Motivators are so individual. I have seen people work toward health or weight loss goals with the incentive of “earning” a special bowl or vase they might not otherwise buy. . . or maybe they would, but somehow it is different when they “earn” it. Others will work for mere stars on a chart.
One of my clients told me about his recent motivational technique, one that is working very nicely for him. He gives himself money – tracked in a notebook log – for accomplishing certain behavior goals. Not eating after a certain time at night earns a dollar amount, etc.
He applies his “earnings” to clothing purchases. Granted they are items he needs and would probably buy anyway, but he explains that “it just feels more like I earned it.”
I love creative ideas like this. The fact that he came up with the plan himself makes it even better – it is customized to his personal motivators. We all can get discouraged – or just plain bored – working for a long time toward a goal. It helps to offer a personalized “carrot” to keep us moving forward.
Is this just a game we can play with ourselves? Of course, but who cares if it is effective. There are plenty of mental games we play with ourselves that work against our goals. Let’s take advantage of every opportunity to get mind games to work for us instead. That’s what I think!