With any fitness/weight loss journey, you don’t want to sabotage yourself. That’s why it’s important to find ways to reward yourself without food.
Rewards are the pinnacle of progress. It’s what drives us for everything. As we work toward our reward, we learn and grow. Our brains applaud us by releasing dopamine (reward chemicals) when we learn something new.
Mix this with the endorphins (pleasure chemicals) earned from exercise and your brain is having a party.
When it comes down to it, we want recognition for our hard work. Implementing a regret-free reward system can do this.
Why Are Rewards Important?
As humans, we tend to resist change unless it gives us pleasure or some sense of control.
When we get a reward, the stimulation in our brains drive us to seek more. In evolution times, this is what motivated humans to hunt and explore. Even today, experiencing the stimulation of rewards can influence our choices in life.
Having a reward to strive for will push you to start. Receiving rewards along the way will keep you motivated.
Over time your actions will become a habit, and your fitness a part of your normal lifestyle. Instead of resisting change, your brain will be promoting it.
It can be difficult to stay motivated for a goal you can’t see; where there’s no guarantee. That’s why visualisation and regular rewards are so effective.
Milestone rewards promote awareness and make your end goal more foreseeable.
The trick is not to quit. Having milestone rewards along the way will help you on your fitness journey. On top of that, the natural rewards will start rolling in!
How to Choose a Good Reward
When it comes to rewards, it’s important to choose something that’ll give you satisfaction. Match the size of the reward to the size of your achievement. Have a few options, immediate rewards and longer term.
Most importantly, choose something that you genuinely enjoy so it motivates you.
Types of Rewards
Check out these ways to reward yourself without food, including free rewards and fast ones. They’re comprehensive and easy to apply:
1. Arrange a special catch-up with friends
2. Create your own ‘zen’ room for timeout
3. Get a massage
4. Try a new hairstyle
5. Get a manicure or pedicure
6. Take a day trip somewhere fun
7. Try your luck with a lottery ticket or scratchies
8. Have a date night and indulge in some romance
9. Go to a concert or music festival
10. Get creative with arts and crafts
11. Show off your singing with Karaoke
12. Catch a movie (something you really want to watch)
13. Redecorate your bedroom
14. Play snooker
15. Go Bowling
16. Host a party
17. Go Horseback riding
18. Plan a holiday
19. Go to the Club
20. Take a short cruise
21. Get a tattoo
22. Play video games
23. Go camping
24. Go skating
25. Organise a babysitter and have a day completely to yourself
Celebrate Your Efforts
Try some rewards centered around your hard efforts:
26. Share your progress on social media
27. Create a photo collage of your body transformation
28. Try something you used to find difficult and marvel at how you’ve improved! (bush hike, swim etc)
29. Get a make-over
30. Start a blog, sharing your thoughts and success!
31. List down all your proudest achievements and hang it somewhere for constant reminder
32. Try something new that you’ve always wanted to do
33. Get new gym equipment
34. Use apps to log your progress and compare your results between now and 6 months ago
35. Buy yourself a new workout outfit
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Too broke to indulge? Here’s some ideas that are easy on the pocket:
36. Sunrise session – enjoy the peace and quiet with your coffee and a great book
37. Have a bubble bath or a long hot shower
38. Spend a day at the beach
39. Create a home day spa – experiment with YouTube hair and makeup tutorials
40. Sunset snaps – find a high vantage point, soak up the views and take some stunning photos
41. Play board games, even host a games night
42. Check out free venues like the museum, art gallery, community theatres or exhibitions
43. Dress up and take some glam shots for your Instagram profile
44. Go stargazing – a great way to tune out and remember what’s really important
45. Listen to your favourite podcasts
46. Explore a part of town you’ve never seen
47. Create a wish list on Amazon.com – digital window shopping can be fun
48. Play cards – you may even win some cash on poker!
49. Go dancing
50. Skype a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile
51. Kick back with some Trashy TV
52. Try meditation
53. Test-drive your dream car
54. Check out all the latest pop-culture online
55. Go on a Haunted Hunt, checking out all the spookiest places in town
56. Learn a new party trick
57. Take a leisurely bike-ride
58. Have a guilt-free nap!
Got no time for pampering? Try these quick solutions:
59. Try aromatherapy – certain scents can promote ease and relaxation
60. Treat yourself to a low-calorie chocolate banana smoothie
61. Buy yourself flowers or nice plant
62. Skip your cleaning day
63. Go for a joy ride
64. Check out your horoscope, do a free online tarot card reading
65. Play with your kids – don’t worry about organising them, just be with them.
Train Hard and Treat Yourself
Hard work pays off, it’s that simple. If you think of all your proudest moments in life, it was most likely a result of hard work. Fitness is no different. Stick to your regime, reward your efforts and learn to be your biggest cheerleader. With the effort you put in, your body will reward you in the most significant ways.
Got a reward that isn’t mentioned here? Share your ideas and help grow this list!