But Wait! Is There a Reward?

dscn3932by Neva Bodin


What’s a topic on a lot of minds at this time of year? Already written about? You got it! Resolutions! Groan, not another blog on THAT topic….


I think many of us are excellent at making sure we think up or write down some New Year’s resolutions. But are we excellent at making them? Or keeping them?

There’s a difference between making sure we have resolutions, or making ones we will likely keep. And how in the world DO we keep them?

Lifestyle changes are very hard to make. So, how do we end up with lifestyles or habits that are not healthy? I believe the answer is rewards. A lot of our behavior/thinking is because there is a reward of some kind for it.

Resolutions are usually noble, worthwhile, and for our benefit. But, do they reward us enough to make us want to keep them?

Resolution: Find new wrinkle cream

I recently listened to a webinar by Michael Hyatt on achieving goals, and I read some more good advice in a magazine on making resolutions.

Hyatt says to set goals (resolutions I think could be substituted here) in three Circles of Life: being; relating; and doing. And I think we should determine what rewards we will get from these and write them down and keep them in our face. Otherwise, they might be forgotten as other, at-the-moment, more attractive awards might lead us astray.

Writing down goals or resolutions is essential. Hyatt also says they must be specific, measurable and time-keyed. And he says nothing ever happens inside the comfort zone.

Well, if I’m going to put up with discomfort to improve myself in some way, be it in health habits or writing, I will need a reward to overcome the discomfort, and I better remember to not use food as my reward! Unless maybe one bite of chocolate fudge every hour….

So making a resolution that means a lot to us in one of the Circles of Life, and one in which there will be a tangible or highly spiritual or emotional reward that means a lot to us, will have to go hand in hand I think. And since my mind and body tend to lean towards inertia anymore, I better come up with something good.

Resolution: Lose weight

Keeping in mind why we are making a resolution and writing that down, so we might reference it often, seems a good idea too. I plan to write down what impact the resolution makes on my life.

And, the magazine article suggested making a list of things we should STOP doing because they prevent us from achieving resolutions or goals. I hadn’t thought of that before. Kind of coming at it from the other direction. E.g. “I should stop thinking about fudge every hour because it will slow my weight loss goal down and I will just be disgusted and discouraged as usual!”

Ya, well, better get started on those resolutions. I only plan to make 2 or 3, too many will overwhelm me I know. I’ll keep you posted…especially if I’m successful!


15 thoughts on “But Wait! Is There a Reward?

  1. Groan… groan… groan. Another post on New Year’s resolutions. When still a reporter in January 2014, I wrote a feature story on the history of New Year’s resolutions. Lol. I have to admit… I don’t worry much about goals or resolutions at the start of a new year. They’re the same year around. Got to get the latest novel written. Back in late October, my goal was to get all those Christmas tales written before the first run ran on Dec. 1. I managed it, though my brain by Nov. 30 was pretty much fried. Now my goal is to get the Civil War novel finished in the next two months. Happy New year, Neva.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike! Happy New Year to you too! And you have the right idea, resolve to get things done as you wish year around! Silly how we think we have to do it in January only. But, perhaps it gives some of us reminders to set goals. Your civil war novel will be great.


  2. Enjoyed the post Neva. I am a resolution maker, but I do tend to try to make only resolutions that are obtainable, not those I know I’ll never reach. Still, I do make some resolutions (mostly spiritual) that I try hard to keep every day (like prayer and meditation time). Thank you for your words on the subject. Love the pictures!


    1. Thanks Linda. It is fun to make resolutions, but so disappointing when I don’t keep them! And daily resolutions like you do are great. Also knowing they are obtainable. A lady I talked to recently said last year her resolution was to get rid of one thing a day that she doesn’t need/use anymore and that she did pretty well. Think I’ll adopt that one too!


  3. It seems a never-ending circle, yet a necessary part of living. You offered some things to think about as we head into 2017. Thank you and good luck,. May your rewards be many, just not maybe ‘fudge’? (Smile) Doris


  4. I enjoy Michael Hyatt’s webinars; I find ways to implement many of his thoughts in my work/writing life and my personal life. I recently got my blood work test results, and though not bad, certainly room for improvement. So, yes, I’ll be “resolving”/goal-setting for my health in the New Year as well as in my business life. I like the idea of thinking from a different angle — thanks for sharing these thoughts, Neva!


    1. You’re welcome. I am sure I need to make many of the same goals/resolutions as you do. So, will try to keep “healthy but pleasurable” goals in mind. First I have to think of some I might actually keep… Thanks for reading.


  5. I’m an instant gratification person. I reward myself constantly to the point that it’s not a reward any more. Lol. My latest is GHIRARDELLI Chocolate. Dark chocolate, sea salt, and almonds are all good for us, yes? Good luck, and do keep us posted. Cher’ley


    1. Obviously a woman after my own heart! I recognize the goodness of some foods too, and refuse to acknowledge the other side of them. Ha. Love all those “foods” you mentioned. Happy New Year to you. Thanks for reading.


  6. Neva- My resolutions are fewer and fewer as the years go past- mainly because I’m not very disciplined these days. All the best for 2017!


  7. I really like the idea of the reward system. 20 sit ups earns a chocolate brownie. I think I should go write that down. My previous system was if it’s not in the house I can’t eat it.


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