One of the best ways to motivate yourself is to give yourself a reward. What kind of reward works best for you?
Positive reinforcement is a good way to train your body and mind. When you exhibit a behavior you like, giving yourself a reward sends a positive message. In theory, you will come to associate good behavior with getting a reward.
That might sound a bit clinical, but the truth is we use these positive reinforcements every day. If, for instance, you have a cup of coffee each morning, you probably come to think of morning and coffee going together.
Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss a related question: ‘How do you define success?’ We also discuss bonus question, ‘Is happiness the most important purpose of life?’
However, finding the right reinforcement to use in any given situation can be tricky. One bad example is to reward an exercise session with a dessert. That might make you look forward to working out so that you can get a sweet treat, but the reward might well be more calories than you burned working out. If the goal is to lose weight, it might well be counter-productive.
What sorts of rewards work best for you? Are their specific ones you use in certain circumstances? Are there “bad” examples you have adopted in the past?