I have varied thoughts when it comes to rewards but I know that, at times, a little something to look forward to can be just the ticket to maintain momentum. And when it comes to those “little somethings”…well…you’re a lot like a dog.
Dogs work for one of three rewards and so do people. Knowing what kind of dog you are will help you know how best to create a wee incentive when your momentum might be at risk of waning. With the help of some readers and their pups, let me explain.
Play might be your reward of choice if you can’t wait for a good round of “Kong Wubba” like Margorie’s Kaya.
If you itch for a good game of fetch like Nancy’s Chill then you’re going to want to plan on giving yourself the reward of an activity. Do something fun once you successfully achieve a desired outcome. A hike, a night out with friends, a movie, or even some guilt-free TV time will be good rewards for you.
Like Sandi’s Stark, you can be praise motivated. I’m a bit like Stark that way. To reward yourself with praise, keep a log of your successes that you’re proud of. Or you can ask for specific feedback. You might want to let your sweetie or a good friend know what you want to hear when you complete something big. “When I get done with the proposal would you tell me that you’re impressed with how hard I worked on it?”
If praise makes your tail wag, be sure that the words are specific. “Good girl” isn’t clear enough. If you’re asking for positive feedback, try asking “what’s working?” or “how was this useful to you?” It’s okay to ask, just be conscious of who you ask. Be sure you’re asking someone who will give you rewarding feedback.
My dog would give a front paw for something, anything on our plates, or in the kitchen…Or from the trash. If you will sit and stay for a bite of dark chocolate and a glass of red wine at night you know that you’re a treat driven dog.
Knowing what kind of dog you are can serve you well. On those days and in the moments when a little something extra is just what you need to help keep you moving, promise yourself some time to play, a little praise, or a yummy treat as a reward.