Help me brainstorm rewards for myself
August 30, 2017 10:54 AM   Subscribe

I want to try peppering my projects and daily tasks with motivating rewards, but I'm having trouble thinking of enticing things to reward myself with. I don't want to use food, since conflating eating with merit seems potentially harmful. Any ideas? All suggestions are helpful.
posted by delight to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
A massage
New candle of your favorite scent
New outfit
Trip to a favorite museum
Weekend away (for a big goal met/project completed)
posted by TurquoiseZebra at 11:00 AM on August 30, 2017

Tokens that add up to a dollar value towards something you want to buy?
posted by bizarrenacle at 11:04 AM on August 30, 2017

For daily tasks, I like doing things like, "OK, you have to get XYZ done, and after that, you can read metafilter for 15 minutes or watch a YouTube video of your choosing." Little media-type rewards. Or even depending on the project/where you're at, going for a walk or taking a general break.
posted by knownassociate at 11:06 AM on August 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

This is actually a question where all those listicles can have good answers!

- 10 ways to reward yourself
- 21 frugal ways to reward yourself
- 155 ways to rewards yourself
and probably many more out there to browse.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 11:09 AM on August 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

For me it depends whether I'm looking at little things like "Get out of the house and don't fuck around all day" or bigger things "Make a healthy dinner and eat it at the dinner table"

For little things where I just need to motivate I usually keep a bunch of cough drops around (insert: any small thing that you like, could be gum, could be a toothpick, could be some nice ice water) and carry one with me until I have finished the thing.

For other things sometimes I stack things where the things I don't want to do as much come before the thing I really want to do. So like "Open mail, make that one phone call, then watch the new episode of X" Or "Start making coffee and then go brush and floss and have your coffee after your teeth are clean"

I usually put food "rewards" in line with exercise projects. So, I enjoy exercising but usually mostly after I am done. So on days I walk more than 45 minutes I... get dessert or something. Otherwise I try to stick to whatever my decent food plan is. And my exercise rewards are often tied in with going to the gym. So I have a tv show I like which I will only watch on the exercise bike, or my favorite soaps and shampoos and towel are at the gym which rewards going there and showering there.
posted by jessamyn at 12:57 PM on August 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

It's taken me over 40 years to fully accept I am extremely picky about self-rewards. I've learned they need to be things I would never, ever do for myself in ordinary circumstances:

1. Fresh lilies
2. Get groceries delivered from Wegmans or Whole Foods--the stores I typically cannot afford to shop
3. That's it.

I hate sitting still for manicures/pedicures/facials/massage, I don't want anyone coming in to clean my house, and I've spent years getting over growing up with a mom who had good and bad foods so now I eat what I want and never consider food as a treat.

It's a small list but those are the things that make me feel special.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 1:52 PM on August 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

Get a wall calendar, markers and star stickers. It's cheesy, but visible indicators of achievement work well. Whatever new habit or behavior you're trying to instll, break it into small components. For every task completed, you put an X on the chart. 5 Xs = 1 sticker. A full week of stickers = a tangible reward, which can be a movie or music from itunes, a book, really cute socks, string lights. Buzzfeed Shopping has constant listicles about stuff you don't need at Amazon, and a few items will appeal to you.
posted by theora55 at 9:24 PM on August 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

I don't want to use food, since conflating eating with merit seems potentially harmful.

"If you do this task, you can have a brownie" is not great. "You cannot have coffee until you do this task" is not at all the same thing.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:23 AM on August 31, 2017

Always remember to smile for yourself, when you do something well. Make sure you do that, then it wires in as a reward. And you reward yourself, it is the best of communications with self. You validate your ability to reward yourself with happiness.
posted by Oyéah at 12:27 PM on August 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

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