Striving to make progress towards a goal will always require an element of sacrifice.
Build a business: sacrifice leisure time.
Lose wight: sacrifice cake.
Run a 4 minute mile: sacrifice lungs that aren’t burning.
When the willpower is weak and the next decision on the path to your goal is looming we sometimes rely on the “reward” to get us through it.
If I can just run another mile I’ll have some cheesecake tonight.
or we can do the justification (aka the unplanned reward)
I can have some cheesecake, I ran a mile today!
You earned it, right? Burn some calories and it doesn’t hurt too much to much on a handful of Pringles later.
Our bad choice of rewards is a form of self-sabotage that pushes us backwards.
2 steps forward, eat cake, 1 step back.
Instead we can reward ourselves forward, a concept I first read about in Level Up Your Life.
In this version of reality we set our self a reward that forces us closer to our goals.
Beat your best time for a 1km run and you’re working you way towards running a marathon in August? Reward: new running shoes.
The new running shoes are a reward (oooo nice new shoes) that enable us to run more effectively (therefore pushing us closer to the goal).