I feel like our lives are just one big deal with ourselves. We go from one moment to another making deals, “you do this you get this, you don’t do this you don’t get this” type of thing. This got me thinking in a day how many deals do I make with myself? are they always the same? and is this really an effective way to motivate myself?
I am going to start with the last question first because I feel like it is the easiest to answer. Is this an effective way to motivate myself? I am going to go with a big fat yes. Making deals with myself has been a great tool in motivation. As far back as I can remember I have used this tactic to get me to do things I wasn’t so interested in or was feeling too lazy to really want to do. In University I would head out to the corner store and buy myself Reece Pieces put them on my desk in front of my face and tell myself that if I finished all my readings or the first five pages of an essay I could have the candy. In the past I have also used this method to motivate me to stick to healthy eating and to encourage myself to go to the gym on days where I really didn’t feel like it. I didn’t use candy but my treat days are definitely motivators to eat healthy the rest of the week and going to the gym on my scheduled days made me feel better about the days I did nothing but watching TV.
Are my motivators or “deals” always the same? Sure I encourage myself to eat healthy but I don’t look forward to that treat day with as much anticipation as I did when I started my health and fitness journey, also my “treats” aren’t the same as they were when I started. I also need to do this a lot less with the gym, yoga or whatever type of physical activity I am engaging in. Now I just look forward to moving and move a lot more so when it comes to spending a lazy day on the couch (when I get them) I have no guilt associated with it. So to answer my second question, no the “deals” aren’t always the same, I have found that over time they have shifted, I have started to rely on this process less in the area of health and fitness, however it may still be employed when it comes to school work (I will keep you posted there) and cleaning the house.
How many deals am I making with myself? In short, I have no idea. I find that my internal wheelings and dealings aren’t always something I am conscious of, I mean I try to be conscious of what I am telling myself, how I am motivating myself, etc. but I don’t catch it all. So I am not 100% sure of how many of these little daily deals I make with myself. However, from just realizing that I make these deals with myself I have been able to observe the transition of “goods” I offer myself. I tend not to use food and snacks as much any more and I tend to use things like new training courses, expensive workout gear or some spa time just for a couple examples.
So all in all I find that having these deals or motivations have been and are helpful. It helps motivate me and keep me linked into my smaller goals and on track to meet my larger goals or the “bigger picture” if you will. I have found that it is tiny tricks that help me generate new healthy habits or just get you to clean the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon. It is really just about finding things that work for us to help each and everyone of us reach our own personal goals.
What types of little tricks do you use to motivate you to do things (workout, personal, work) that maybe you aren’t too interested in doing at the time?