Decision making

Reward yourself!

Hi there and I hope your week, and month, so far has been a great one.

The end of each month is a time of reflection for me. Not in a huge way but I like to think about what I’ve been up to and what I’d like to welcome in my life soon. It’s a nice opportunity to think about change, that which I’ve made and that which I would like to make.

Which brings me to talking about a nice way to help make positive change in life.

When it comes to making change or working toward goals for ourselves, (to borrow from a tried and true analogy) it is so easy to use too much stick and not enough carrot. We tend to beat ourselves up for what we haven’t done, yet gloss over any of our successes as something we should have done anyway. We might feel happy or proud of ourselves but at the same time we focus on the next, as-yet unattained step rather than stopping to savour the sweet taste of making something from nothing.

Small or large, the very act of crossing something off the list or making good on a promise to ourselves is an act worthy of celebration. A perfect way to do this is to include rewards as part of the dreaming and goal-setting process.

Can you imagine how much more fun working toward a goal would be if you knew there were these little nuggets waiting for you at milestones along the way?

Knowing that you’ve got a massage waiting for you once you’ve finished the first five chapters of your novel makes those punishing hours at the laptop that much more tolerable, and how much more proud would you feel if you took a pause after this achievement than if you just started punching out chapter six?

I think that’s what they in the business call a ‘win-win.’

Building in the rewards should be fun in itself! It adds a nice magical element when thinking about goals to allow yourself to properly sit down and list all the stuff you’d love to do, all the things you only do when you’re ‘treating’ yourself, and then to purposefully set these against particular milestones toward creating the life you want.

This sounds just crazy enough to work.

The other great thing about rewarding yourself is that after you do, you will begin to associate the process of the change you are undertaking with the pleasant rewards you have given yourself, boosting your good feelings about the whole thing in general and making it more likely for you to stay on track. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving!

One caveat in this is to ensure the rewards we set for ourselves are not contrary to our values or the end goal. Buying a gorgeous and (obviously!) expensive pair of handmade Italian leather boots isn’t the best way to celebrate paying off debt, nor is it a good way to reward yourself if you have a hunch that you’d have more fun taking your niece and nephew to the movies than to spend a day shopping.

The best part is that the rewards are just for you so make them as fabulous and meaningful as your imagination can muster.

Then let me know how you’d go – I’d love to hear all about the great ideas you have for rewards. I daresay a few of these will get added to my list too!

How to approach a crossroad in life

As the very wise (and highly fabulous) George Harrison sang, all things must pass. Whether we are enjoying a happy and positive experience or if we are in the pit of misery and trying to figure a way to get out, whatever else happens, all things must pass.

I think this is especially nice to remember when feeling stuck between more than one option in life. How many times have we looked at a crossroads in our lives, tangled up inside about which is the right or wrong path? Unless the answer is clear-cut there can be a lot of soul-searching and angst about which direction to take, and even still after we have made a decision.

What is not so obvious is that the time we spent in indecision (and let’s be honest here, that can sometimes stretch out to be a very long time!) is actually a decision in itself. It is the decision to remain longer in our current position. And when this current position is toxic, this is a pretty damaging thing to do.

There is power in making a decision. But there is also power in acknowledging that not making a decision is really a decision made to stay wherever we are, even if that is in unhappiness. The only way out of this holding pattern is to make a decision and move forward, or accept our decision to stay.

I’m certainly not suggesting that you should be reckless in making a decision just to make one, but rather to acknowledge that no decision is still a decision.

But whatever we do, or do not decide, take comfort in knowing that all things must indeed pass. This means there will be another opportunity to move our lives forward, even if we don’t always get it right first up.

Is this how you approach decision-making in your life? I’d be very interested to hear about how you see your crossroads and if you have ever considered the no-decision-is-still-a-decision issue. Please comment below.