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How to Reward Yourself After Accomplishing Goals

Woman in silhouette jumping over mountains with sunset in background.

I’ve talked before about the importance of motivation to master a daily habit or reach a big quarterly or annual goal. Anticipation of a reward can be a powerful motivating factor. But … like what?

The DevelopGoodHabits site offers 155 ways to reward yourself. But to me, those ideas are better suited to reward smaller habit goals. Not enough to get me psyched up.

For example, I do love their suggestion to take a long bath, but that’s not a very big reward for me. Putting stickers on my planner doesn’t cut it for me at all. And some of those “rewards” felt to me like penalties!  (I don’t enjoy window shopping at the mall.)

But here are what I’d consider high impact rewards for when I (or you) accomplish a high impact goal. 

Free to low price

Here, I’m thinking less than $20.

  • Might you have been successful shaving time off time from your day while you simultaneously achieve your big goals? Start an herb garden with those extra hours.
  • Take a drive into the country at night — deep into a rural area — and go stargazing. It will give you a great sense of magnificence, and hopefully, a sense of empowerment.
  • Treat yourself to a decadent dessert or other treat. Think self-care; relaxation.
  • Go to a flea market; buy an elegant item at a bargain price.
  • Use a shopping service for your groceries. In my neighborhood, a one-time delivery service costs $7-10 extra. (Want a bigger reward?  Get a 1-year subscription to Instacart. I had a coupon for half off a $100 subscription.)
  • Purchase a subscription to a premium service for movies or entertainment. Premium Spotify service is around $10 a month.
  • Create an at-home spa day. Again, think self-care; relaxation.
  • Fly a kite. I’m serious! As you’re doing it, tie one of your “worries” to the end of the string and imagine that the worry floats away as the kite flies in the air.

Moderate price

Here, I’m thinking in the $20 to $100 neighborhood.

  • Order a subscription to a meal service. There are several listed here. I’ve never tried any of these, but I’ve read about the quality, convenience, and nutritional value of HelloFresh and Blue Apron. 
  • Buy yourself a gift card for a mani/pedi; don’t allow yourself to use it until you achieve your goal.
  • Hire someone to clean your house to reward yourself.
  • Buy a weighted blanket. Some small studies have suggested that, like a hug, weighted blankets help to “cuddle” you, thus calming your sympathetic nervous system. Examples include the Gravity Blanket, or the Tranquility blanket.
  • An insulated French press cup
  • A FriXion pen. There’s no way I’d allow myself to have such an expensive pen on some whim. But one quarter, I promised myself that I’d get this expensive but functional pen if my business met its quarterly goal. We actually came in at 104% that quarter. Now, I attach it to my Full Focus Planner, and I use it every day. Which means that every day, I am reminded of my success that quarter!

High price

  • Get season tickets to the opera, a baseball game, or something you enjoy to reward yourself.
  • Go to a high-end restaurant. I prefer a local favorite. But if you need suggestions for a nationally-recognized chain, consider Wildfire, Del Frisco’s, Ruth’s Chris, or Morton’s. (In that order.) A bunch more are listed here.
  • Buy a designer accessory. (I once bought myself a fabulous cashmere Oscar de la Renta scarf.)
  • Book a leisure trip to a fabulous destination.

Here’s my main message. When you write your goals, write your motivations, and your rewards.

What do you do to reward yourself? Or what rewards do you give to others that you might enjoy for yourself?

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