Before we talk about this step, let’s summarize the previous steps, very quickly:
Step 1 – Appraise: An analysis of your current actions and habits, followed by elimination of the unproductive ones.
Step 2 – Ascertain: An in-depth thought process to develop your goals and set their priority.
Step 3 – Approach: Development of a comprehensive execution plan to achieve the previously set goals.
Step 4 – Avert: Formulation of a unique Motivation Affirmation to set your brain up for success.
Step 5 – Actualize: Doing the actual work to realize your goals. Know the important difference between ‘Self-Leadership’ and ‘Self-Management’ where the former is all about setting and prioritizing your goals the latter guides towards the discipline of executing those goals.
Step 6 – Attain
Once you are through these five steps, you are almost done – free to bask in the glory of your own achievements. This step is all about appreciating, rewarding, and even a little pampering yourself for your strenuous efforts which contributed to your reaching the summit.
No matter how towering or how small your goals were, achieving them is a big win. There’s no greater feeling than that of being able to utter the words “I did it!” This simple declaration births tons of positive emotions running through our psyche: satisfaction, pride, self-importance, thankfulness, and joyfulness. In fact, your accomplishment doesn’t even have to be spectacular. It can be as mundane as finally getting the laundry done, or the garage cleaned out, or assembling that piece of furniture you purchased from Ikea!
We all love the feelings of achieving our goals, the feelings of winning, of the feelings of mastering something. These feelings add to your sense of competence and self-worth. They let you know that you are capable of doing what we set out to do. That you have persisted in the face of countless difficulties while you could have easily fooled yourself with lame excuses – like the majority of people around you. This single feat deserves a befitting celebration. In addition to celebrating your success, it is imperative that you reward yourself with something that you value. The reward can range from a small gift like your favorite chocolate bar, or a vacation to your favorite destination! Yes, why not? This is your debut achievement after all. Now you know that you are developing the habit of chasing your dreams, day in and day out. After getting your first goal, you should be able to imagine the heaps of achievements you will collect in this lifetime!
Why reward yourself?
It is very important to reward yourself after an achievement. Rewarding should never be treated as an accessory or a luxury, because this simple act helps you not only recharge your depleted energy but also to prepare you for the next challenge. Gretchen Rubin, a best-selling author, highlights the importance of rewards succinctly with these words: “If I give more to myself, I can ask more from myself”.
Here are a few positive ideas that can help you decide your reward for yourself. Feel free to be creative with these ideas make up your own but make sure that it is something that is really meaningful to you, otherwise the basic purpose would not be served.
How to reward yourself?
- Take a little time off – It’s a good idea to take a breather right after you completely attain a major goal. A little rest is always recommended but with the caution that it should not be too long or else your engines will cool down – making it more difficult to get back on track again.
- Give yourself a gift voucher – This one is a little bit slippery because there are chances of going too far in spending once you start shopping. One solution is to give yourself a certain amount or a shopping voucher of a limited value. Another better way to spend for satisfaction is to give that amount to someone who really needs it. Charity is a guaranteed way to give you instant gratification.
- Buy yourself a useful gift – You can also buy something for yourself but again, you need to set a limit for that. A great tip is to give yourself something very useful. For example, if you are an entrepreneur, you can invest in a workshop or a coaching program that can add value to your entrepreneurial processes.
- Celebrate with your loved ones – Even if it is nothing fancy or expensive, sharing your success with family and friends is always a very satisfying experience. Arrange a small get-together with people you care for and thank them for their support and love.
- Treat yourself to a delicacy – This is something that we normally don’t do. Treat your taste buds with something very special and enjoy the flavor in your own company.
Like I said, these are just a few ideas. Think of something that you value and is meaningful to you and you’ve got your plan for rewarding yourself.
Think you’ve failed?
For those of you who followed all the five steps religiously and didn’t reach your target, please stay assured that it is still a success. Why? You are a success because you broke the spell of lethargy and procrastination. While billions of people are wasting their time running after small, worthless pleasures, you are carving a life of fulfillment and achievement for yourself and even for others around you. Does this sound anything like failure? Not to me.
Remember that one day, you will thank yourself for this failure as this is the opening which will lead you into a lifelong series of achievements. I like Henry Ford’s quote about failure where he says that, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” So I urge you to be more patient with yourself and not to start the stream of self-belittling thoughts. Start again, avoid repeating the same mistakes and I’m sure there is no chance of failure - provided that you try enough times.
To sum this up, I feel like sharing the last stanza from the famous poem “Don’t Quit” by Edgar A. Guest - I always find great encouragement in these words:
“Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.”
After this step, we are only one small step away from completing this magical journey. Although we are almost done here, don’t forget to read the last article of this series, which discusses a very strategic aspect of this process.