There’s no simple or precise answer to this, but it’s basically just up to you!
There is no perfect rhyme or reason for when you deserve a reward, but just know that you don’t have to wait until you cross the final finish line to celebrate your success.
Remember, success is hard. Improvement is usually a long and winding road that you have to walk all by yourself, uphill, in the rain.
Not literally, but figuratively it’s pretty spot on.
Each person’s journey is going to be different, but you should be able to recognize your achievements even if you haven’t made it “all the way” yet.
Why would you reward yourself if you haven’t accomplished your goal?
If you’ve read any of our previous New Year’s blogs, you’ll have heard the words micro-goals or short-term goals plenty of times before.
We’ve previously mentioned how short-term goals help keep you accountable to your main-goal, and how short-term goals can help you create a realistic timeline for your progress. While not every short-term goal needs to be celebrated, they’re a great chance to reflect on your progress and reward yourself for how far you’ve come!
If we refer back to our first analogy in Part 1 of this series, then our goal is to raise $1,000.
There are two main ways to set a timeline for your goal:
The first way to set a timeline for your goal is to simply create the time limit. In Part 1 of our series, we said we wanted to save $1,000 in 6months. The simple math came out to this:
6monthx4weeks = 24 weeks.
$1000 / 24weeks = $42/week.
You set your time limit and divide that up into smaller increments to create your short-term goals. Your short-term goal in this case is to save $42 per week, which will ultimately add up to $1000 over the course of 6 months.
The other way to create short-term goals is simply recognize what you’re able to accomplish in short periods of time and work from there.
Again, your ultimate goal is to save $1000. Perhaps you can’t save $42 per week though, so now you have to figure out a more realistic timeline.
So now we ask, what is the most you can do?
Let’s say you can save $25 a week.
In that case, we take the $1000 divided by your $25, and figure that it will take you 40 weeks in order to accomplish your goal. It’s just another way to reconfigure your goal and be realistic with your capabilities. Even if you can’t accomplish something as quickly as you’d like, go after it anyway!
Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.
Back to the point, these micro-goals give you an opportunity to assess your situation clearly at each step. You don’t necessarily need to reward yourself every small step of the way but set clear markers for when you should reward yourself.
In this case, you probably don’t need to reward yourself every single week. However, maybe you should decide to reward yourself every time you save another $100. Maybe you decide to reward yourself when you’ve saved another $200, or when you’re halfway there. Whatever it is, just make sure you’re setting clear mile-markers for your own success and creating a pattern of recognition for yourself.
We are a species that thrives on instant gratification. Often if there is no instant gratification (or immediate consequence), then we have the tendency to completely disassociate the outcome from the root cause.
For example, people who get paid weekly are more conscious of how many hours they work on a week-to-week basis. However, if you’re getting paid monthly, it’s going to seem less consequential to leave work early during the first week or two in the month. Your brain disassociates your work hours from your paycheck because of the time gap in between.
Knowing that we often rely on instant-gratification as a means of awareness, it makes more sense why we need to reward ourselves along our journey.
Always be proud of the progress you’ve made and continue working towards bigger and better things. Never become complacent and never give up!
I hope you enjoyed our article covering small rewards. Our New Year’s goal was to bring you solid, insightful, and inspirational content for the entire month of January to help kick start your New Year’s Resolution.
If you liked this article, be sure to share it with your friends!
P.S. Don’t forget you’re awesome!