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Reward Yourself

I clicked on a Lifehacker article because it promised to tell me ways to reward myself that do not involve food OR spending money.  I do not like to use food as a reward because one cookie is never enough, and I’m a big fan of not spending money.  But the activities outlined in the article didn’t feel like rewards.  They felt like things you should work into your life regardless of whether you’ve done something fantastic or not.

Like going on a walk or reading a book or playing a video game or getting together with friends.

Rewards should be something unusual that you only get because you’ve done X, not something you get whether or not you do X.  The only one that truly fit the bill was taking a day off.  I mean, yes, you also get that on the weekend, but grabbing a day for yourself when you should be at work feels properly celebratory.

But you can’t do that one very often.

The point is that I haven’t come up with anything better.  There are things I enjoy doing that do not involve food or money, such as going to the library and taking out a big stack of books just so I can feel like the owner for a few weeks.  Or doing crossword puzzles.  Or annoying the twins.  But I do all of those things regardless of whether I’ve accomplished anything else.

Do you have anything that you do that is an actual reward or treat that (1) does not involve food or money and (2) does not happen at any other time except when you accomplish something that deserves a reward or treat?

6 comments

1 Beth { 01.10.18 at 8:16 am }

Time for myself. But admittedly I end up 1)feeling guilty that I’m not with my family and 2) eating something I wouldn’t normally get because I always have a small child with me and/or “running errands” and spending money. Granted I don’t buy things I don’t need but I still end up spending. So basically I agree – we should be doing what they suggest anyway and I don’t have anything better.

2 a { 01.10.18 at 3:37 pm }

OK, so every one of those things I read in the Lifehacker article boils down to “Give yourself permission to do something you enjoy.” So, yeah, getting together with friends may be something you do…or it may be something you just don’t have time for with the kids and the activities and the cooking and cleaning and stuff. So, I do kind of think that it’s hard for people to give themselves permission to be selfish for a few minutes, and therefore it is a suitable reward for some. For me – well, I give myself 2 hours every day to do what I want to do (sort of – I have to compromise on what’s on TV, and sometimes we argue about whether I should be watching a movie AND playing on my phone or computer), so it wouldn’t be a reward (because I consider indulging myself regularly to be a necessity).

3 Ana { 01.10.18 at 3:42 pm }

I always think the same thing when it comes to “healthy treats”. If its so darn healthy, then why does it have to be a treat? Why can’t it just be part of everyday life. I did just read the post on Modern Mrs Darcy about splurging on flowers/candles/fancy soap and I guess that makes sense (though none of those things particularly strikes my fancy since I’m allergic to most of those things!)

4 Jill Brockus { 01.10.18 at 5:03 pm }

I agree with a, if it doesn’t involve food or money, it is mostly a matter of giving yourself permission to do something. Like waste time. One of the things I give myself is permission to plan something with no reference to reality. Like, plan the redecoration of the living room and dining room and pretend there is no budget, no animals, no kids and no dirt. 🙂 White carpets, glass shelves. No dust, so an intricate chandelier is fine. I like wandering around the web, looking at things I’ll never buy, but it is a pointless exercise and too much of it isn’t good for me. Or planning trips. I know how much it costs and where to go to charter a cross country jet for vacation, so I can skip the airport hassle. 😉

5 Cristy { 01.11.18 at 6:29 am }

Foot baths are my reward. An actual bath is too involved and epson salts are fairly inexpensive. It’s an effective reward when tackling a less-than-pleasant task.

The other thing I do is walk special routes. Walking is a general day-to-day endeavor, but there are specific sites I save as a reward or treat.

6 Persnickety { 01.11.18 at 6:53 am }

Maybe taking a bath? But it’s not really a reward most of the time (especially when I have to clean the bath and bathroom). I did reward/treat myself by going to public baths in japan, but paid to go.

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