Finding time for accomplishing daily tasks or working toward long term goals requires focus and discipline. Building in small rewards for yourself along the way can help you stay on track, as well as providing breaks that motivate and refresh!
When you are consistent with yourself, you build self-trust and integrate your energy by matching your words with your actions. In the end, this also strengthens your self-discipline. That’s because, when you follow promises with concrete action, you heighten your incentive to focus on problem tasks.
So how do you go about setting this positive cycle in motion? Here are 7 tips to get you started!
- Start small. Never make a promise you may not be able to follow through on.
- Don’t retract; reschedule. If you can’t follow through on a reward, don’t just let it drop! Replace the reward and make time for it.
- Set your bar for success. Don’t make your rewards conditional on overambitious tasks.
- Go public. If reinforcement helps, tell a friend what you intend to do.
- Practice builds proficiency. Build in a small reward every day or so to keep yourself on track.
- Build up. Gradually include larger rewards, calibrating them to more complex or time-consuming tasks.
- Free treats. Leave time for fun! Build in time for yourself that is not dependent upon achievement. Take one day a month for whatever you want to do, no matter what. This will recharge your energy and enhance your creativity.
Finding time to provide meaningful rewards to yourself is a great way to foster focus and discipline while also boosting your energy, alertness, and creativity. In addition, when you begin to build in rewards along the way, you’ll see an increase in your productivity.
What kinds of small rewards are meaningful for you? Can you build three of them into your day today? I invite you to give it a try – and let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear!
© Copyright 2009 Paula Eder, Ph.D.