When beginning a weight-loss program, it is important that you set weight-loss and fitness goals to monitor your progress along the way. Once you have short-term goals, set up a reward system as positive reinforcement for your efforts.
We are familiar with reward systems from others, such as employee of the month, sports trophies and scholastic achievement awards. Weight-loss achievements are unique because you are the only one who really knows how hard it was to reach your goal! And so you must reward yourself!
Here are some guidelines for setting up a reward system:
- Before losing any weight, plan the reward system so that the further along you go, the larger the rewards. For example, reaching the first goal could be a CD, the second goal a bottle of perfume/cologne, the third goal a facial, weekend trip with friends, etc.
- Never use food as a part of your reward system.
- Make sure you set up reasonable goals. Do not push yourself too hard – take the time to do this right!
- You can set up the system by the number of pounds lost, clothing sizes lost, adherence to your exercise program or anything that you feel deserves recognition on your way to success.
- Remember that losing the weight isn’t the final goal, it’s maintaining your lower weight. Use the reward system for maintaining the weight for a certain number of months until your accomplishments become habits.