Lulu the puppy only peed in the house once yesterday! That is a major improvement, that occurred seemingly overnight. What did the trick? Treats! Why I didn't think to use treats from the beginning, I don't know. But I didn't. I tried to teach her to use the bathroom outside just because it's the right thing to do. No reward given (except abundant praise). But once I started treating her - first for standing by the back door, then going outside, then walking out to the grass and "pee spot," then finally peeing/pooping (I think I even heard angels singing), she was all about it.
Sometimes we all need a little reward.
I've done this with myself occasionally. Once I'm done with _______, I can get a latte. For example. It helps make the task that I don't particularly want to be doing, that much more tolerable, knowing I get a treat afterward.
Juvenile? Probably. But so what. There's nothing wrong with treating yourself. The trick is, to make it a treat, not an everyday occurrence. If you give yourself said treats all the time, for no reason at all, it will lose its reward status and no longer be motivating.
The treat you give yourself doesn't have to be food-related. It could be anything special that you don't give yourself on a regular, everyday basis. A hot bath. Uninterrupted reading time. A stroll through the park or your neighborhood. A movie.
Come to think of it, I treat myself all the time. In different ways. I'm always looking forward to something.
A treat doesn't need to be a reward for having done something you don't want to do. A treat can be a way to love yourself. A way to give yourself something to make you just plain feel good. Or something to look forward to after a day of work, or a slew of busy days.
I think life, as a whole, should be one treat after the other.
So what about what I said above, about treating only working if it's done irregularly?
I believe as long as you're changing up your rewards, your treats, it will continually help to motivate you. Like the carrot at the end of the stick. Only make sure you actually get the carrot at some point, and then put a strawberry on the stick next, followed by an apple, etc. Mix it up!
There's nothing wrong with treating yourself. That being said, if you're in an unhappy situation (a job, relationship, doing anything repeatedly that you really don't want to be doing and is causing you stress and anxiety), constantly giving yourself treats to get through another time of that undesired event... at some point get out of the situation!
Rewards aren't just a reward for unpleasant tasks. Rewards can be to simply show love (to yourself or others) and a little extra enjoyment in being here on this planet.
Why shouldn't you treat yourself for being here? I think we all should!
*Side note: The last quote below doesn't really have anything to do with today's post. But when I read it, I was so moved, I had to include it. What a concept!
Quotes of the Day:
“The end is not the reward; the path you take, the emotions that course through you as you grasp life - that is the reward.” (Jamie Magee, Embody)
“The reward of a work is to have produced it; the reward of effort is to have grown by it.” (Antonin Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods)
“Determination, effort, and practice are rewarded with success.” (Mary Lydon Simonsen, The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy).
"Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again." (Og Mandino)