Rewards hold a special place in our lives. Rewards serve at least two purposes. First, rewards provide enjoyment and help us to feel good. Rewards also help us to change our behaviour and maintain behaviour change. Yet, many people feel they do not deserve to reward themselves for their good behaviour. There is a real shame here because a person’s effort is not being rewarded. And this fine effort might seem like an uphill struggle most of the time because there is no apparent reward for the person. So, give yourself a reward to boost your effort. We can build these rewards into our training, practice and competition settings. With difficult tasks, rewards seem to help us overcome the barrier that gets in our way when we are trying to get the job done. Remember that the carrot beats the stick! So what should you do now? First, choose rewards right for you and the task you are doing. A reward of food might not work so well if you are on a weight-loss programme; however, a long soak in a warm bath might just do the trick. Second, try to have the reward soon after finishing the task. Third, make sure you have lots of different rewards to stimulate you. You deserve that reward and there’s no need to punish yourself along the way!
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