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Rewards and acknowledgements

I spoke at a workshop this morning on goal setting – we worked on SMARTY Goals, business values and setting challenges.

As part of setting goals and milestones, it is important to notice the work you have done and the progress made even if you haven’t fully reached the original goal (as Melissa, wrote in her blog, aim for the moon as you’ll at least reach the stars.) Having small rewards for yourself is one way to acknowledge what you have done, which makes it easier for you to move on and do the next step, and the next, and the next…

Rewards can be anything that you gain pleasure from (booking a massage, eating a doughnut, taking time to read a book, buying a book or magazine, seeing a movie, taking your family on a picnic, sitting in a spa, and so on.) You can keep the reward to yourself, too, so don’t worry about what anyone else would think of the reward.

My guidelines for rewards are:

  1. make it a reward for you, not your family or coach or whoever
  2. make the reward match the goal in size – a doughnut for a year’s worth of hard work is not much reward, but a two week beach holiday is probably a bit over zealous to reward sending out one newsletter!
  3. if you promised yourself a reward, make sure you get it when you’ve earned it
  4. keep a reminder of the reward with the goal – maybe a photo next to your computer, light a coconut candle to think of a tropical holiday, or stick a car key on your mirror

And don’t be afraid to share your achievements with others, either. Even small achievements can be shared and acknowledged by friends, people you network with or a coach.

How often do you reward reaching a goal? Do you give yourself acknowledgement of work you’ve done and how far you’ve come, even if it wasn’t actually a goal?

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