Finding time for your favorite activities as well as life's daily demands requires focus and discipline. But once you have put in your best efforts, do you truly keep your promise to yourself for that weekend away or special event? If not, start following through on rewarding yourself right away.
Enjoy 3 immediate benefits when rewarding yourself consistently:
- You provide yourself with the enjoyment you deserve. Taking time off brightens your outlook, and you return to your daily life refreshed and alert.
- You build your trust in yourself. In the same way that a child looks to a parent to keep promises, you integrate your energy by matching your words with your actions. Don't you deserve to be as good a friend to yourself as you are to others?
- You actually strengthen your self-discipline. When you replace empty promises with concrete action, you heighten your incentive to focus on problem tasks.
To set this positive cycle in motion, follow these guidelines:
- Actions, not words. If you are used to pushing past your own promises to yourself, start small. Never make a promise you may not be able to follow through on.
- Don't retract; reschedule. When life throws you a curve ball, don't cave in. Simply replace the reward that evaporated with a new one you create.
- Aim for success. Set the bar low enough to succeed. Don't punish yourself with rewards that are conditional upon achieving overambitious tasks.
- Go public. If you need reinforcement, tell a friend what you intend to do. Report in, or ask your friend to check in to ensure you're keeping your promise to yourself.
- Daily does it. Build in a small reward every day or so. Practice builds proficiency.
- Build up. Gradually escalate to larger rewards. Include friends in your choices. Be sure not to let them down!
- Free treats. As you establish strong patterns of success, build in time for yourself that is not dependent upon achievement. For example, take one day a month off to do whatever you want to do, no matter what. This enables you to recharge your energy and enhance your creativity.
In addition to the short-term benefits described, you enjoy long-term rewards as well.
- Your health benefits when you remain alert and refreshed.
- You keep current with what you truly enjoy, so you become more skilled at providing meaningful rewards for yourself.
- The more you look to yourself for satisfaction, the less you place unrealistic demands upon others to make you happy. So your relationships thrive.
- You recognize the daily pleasures that surround you when you build balance into your life. Therefore, you're less susceptible to work-a-holism, urgency and defeatism.
Remember, time for yourself is always within your power!
What is your next step for building balance and finding time?
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