We, as humans, respond well to definite, positive rewards. I know of a writer who lines up their favourite sweets on the desk and they get one for every 100 words they write. Another buys a couple of decadent truffles from a local chocolatier every Friday if they met their goal to write for at least 15-minutes a day, Monday to Friday.
Meanwhile, others prefer larger goals such as a nice dinner out with their partner upon submitting an article or a weekend away for submitting a book proposal.
I don’t see why you should have to choose between small and large rewards. Consider how much happier you would be if you gave yourself little rewards on a regular basis for what you had accomplished and bigger rewards for meeting bigger targets.
Rewards to consider
Below is a list of inexpensive, sugar-free (or at least low sugar) rewards to consider:
- Make a cup of tea (or coffee) in your favourite mug and sit somewhere comfortable without distractions and just enjoy drinking it.
- If the weather’s nice, go for a walk – bonus points if you can walk somewhere pretty like a park or the beach. Spending time in natural surroundings will do more to recharge you for whatever the rest of your day brings.
- Watch a favourite movie or TV show (no guilt allowed; you’ve earned the break).
- Read a book for fun.
- Call a friend or meet up for coffee.
- Play with your kids, dog, cat, …
- Take the time to cook and eat a proper meal – one during which you don’t try to multi-task by working and that you don’t rush through, so you can get back to work.
- Take a nice hot bath.
- Have a nap, go to bed early, or sleep in a little in the morning.
However you choose to reward yourself, make sure it’s a conscious choice and that you take a moment to connect the nice thing you’re doing for yourself with the writing goals you’ve met. The more often you associate rewards with making progress on your writing, the more you’ll want to write.
Take some time to consider how you’ll reward yourself. Below, you’ll find a two-page PDF — one page on which I suggest things to reward yourself for and a blank page for you to fill in as you wish. Have fun!