I’m nearing an important fitness goal, but am acutely aware of how I’ve diminished my family’s coffers with all the rewards I’ve given myself over the past year for meeting weekly goals, fitness goals, weight goals. (Mmmm presents!) I seem to be better and better at setting smaller and smaller goals so that I win more and more prizes. It’s made me into a spoiled brat. Or maybe it’s simply underscored my natural tendency toward spoilage.
But I’ve got to cut back to pay for some upcoming travel (Ireland and GB for the entire month of May!) So in an effort to think of less pricey (I draw a blank!) but nevertheless worthy gifts and rewards for ongoing goals, I’ve been asking around on the iVillage boards and over coffee and in the clubs lately: What sort of rewards should we give ourselves when we know we’ve done well and want to commemorate it? But don’t want to go broke?
Here are some of the responses I’ve collected. See if they help you develop your own list. Do write your future rewards list in your journal or in some place safe where you can go and incent yourself to keep moving ahead toward better health and fitness.
“Sometimes I reward myself with new clothes – but I don’t go overboard on that because my plan is to weigh much less than I do now.”
“Clothes, but I focus on things that will fit me at my ideal weight, like cardigans and shoes and wonderful hose.”
“A good book is always nice.”
“New nail polish, new lipstick”
“I do something new with my hair.”
“For every 10 lbs, a Hanro T-shirt. Pricey, but hey. It’s 10 lbs.!”
“New CDs to listen and work out to.”
“For every pound I lose, I put $5 in my new clothes bank. When I hit my short-term goals (which I did this week), I go out and buy a new item of clothing. This time it happened that I had enough to buy a new pair of walking shoes, which I desperately needed.”
“When I drop a dress size, I try on sexy evening gowns. It feels great to just try them on even if I’m not buying.”
“I go for a hike somewhere pretty or just lie around and listen to music for a day if I have been good.”
“A new gadget. A radio or MP3 player or bike odometer or pedometer, something having to do with my new active life and my geek identity.”
“Earrings. I love them. When I reach a goal I buy myself a pair.”
“Lotions, potions, bath salts, anything that makes me feel pretty and pampered.”
“I get together with my sister, and we give each other manicures and pedicures.”
“I unplug the phone, hire a sitter, lose my husband, and stay home with a good book for a few precious hours.”
“Music, music, music. It’s great because tying CD buying to my fitness goals controlls my CD spending habit, and makes reaching my goals something I’m dead serious about.”
“Lipstick, lipstick, lipstick! I have a drawerful, but it doesn’t matter. A new tube always lifts my spirits.”
Find your own best incentives, and dangle them where you’ll see them every day.