It’s not what you think/Outside the box: reward yourself for the little things

"C'est ça la Vie" Cupcakes (4337764070)

By Clever Cupcakes from Montreal, Canada (“C’est ça la Vie” Cupcakes) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

So something big just happened to you, you got a big promotion, you passed that really hard exam, you finally finished that project you’ve been working on for years, you finally lost those 5 kilograms that just stuck to you and wouldn’t go away; so what do you do when something big like this comes to pass? You celebrate and reward yourself. Maybe you have a nice dinner; maybe you go watch a movie, maybe you buy yourself something you’ve always wanted, heck you might even throw a party! But big victories are not the only thing that happens in life, sometimes there are some small victories too.

So what kind of small victories am I talking about? Well stuff like I made it to the appointment on time or I reached my quota for today or I finished my homework on time; these small everyday victories that we usually put to the side once they’re done. I feel we should somehow celebrate these small victories as well. I’m not saying you should go and do something huge every time you finish your work, that’s impractical and silly (even though I wish I could actually do that). A small victory deserves a small reward.

  • Just finished an assignment? Have a piece of candy or a small snack.
  • Made it to work on time? Play a game on your phone for five minutes (make sure the boss doesn’t catch you).
  • Finished all your work for the day? Watch an episode of your favourite show on T.V. Or you could take a nap (If you’re at home).
  • Finished washing the dishes? Listen to your favourite song.

These are just some examples of small everyday victories that you can reward yourself for, in a small way. It doesn’t seem like much, getting small rewards for small things, but it can have a cumulative effect i.e. it stacks up. You don’t feel as bad about doing menial things since you know there is a reward at the end and the reward itself makes you feel good. As time goes by the little rewards you give yourself start to take effect and you start to feel happier and more relaxed overall; at least that is my own personal observation. I can’t say it will work for everyone all the time; that said who doesn’t like a little reward for something?

Just like, whenever I manage to finish a blog-post here, I reward myself with a funny video. Also I found this little article for you, to prove my point. It’s called “The Psychology of Rewarding Yourself with Treats”  by Gretchen Rubin, posted on psychcentral.com.

The article discusses how a little surprise gift or a funny video can actually increase your self-control and self-regard.

So go ahead and try rewarding yourself, just be mindful of how you reward yourself and how much; you shouldn’t spend a hundred dollars or eat 10 chocolate bars just because you cleaned your room!

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