Step 3: Rewards – Don’t Get Kill the Joy ($3 Latte – Ramit Sethi)
Why does achieving your goals have to be such a joy-killing exercise? What good is achieving your goals if everyone else has to walk around on eggshells trying to avoid pissing you off? Just cause you’re unhappy all the time doesn’t mean everyone else around should should have to share your pain.
What if it didn’t have to be that way? What if you could achieve and still be (somewhat) sane?
Ramit hit on this in his $3 Latte post.
Too often when people are trying to make a change they take out all the fun and joy they got from their old habits.
They used to love their $3 latte to get them going in the morning. But now they’re trying to get out of debt. And that $3 daily extravagance must go. But if you use that to feel good in the morning. and if that motivates you to deliver on your other goals, why not keep it?
Sure you could say 50 weeks, 5 days a week, and $3 a day is $750 a year. And yes, that’s a lot of money. But if you used that to deliver the goods in your job and hit a $5,000 bonus or if you used that as motivation to be an Uber driver on the side and earn an extra $100 a week (or $5,000 a year), wouldn’t that be another way to get there?
Or for your diet you could keep that 250 calorie chocolate treat you love but eliminate the lunch out that you do because you don’t bother to pack your lunch the night before. So by eliminating something that doesn’t really matter too much to you and keeping the things that do matter, you’ve leveraging your personal psychology to your advantage.
Another way is to give yourself mini-rewards for keeping on track or using the weekends as your splurge time. Just knowing that and planning for it will allow you to have some fun and not have it blow your budget or your diet plan. But try to put yourself on a starvation diet or an overly restrictive budget? And you’ll find yourself yo-yo-ing back to a heavier weight or even more debt than you started with.
So write down a list of you “loves” that would really hurt to get rid of. And then do the same with the things you have out of habit, that eliminating would be just fine with you.
Then structure your diet or exercise regimen with that in mind. Looking to grow your business? Take the same approach and identify those things that have the biggest positive impact (and especially the things you enjoy doing and are good at) and do more of that. And those things that are distractions and don’t really move the needle? Dump them or outsource them now so you’re getting the most out of your time and effort.