Sometimes it’s easier to encourage others than to encourage ourselves, isn’t it? We need to give ourselves pep-talks like, “Yeah, I did work hard, and I am doing great! My routine isn’t perfect yet, but it’s coming along and I’m proud of myself!” Good self-talk is one way of rewarding yourself. Another way is to buy a little something special when you reach a milestone toward a long-term goal. Or take a mini-vacation, or treat yourself to a long phone conversation with a special friend. Be creative and plan your rewards in advance so you can look forward to them. You’ll find yourself going from reward to reward and then – you’ve reached that long-term goal!
Most institutions and organizations understand the importance of rewards. In our early years at elementary school, our teachers gave us gold stars. As we grew older, we received grades, diplomas, awards and bonuses. Don’t wait for the applause of others; give “self-strokes” as you succeed at even the smallest task. This is one way it can work:
Take each goal and choose three or four milestones that you consider to be the most significant “intermediate goals.”
Decide on rewards to give yourself for the intermediate goals.
Exercise discipline. Don’t give yourself rewards until you’ve honestly reached your milestones.
When you divide your goals into intermediate milestones it’s easier to see progress and to create a reward system that facilitates your progress.
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