Day 28: Reward Yourself
Helping Athletes, Teams, and Coaches Peform!
It's easy to get caught up in the relentless pursuit of excellence. As an athlete, you work hard day in and day out to achieve your goals and improve your performance. However, it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments along the way in order to maintain motivation and build self-confidence. The key is not all rewards are created equal. It’s important to properly reward yourself to ensure that you continue to see progress and stay on track towards your goals while maintaining your values.
So what makes a reward “proper”? A proper reward should align with your values and goals, reinforce positive habits, and not compromise your overall health and well-being. Here are some tips for properly rewarding yourself:
1. Set specific goals and benchmarks. Before you can reward yourself, you need to know what you’re working towards. Set specific, measurable goals and benchmarks for yourself. These could be long term goals, like qualifying for a competition or breaking a personal record, or short-term goals, like completing a training session or sticking to your nutrition plan for the week. Setting these goals will help you stay motivated and give you clear targets to work towards.
2. Choose rewards that align with your goals and values. Once you achieve a goal or benchmark, it’s time to reward yourself! However, it’s important to choose rewards that align with your goals and values. For example, if your goal is to improve your performance in a particular sport, a proper reward might be to invest in new equipment or gear that will help you achieve that goal. If your goal is to improve your nutrition, a proper reward might be a healthy meal at your favorite restaurant or a cooking class to help you learn new healthy recipes.
3. Use rewards to reinforce positive habits. Rewards can be a powerful motivator and can help reinforce positive habits. For example, if you’ve been consistently hitting the gym every day for a month, reward yourself by treating yourself to a massage or a day off. This reinforces the healthy habit of exercising regularly and can give you a much-needed break to rest and recover.
4. Don’t compromise your overall health and well-being. While rewards are important, it’s important to not compromise your overall health and well-being in the process. If you’re trying to improve your nutrition, rewarding yourself with a cheat day may set you back and ultimately damage your progress. Instead, choose rewards that support your health and wellness. Remember, rest, relaxation and having other things in life are important to maintaining a balanced athletic identity.
Tips to Help Reward Yourself
Now that we understand the importance of rewards, let's discuss a few tips to level up your reward system:
Celebrate Effort, Not Just Outcomes: Don't limit rewards solely to victories or personal bests. Recognize and reward the effort you put into your training and preparation. This can include acknowledging perseverance during tough workouts or the discipline to maintain a strict training schedule.
Non-Material Rewards: Not all rewards need to be material possessions. Consider non-material rewards like a day of relaxation, spending quality time with family and friends, or even engaging in a hobby outside of your sport.
Document Your Achievements: Keep a journal or a digital record of your accomplishments and the rewards you've given yourself. This not only serves as a motivating track record but also helps you reflect on your journey.
Properly rewarding yourself is important for maintaining motivation and building self-confidence. By setting specific goals, choosing rewards that align with your values and goals, reinforcing positive habits, and prioritizing your overall health and well-being, you’ll stay on track towards achieving your goals and become a stronger, healthier athlete.
Key Take Aways
Reward yourself with things that align with your goals and values. Never deviate from your values.
Rewards can reinforce positive habits. The more effective habits you have, the more time you have to put into more important things because habits are things you do automatically with little thought.
Rewards should align with your healthy active lifestyle, not compromise it.