If you’ve ever trained a dog, you know that rewards go a long way. The look of anticipation, the concentration, and the willingness to do something that goes against their impulse is astounding. Given the right treat, my dog would do almost anything I ask of her (except coexist with cats, but that’s a whole different post).
Treats work great with children too. I’ve seen kids do remarkable things for the chance at a jolly rancher candy. This, of course, was back in the day before the state decided that our children were too obese to have an occasional piece of candy at school. I know of teachers who have gotten good results with pretzels, animal crackers, goldfish, and m & m’s. I may have even used some of those myself. The thing is, you can get desired behavior fairly consistently when there is a prized reward available.
Understanding this concept, I decided to apply it to myself. I’ve decided to reward myself at each ten pound milestone. I’ve already lost over ten pounds from my start date, but I’ll call it ten and count from this point forward. I’ve decided to make my reward something meaningful and beautiful and lasting. What I’ve come up with are beads for my bracelet. I have a Pandora bracelet that is pretty much full, but I also have one that is completely empty. I polished it up and put it on. This weekend I hope to get my first ten pound bead. From this point forward, I hope to commemorate each increment of ten with a new bead. I expect that seeing that bracelet fill in will be extremely motivating. I will have those beads with me, reminding me of where I’ve come from, and how difficult it has been. These beads aren’t cheap, but my health and well being are worth it. I’m looking forward to bribing myself and building my bracelet.