Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Creativity Tips: Creative Rewards Create Results

When I was a chubby little girl, mom would now and then suggest that we go on a diet together -- the idea being, it's easier to diet with a partner. So, we'd buddy up, eat right, and lose a few pounds.

Then, as a reward, we'd go out and get an ice cream sundae.

Mom was absolutely right about the partner part. Her reward approach? Maybe not the best.

Let me share my new take on using rewards to support healthy habits -- what's working for me and Tom might work for you! Or, it might give you an idea ... 

Tom and I started the year determined to exercise every day. There's really no reason why we can't. He's retired. I work at home. Our schedules are flexible enough to accommodate daily exercise. And yet ...

To get over our inertia, we agreed on a creative reward system: We'd use a daily journal to track every mile on the treadmill, bike or walks. We'd give ourselves mileage points for exercise classes -- 2 miles for every circuit class I take, 1.5 miles for every yoga class. Then, at the end of the month, we'd add up our collective miles; look at a map; choose a site within the circumference of our mileage that we had never seen before; and go see it!

This past weekend, we put the reward plan into action. After adding up our January miles, we decided to visit the Walter Cronkite Memorial in St. Joseph, Mo., at Missouri Western State University.

It was fabulous -- and I'll post more about the visit, probably later this week, because getting out of town is a real creative boost for me. For now, full disclosure: I have not exercised every day this year. Almost, but not quite. On the other hand, Tom has exercised every single day this year. Every single day.

At home or at work, with spouses, colleagues or kids -- the right reward works wonders. And that's the way it is ... 

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