I think we should consider rewards investments. When we reward ourselves for a job well done or for not giving up or for going the extra mile, we’re not just giving ourselves some kind of two-bit prize, we’re investing in the change that we’ve made.
On April 1, you start a 30 day workout challenge and complete it. On April 28th, you take up running like a Viking and start logging a half marathon every week. Sure, it takes you four days a week to complete the half marathon, but you’re still doing it. In May, you take on another challenge. The same with June, July, and August. You continue running regardless of your location –at home, in Portland, while away at school for two weeks. You get so involved, you find an adorable running partner (in addition to your furry friend who can lap you easily).
In August, you add in changing your eating habits. You count carbs, work on portion control, and generally carry around a wooden cross and cloves of garlic to ward off any and all sugary temptations –of which there are quite a lot. You drink gallons of water, purposefully find reasons to take extra steps, rework your schedule to fit in 30-40 minute workouts every morning…all before you get on your bike and pedal 3 miles to work.
And don’t forget you go home after work –that’s another 3 miles.
Through all of these changes and additional physical exercise, you continue to go to work each day, because you know, you like to pay the bills or whatever. You take on extra work in a field you love. You do your homework because that’s the only way they’ll give you the degree –you’re pretty amazing, but there won’t be an honorary degree for you.
Have there been any rewards through all of this? Sure. The sun’s been out quite a bit, so there’s the Vitamin D, the golden brown skin, the fresh air. Your clothes fit better (score!) and you’re having a blast making some friends in the challenges. Your adorable little running buddy puts a smile on your face and you love spending time with that puppy, who has finally learned how to run without tripping you.
And you can’t not want to spell out the rewards like Monica did after she lost all the weight:
“Sure, I look good and I feel good and my heart’s not in trouble anymore. Blah, blah, blah.”
But sometimes you need a little bit more. A little bit more than just new running shoes or new workout gear. Yes, that stuff is great and you’re rocking your new gym-babe look, but what about the you that’s tired and occasionally wishes for a day of near comatose sleep that comes with a side of pizza and real ice cream? Not that faux stuff you created out of a serving of Greek yogurt topped with frozen berries and the tiniest drop of honey.
Yeah, I feel you. Because that’s where I’m at right now. I’m five months into this journey and I’ve hit a wall of tired. Yet I don’t want to give up. I can’t give up. Giving up is worse than the tired.
So, I’m going to reward myself for working this hard. I’m going to invest in myself, my future, and the next 5 months of this journey.
Two days from now, I’m going to buy: a gorgeous red dress, a travel blender (for protein drinks when I travel), a spiralizer (because those look fun and I want to try zoodles), a healthy cookbook (go #21dayfix and Fixate), and some new tops.
You thought I was going to reward myself with ice cream and pizza didn’t you? Believe me, I considered t.
Those things will be my reward and my investment in me. Because I’m working hard and have more work to do. Because being tired will pass. Because the long dark days of winter will come and they’ll go. Because the sore muscles will get stronger. Because I only get one body in this crazy life.
Because I am worth taking care of. I am worth the investment.
And so are you.