Survival guide: Reward yourself to stay motivated

  • Sameer Parikh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 12, 2015 17:31 IST

If we want to keep ourselves motivated through the long haul, it’s important for each of us to find these little things that keep us going.

Sometimes while struggling to understand a difficult chapter or working tirelessly to overcome our shortcomings, we often wonder if we really need to put ourselves through the agony. Wouldn’t it just be far easier to give up and enjoy our free time instead? It’s here that the important of rewards come into play.

These rewards don’t have to be a new gadget or some expensive item. As humans, we can find rewards in many day-to-day things.

* Rewards help boost your motivation: No matter how boring or monotonous a task at hand might be, a good way of achieving your target is by rewarding yourself at its completion.

* Understand what motivates you: Different things motivate different people to work harder. Figure out what it is that motivates you to give it your best.

* Keep measurable targets: It’s difficult to think of rewards if one doesn’t have a target. Therefore, it’s a good idea to set yourself some targets so that you know where you stand and what it is that you need to do to achieve it. Break down larger challenges into smaller goals to keep yourself-motivated.

* Focus on social rewards: Rewards don’t always have to be material. In fact, social rewards like a pat on the back or praise from a loved one can be far more satisfying than money or a trophy.

* Life isn’t all black and white: Just because you haven’t come first in school or won a competition doesn’t mean that you’ve lost. Find meaning in how you played the game, rather than just the final outcome.

* Be self-reliant: You don’t always need to wait for others to notice your efforts or to reward you. A better idea is to set your own benchmark and reward yourself for achieving it.

* Little things do matter Rewards can range from a piece of chocolate to watching one’s favourite television programme or some time out with a friend. In the long run, these smaller rewards work a lot better than fewer and far between rewards.

* Find intrinsic motivation: Be it learning a new concept, practicing a new rhythm or playing a sport, sometimes just the act of participating in an activity can be rewarding. Work on developing this intrinsic motivation, since eventually, it is this that separates the best amongst the good.

The author is director, mental health and behavioural sciences, Fortis Healthcare

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