Setting goals in life is important. Whether it is in our personal life or at work, we need to have something to strive for to get ahead and feel accomplished. But, as we all know, willpower plays a huge role in how much we actually do to achieve these goals. We can either read a helpful book, or we can binge watch Netflix. We can either work on that big project, or we can take another coffee break. But what if you could take willpower out of the equation? Life Hack recently gave us 5 ways to use rewards and punishments to do just that. Take a look at how they suggest rewarding and punishing ourselves will actually help us achieve goals.
- Treat yourself when you get it right
When trying to reach a goal you should aim to treat yourself every week.
You can probably break your big goal down into little milestones. You should try and reach milestone per week. The great thing about milestones is that it breaks down the goal and lets you know when you are on the right track. Every time you hit a milestone you should treat yourself.
The treat you give yourself does not have to be something massive. But it should be something that you really enjoy and look forward to. It is important that the weekly treat does not set you back in terms of your goal. If you’re looking to lose weight, it might not be a good idea to make your weekly goal a tub of ice cream, for example.
Having a weekly reward will provide you with a fresh burst of motivation each week. You’ll feel rejuvenated as a result of the treat and the small milestones will make progress seem easier.
- Tell everyone about your plans
Nobody wants to fail in public. Public humiliation can be one of the most motivating factors ever when it comes to reaching our goals.
Mention to someone that you’re going after a big goal. Try and find someone who is going to give you a hard time should you fail. Someone who will make a comment or two when you’re failing and will let the rest of the world know too.
This might sound like a bad idea, but it can be really helpful. You do not want this person to spread the bad news. It will feel even better when you reach your goal and you can prove to them that you were capable of reaching your goal. Pick the right person and just watch how motivated you’re going to feel.
- Place a bet
If there is one thing we all hate, it’s losing money. You can take advantage of this psychological quirk by placing a big bet with someone based on your goal.
A big bet often tends to vary depending on who you are and what your salary is. For most people, however, 2% of their yearly salary seems to be big enough. Set an end date for your goal and then get to work.
Make sure you and the other person included in the bet are clear on the terms. Ensure that the each of you have an agreement based on how you’re going to measure this goal and its achievement.
- Create your own consequences
Should you fail to reach a weekly milestone, you may want to put yourself through something that you really don’t like. This might take a little bit more effort when compared to everything else that has been mentioned, though it can still be helpful.
For some people, a cold shower might be the right kind of punishment for failing to reach a goal. Other people may decide that failure to reach a goal should result in them having to buy a gift for their least favorite person in the world. You could even consider donating to a charity you don’t like.
- Have a friend support you
When it shooting for a goal, the support of a friend can really help. You should try and convince a good friend to reward you when you reach a goal.
This tends to work for a variety of reasons. Firstly, you do not want to let your friend down, and so will do everything you can to reach your goal. Secondly, you’ll work hard because you want the aforementioned reward once reach a goal. You’ll also have someone to talk to when the going gets tough.
Provided that you have a great friend who cares enough to stand by their word, this technique can be a real godsend.
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