We can be our own worst coaches. When we are working on hard goals it is easy to become that yelling critical coaches that doesn’t have an “atta girl/boy” in them.
Positive Reinforcement is giving something desirable to increase the likelihood of a behavior occurring again. If you’ve been working towards your goal, then give yourself a reward for that hard work and know that doing so can increase the likelihood that you will keep it up. The trick here is that you’re not giving yourself a reward for achieving the outcome you’re desiring for working on your goal. You reward yourself for the steps you’re taking to get there.
You’re not rewarding yourself for losing 3 pounds, you’re rewarding yourself for working out and declining that chocolate chip cookie.
You’re not rewarding yourself for feeling content and not depressed, you’re rewarding yourself for getting out of the house to socialize and taking a 15-minute walk in the sun…. even if you still feel depressed.
You’re not rewarding yourself for having 0 panic attacks this week, you’re rewarding yourself for each time you practice a relaxation exercise or write in your journal.
Rewards work best when you provide them consistently. So, EVERY TIME you take a step towards your goal…TREAT YO’SELF.
Earlier in the week, on the PHS Social Media pages, I shared post detailing 155 ways to treat yourself. A common mistake people make is to treat themselves with what they’re goal has them walking away from. So essentially you walk 5 steps forward only to take 5 steps back (and sometimes 6, 7, 8 steps back) and land right back where you started. When you choose the reward you will treat yourself with make sure that it is not one tied to what you are working away from. Chose a reward that keeps you walking forward on the path towards your goal.
Pick a few rewards and plan to treat yourself with them each time you take a step towards your goal. With this small action you are increasing the likelihood of you continuing to take those steps and you are teaching yourself how important you are by consistently showing yourself compassion.
Treat yo’self well today!