Does the carrot and stick principle still exist? Well, the answer is yes. Having a mixture of both reward and punishment as incentives to reach your goals faster form good habits and encourage good behaviour. Imagine that you have put in all the hard work, but you don’t get anything in return: how does that make you feel?
Therefore, it is essential to celebrate your hard work and to reward yourself for the effort that you have put in. Here are three simple reasons why it is important to reward yourself for your effort and achievements:
1. Rewards make you feel good
When you reward yourself, your brain releases a chemical called dopamine, which plays a major role in the components of reward-motivated behaviour, making you feel good and happy. As a result, you become more compelled to do the task particularly on days where you feel like giving up or slacking: having rewards pushes you forward towards your next objective.
2. Positive reinforcement
Connecting your hard work to rewards efficiently gives you a mental break but also motivates you to want to do more of it. Successful people are always focusing on the rewards. They keep their eyes on the goals, the rewards and the success that they want to achieve. They don’t look at the problems, the “what-ifs” or setbacks, because they know that whatever they focus on is what they will get. Knowing that you will be rewarded at the finish line will make you want to set goals for yourself all the time. Have fun and get creative in finding ways to reward yourself and you will enjoy the action of reaching your goals on a whole new level.
In the workplace, it is not only essential to apply positive reinforcement to employees, but to also praise yourself for doing a good job, this will increase your likelihood of doing that job very well again in the future.
3. You deserve it
It is important to realise that if you have worked hard to achieve your goals that you start rewarding yourself. When was the last time you told yourself, “Well done, great job”? It is vital to acknowledge your hard work and progress and give yourself a pat on the back from time to time. If you have been very active and determined to achieve the targets that you set, and you make a concerted effort to create the results you want, you should give yourself a treat. Don’t ever feel that you don’t deserve it.
Similarly, when rewarding yourself for achievements it is essential to push yourself to reach goals that exist beyond your comfort zone. This is a great way to achieve your biggest objective and is even more rewarding when you take on challenges that are harder than what you are used to. Therefore, embrace challenges that are bigger and more complex, this in turn will help you get comfortable pushing yourself beyond your limits and achieving your biggest goals.
It is important to appreciate the significance of rewarding yourself, but you must ensure you do it properly. You want to use the reward to build your momentum so that you will take more action and create more success in the future. For example, planning is extremely useful. By creating daily routines and tasks you will become more proactive and this will naturally help you build momentum as well as being more rewarding. You don’t want to use a reward that makes you feel careless and is not helping your development.