Do you have a tendency to sabotage your health and fitness efforts with ‘rewards’ for good behaviour?
Here’s how to find out:
You make it to the gym, have a good run on the treadmill, and treat yourself to a double scoop ice cream cone afterward.
You cut out all carbs all morning, down a green smoothie, go for a walk, and feel starving for two heaping platefuls of spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.
You go to the gym 3 times during the week, but all bets are off on the weekend. You allow yourself to eat anything you want and not move from the couch for 2 days…
If any of those sound familiar, you are not alone, and you can shift your life and health dramatically; away from the one step forward/one step back mentality; and more quickly to your goals simply by tweaking your approach to rewards.
Before I share a couple of tips on how you can choose great rewards, it will be helpful to get clear on a couple of things for yourself first.
Firstly, ask yourself: What makes me feel amazing and fills me up?
In other words, what have I always loved to do, but don’t always make time to for? You can search for answers around the areas of creative expression, mental stimulation, and/or mindful relaxation.
What is my intention for my health and my fitness in the next month, and the next year? Get really clear on this, and specific. It will help with our exercise later.
Because we don’t always choose rewards that support us, let’s become more aware of how we can use rewards to our benefit. Let’s play a game to create a mindset shift, reframing the word ‘reward’ in our heads. To do this, all that is required is to ask yourself two questions when choosing a reward.
Is this nourishing for my body, mind or spirit?’
Only if the answer is yes can it be deemed a reward.
Does this ‘reward’ support my greater intention for myself and my health?
If you answer ‘yes’ to both of these questions, then chances are, you’ve chosen a supportive, nourishing and fulfilling reward that will take you closer to, rather than away from, your goals.
Not everything that is nourishing or good for you is boring, costs money, or is hard to do. Much of it actually feels great, doesn’t cost anything and doesn’t require much time or effort.
What are some other examples?
listening to a podcast (stimulating your mind)
meditation (providing mental clarity and stress reduction)
reading a book (encouraging relaxation)
A soak in the bath or hot tub (dissolving muscle tension)
A walk in the woods reconnecting with nature (promoting peace)
A hike or a tea with a positive friend (providing social connection)
singing, creative writing or dancing; whatever moves you! (supporting creative expression)
When you reframe the word reward this way, your actions nourish you in the moment AND align with your short-term goals and long-term intentions for yourself. Remember, choose nourishing behaviours.
For more information on ways to promote health through simple and progressive lifestyle changes, click the link below to join the next 10UP program starting April 23rd!