Saturday, May 2, 2009

Start Using Rewards To Change Your Habits

How good are you at doing things you don't like to do?

Boy is that a loaded question or what?

If you're like most people - you aren't so good. You avoid doing the things you don't like to do like the plague. And do them only when you absolutely have to.

So let me ask you, "How do you get your children do things they don't want to do?"

More importantly, how do you get them to WANT to do things they don't want to do - like eating their vegetables at dinner?

There are numerous ways, but one of the most effective methods many parents use is holding dessert hostage. That's right making dessert a reward for eating something you want them to eat, but that they don't want to eat.

This method works for a whole lot more than brussels sprouts, especially when the reward is more desirable than the "undesired" task at hand. The bigger the challenge / difficulty, the more desirable the reward needs to be.

So, why is it that as we get older, we don't think it will work anymore? Why do we think that tying a reward to something that we normally don't like to do is such a bad thing? Truth is because we reward ourselves anytime we want.

If we want a chocolate chip cookie, we don't wait until we do something tough, we just eat one. If we want something special at the store, we don't wait to buy it, we just do.

The question that I ask, is "How's that working for you?"

Frankly, it's not that I think it doesn't work occasionally and it's not that I'm saying you don't deserve pampering yourself on occasion. Unfortunately, we have become an entitlement society and instead of making nice things rewards for hard work or for work that you don't want to do, we just assume that we deserve things right from the get-go.

This is why so many of us don't do the things we know we should in order to have what we want in life. Whether that's saving up for something we want or eating healthy in our personal lives or writing business plans and measuring everything in our business.

So, how do we change this? Why would we want to change this?

Because if you continue to do what you've always done,
then you will get what you have always gotten.

The answer is as simple as it is obvious. Change how we look at what we are doing and how we reward ourselves. Rather than rewarding ourselves for doing what we've always done, start rewarding yourself for what you want to do - what will create the life and / or business you want.

Start small though. Don't try to change your world overnight, but start looking at things differently right now. Begin by figuring out what you do that is a "reward" or "treat" in your mind and start using that to change your behavior. Hold yourself hostage to accomplishing what you want - by rewarding the right behavior, rather than the wrong one.

This is not easy to do on your own. This is where you want and / or need an accountability partner - someone who you can count on to make sure you are doing what you say you will do, before you get what you want.

So if you want to change what you have, start rewarding the behavior you want rather than the behavior you currently have and do what ever it takes to make it happen.

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