How Motivation and Rewards Boost Your Success
Motivation and rewards can inspire your practice of doing good things in a good way. Why is it that you do what you do? Because you want what you want. Achieving your goal might be reward enough, but small, tangible rewards could also motivate you to persevere.
What Is Motivation?
Motivation can be defined as a desire that drives you to a particular action. It energizes you to start and carry out your plan.
There are two types of motivation:
- Intrinsic Motivation: You are motivated to do something for the sheer joy of doing it or for the inherent goodness of the action.
- Extrinsic Motivation: You are motivated to do something to get something else (i.e., rewards).
What motivates you more: the hope of gaining something pleasant or the fear of penalty and pain?
Both types of motivation can prompt you to act and to follow through on your pursuit of success. As part of your action plan, you might consider incentivizing your performance with rewards.
How to Use Rewards
A reward motivates you to do something to get what you want: the reward. You love what the action provides, so why not create a win-lose scenario as part of your action plan?
What motivates you more: the hope of gaining something pleasant or the fear of penalty and pain? Your reward system typically should include both positive and negative rewards.
Reinforce desirable behavior with the promise of some delightful reward. Associate pleasure with acting in the right way at the right time. Create an incentive to motivate you toward positive action. Show the tangible benefits of your short-term and long-term success for yourself and those near you.
Confront undesirable behavior with some painful consequence. This should be an undesirable penalty or even the loss of something pleasurable. Disincentivize behavior that leads you away from accomplishing your goal. Realize how much poor decisions and actions cost you and those near you.
Do not let your reward sabotage your goal.
Consider these guidelines when establishing your reward system:
- Use frequent, small rewards rather than fewer large rewards. A little dose will do you, but be consistent.
- Reward positive performance by earning points, then grant a tangible reward once you have earned a set number of points. This strategy also helps you track your performance and notice a winning streak that you will want to maintain.
- Choose rewards that will advance you in the pursuit of your goal (e.g., treat your accountability partner and yourself to a fine meal together).
- Grant rewards immediately based on performance when you reach a milestone. Your ultimate goal may yet be in the future, but an immediate reward can inspire you to press on.
- Do not let your reward sabotage your goal. Whatever reward you choose, it should not militate against your goal (e.g., rewarding yourself by binge-watching a TV series when you are trying to reduce your screen time).
- Have your accountability partner review your rewards schedule. They can even help you determine appropriate positive and negative incentives.
- Do not reward yourself ahead of time. What incentive then do you have to push forward? Only reward yourself when you have succeeded.
Rewards incentivize behavior best when the behavior is clearly defined ahead of time. So, think before you act! Do your creative thinking and decision-making at the start of your journey. Reduce the number of decisions you must take as you work your action plan. Keep your action plan simple and straightforward.
Taking time to make decisions along the way slows you down, tempts you to procrastinate, leaves room for distraction, and may lead you to abandon your plan altogether. Define your goal, craft an action plan, be accountable, and then get out there and take action!
Motivation and Rewards
Celebrate your victories along the way with specific, meaningful, and immediate rewards. Also, penalize your faults and direct your actions toward the things that will bring you closer to your goal.
Follow through on your motivation by starting and persevering toward your goal. Use rewards strategically to highlight your advancement and keep you moving forward.