You’ve made it to week five! Whether you’ve achieved your goal or still have a long way to go, now’s the time to take a step back and feel proud of just how far you’ve come.
Our final post is all about rewarding your progress to recognise the effort you’ve put in. But how do you treat yourself without undoing all your hard work? Find out here.
Look back down the mountain
When it comes to goals I often tell my clients how important it is to ‘look down the mountain’. Because when you’re climbing up (and that’s what it feels like when you’re struggling to put these new habits in place) it can feel like you’re not getting any nearer to the top.
Sometimes I really have to remind my clients to feel proud of themselves because they may think they’re achieving very little. But if you’ve put just one good habit in place, however small, that’s a fantastic achievement and something to shout about.
Plan your rewards
As you start to stick to your habits imagine what the ‘future you’ will look like. Can you see yourself getting a reward at four weeks? At six? Or when you’ve achieved an important milestone, like a particular distance you wanted to run, or a weight you couldn’t lift before. It’s up to you to decide what’s appropriate.
Don’t let yourself down
When it comes to planning your rewards make sure you write them down so you actually stick to them. Don’t move the goalposts. If you’ve said you’ll get a reward after four weeks of healthy eating make sure you do actually get it! Sometimes it’s good to be formal about these things, so make yourself sign a written contract if you like!
Choose your rewards carefully
Rewards are lovely but they shouldn’t be tinged with guilt and regret. You need to find something that won’t get in the way of the goal itself, like going out for a slice of cake when you’ve eaten well for a month. A great idea is to make the treat relevant to the goal you’re trying to achieve. So if your goal is to do something creative each day, treat yourself to some new fabric, paint or pens to encourage you to keep going.
Don’t forget the power of mini rewards
You may decide that you’re only going to get a treat after a major achievement, like running regularly for six weeks, or a milestone, like competing in a half marathon. That’s fine, but don’t forget to reward yourself each and every time you perform your new habit. Cheering yourself on in your head as you go off for your run, or doing a little victory dance when you come back in, reminds you you’re on the right path.
Leon Taylor competed for Great Britain in three Olympic Games and was the first British diver in over 44 years to win a silver medal. A BBC sports commentator and mentor to diving sensation Tom Daley, Leon is now a performance and wellness coach.