier and you ordered a salad for dinner instead of pizza.
Put away the money you would have shelled out for the pie in a separate account called 'vacation'.
Watching the balance build up every time you resist temptation?
Intense session at the gym?
Treat yourself to a spa massage.
Don’t head straight to the coffee shop for a latté, though.
That may feel rewarding, but it sends conflicting messages about the identity you’re trying to create for yourself with the new habit.
The reward has to be something that will make you feel good about your new habit.
It should be in line with the habit and sustainable.
The prize for a day without social media can’t be a luxury vacation.
And it should motivate you enough to stay engaged with the new habit.
Continue to make the new habit enjoyable with such small rewards till the behavior becomes automatic.
That will happen only with frequent repetition of the activity, which the rewards will ensure.
The only catch?
Rewarding yourself may become habit-forming as well.
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