Having clear goals with a plan of action sets you up for success. Following through with your exercise and healthy eating requires discipline and that deserves rewarding. However, the rewards of eating your favourite cheat food following a workout not only negates your training efforts, it also sabotages all your hard work. Provide yourself with weekly or monthly rewards for staying on track with your exercise schedule and healthy eating. The rewards which are more costly can be used more sparingly as monthly rewards. Here are some practical tips for rewarding your discipline and hard work:
Get a massage. This can help eliminate stress and help to relieve tight knots and tight hot spots from all your training.
Go to the movies. Enjoy getting out to the big screen with your significant other, your kids, or your BFF.
Get a new outfit. Perhaps consider some new workout gear. This will help you look and feel good which can assist in you looking more forward to training.
Get your hair and/or nails done. Get pampered with some deserved TLC.
Go out for dinner. Make it healthy and skip the booze. Try a raw food restaurant or a healthy vegan restaurant. Fresh is a favourite of ours.
Give yourself some down time/alone time. Read a book, catch up on your favourite T.V show, play some video games, get a babysitter; whatever it is that makes sense for your personal situation.
Train with a professional Personal Trainer - For the exercise enthusiast and/or on the flip-side, the person who lacks the discipline and motivation to consistently train on their own. This may be just what you need to give you the spark and incentive to get it done, work harder, and change it up. Although this reward may be split depending on your perspective, it can also be considered a great health investment.
Make your list personal; of things you really like and are important to you.
Every once in a while, sure, it's okay to treat yourself to your favourite treat, especially if you have a strong, persistent craving for it. The trick is to portion that treat. As Marco has said, "Halve it and have it."
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!