Back in elementary school, I used to get so excited when I would receive a good grade on a math or spelling test and when the paper was returned to me, it had a little “Great Job!” sticker on it. It was a little gesture, but it made me really happy to go home and show my parents. And it made it even easier to strive for a better grade the next time.
Little rewards like that aren’t just for children. It’s important to reward yourself as an adult, too. I’m not talking about putting “Great Job!” stickers on emails that you may write at work or bills that you send to be paid, but other external rewards for goals you created for yourself.
Cleaned the whole house? Got an A on a test? Reached a weight loss goal? Accomplished something despite of a fear holding you back? Good job! I’m proud of you. And don’t feel bad about treating yourself as a celebratory gesture.
We live in a world where people strive for perfection and beat themselves down if they don’t reach it. Instead of constant negativity where we may be put off from doing the task at hand, thinking about it positively and having our behaviors reinforced with rewards can help us reach those goals. If we are rewarded for good things that we have done, then we are more likely to continue those habits and behaviors in the future. It gives us the little boost of motivation we need to get to the next goal, and it could make the task more enjoyable.
A reward doesn’t have to be something lavish like a vacation or a shopping spree. It could be something as simple as binge watching your favorite TV show, ordering a pastry with your coffee, or taking the day off. All that matters is that your reward is something you enjoy and makes you feel better about accomplishing what you did.
So, go ahead. Reward yourself, you deserve it.