As writers, often there isn’t a boss standing over us to keep us on task. We make our own schedules and work however we feel is best for us. Some of us work best in the early hours of the morning, some late into the night. Regardless of when we work the simple fact remains that we need to get something accomplished in that time.
This is where the subtle art of self bribery comes in. Often it’s not enough to pat yourself on the back when the job is done. At times an extra kick of motivation is needed to help us continue to move forward. Though it might seem childish, self bribery is a very positive way of meeting goals. Every time a goal is met you get to treat yourself. They don’t have to be writing goals, it works for other goals as well.
For this to work, consider these steps:
- Create a measureable goal that won’t add a huge strain to your life. For example, for those writing a book it might be a certain number of words a day. For those trying to lose weight it might be a certain number of calories or minutes of daily exercise to be reached.
- Identify personal “treats” that you usually wouldn’t consider buying. These items should range in price, small items for small goals and larger items for larger goals. For me it’s been mp3 downloads, specialty chocolate, DVD’s, and even shoes.
- Create milestones for either consistency or targets reached. When you are successful for a predetermined number of days or have reached one of your targets then reward yourself!
- Put it in writing. The best laid plans are forgotten if they are not written. You can be creative with this step, use a sticker chart or check boxes to track your hard work. Not only does this help you stay on track you get added positive reinforcement to see how far you have come.
- Be forgiving. Some days you may not reach your goal, life happens. Don’t let this derail your progress. Every day is a fresh start. In the words of Marla Cilley a.k.a. “the Flylady”, “You are never behind, jump in where you are!”
I hope that this helps motivate and inspire you to keep working towards your goals.
If you have an interesting or creative way to reach your goals, let us know in the comments!