Motivation is sometimes a tricky thing, especially with so many other (shiny) things vying for your time. It’s easy to get distracted and veer off course. Or maybe it’s fear that’s got you demotivated so that you either slow down and/or don’t even start. Or perhaps, it’s self-doubt, which is also fear just dressed up as something else. Or a question of does it (whatever you’re doing) even matter?
Whatever the reason, the most foolproof way to motivate yourself to keep going and see whatever it is you’re doing all the way to the end is to give yourself a prize. And the best prizes, of course, are those that you really want.
Science has shown that the pleasure center in your brain gets flooded with serotonin and dopamine (feel-good biochemicals) every time you get a reward. Cool thing is that it doesn’t matter whether someone else is giving you the reward or if you’re giving it to yourself.
So do yourself a kindness and:
- Write a list of goals that you want to achieve, no matter how big or small.
- Now write a list of prizes you would really, really like to have.
- Assign a prize to each goal.
- Keep your word to yourself every single time (imperative to build trust with yourself) and give yourself that prize when you reach that goal.
- Don’t skimp. You did the work, you get the prize. Period.
- You’ll come to find yourself finishing more than you ever did before and having more enjoyment doing it if you’ll just give yourself a reward every single time.
**Side note: prizes don’t have to be expensive. Prizes can even be free (like watching your favorite TV show, taking a long bath/shower, picking wildflowers, etc.). Only thing that matters is that it’s a prize that matters to you and will make you feel good you when you get it.
The other perks of picking prizes and then giving them to yourself without fail are:
1. You’ll come to trust yourself more.
Trusting yourself really is the first secret of success (like Ralph Waldo Emerson once said). And the best and fastest way to trust yourself implicitly is to keep your word to yourself every single time.
If you promise yourself a prize then give it to yourself when you’ve reached your goal, you will build trust with yourself. And once you trust yourself implicitly, there won’t be anything you won’t be able to accomplish if you really want it for your life.
2. You’ll come to believe (if you don’t already) that you are worth having good things that you want.
You need to choose things that you (not somebody else) really would like to receive. Don’t skimp. Don’t settle. You are worth the time, money, energy, and other resources it takes to give yourself a prize.
Honoring yourself and treating yourself with generosity and respect will go a long way in changing how you feel about yourself, especially if you’re struggling with issues of self-worth. No one else can make you believe in your own worth. That has to come from you. And to believe you’re worthy, you need to first and foremost treat yourself as the worthy person you are.
3. You’ll come to understand that you matter and what you do matters.
If you steadfastly follow through on giving yourself what you most want as a reward, you will prove to yourself that you are important and so is what you do in the world. The fastest way to defeat, in my opinion, is to lose belief in yourself and what you’re doing. The easiest way to combat that is to reward yourself for every step you’ve taken and every goal achieved.
This is another one that others can’t do for you (make you believe that you matter and what you do matters). You must believe it for yourself. If you steadfastly give yourself prizes, those things that you most want, you will cement an unwavering belief in who you are and what you have to offer.
So what prizes will give yourself for reaching your goals?