How to Reward Yourself Wisely for Working Out
Before you start, choose your goal!
You reached a weight loss goal. Or maybe you completed that 5K you were training for. Either way, well done! And now it’s time to show yourself how proud you are of your success with a reward. So, what’ll it be, you self-disciplined dynamo? A fabulous five-course dinner at your favorite restaurant? Drinks with the gang into the wee hours? A cheat day complete with binge watching hours of TV topped with loaded nachos and pints of pralines and cream?
Not so fast!
Maybe now and again it’s great to indulge, but if you continually wine, dine, and ply yourself with sweet treats each time you reach a goal, after a few months—the numbers on the scale might start to resemble the numbers of your old health and fitness levels, or worse and we don’t want that.
How do you give yourself an attaboy (or girl) to reward yourself for achieving goals without ruining your fitness goal gains?
Allow us to offer our top 40 list of non-food related ways to give yourself a gold star while continuing to aim high to continue on your health journey.
- Get new workout gear
Set yourself up for even more success by stocking up on some hand-held weights or new activewear. And if you’d rather not invest in something brand new, you might have friends or family with items they’re not using anymore. (We all have starts and stops with health routines. Now might be a good time to assist someone in decluttering.)
- Enjoy a massage
- See a movie
Something inspiring to keep you on you’re a game, something action-packed to pump you up, something hilarious to increase dopamine, something soothing to chill after all your hard work. There are no bad ideas!
- Plan a staycation
- Give yourself a pedicure
- Get a new journal
When goal setting, physically writing your intentions is a behavior that increases the chances of realizing your dreams.
- Go skiing or snowboarding, or if money isn’t an object, jet to somewhere you can if the weather won’t permit.
- Hit the beach or lay outside to get some vitamin D
- Get a new ‘do
Complete your ever-evolving look with a cool new cut, color, or both! Investing in your appearance is a self-care behavior that increases dopamine, which can feel like a big reward on a sensory level.
- Learn a new sport
Now that you’re engaging in a healthy, new lifestyle (and killing it) keep it up by finding myriad ways to workout and stay active. You might like fencing, karate, tennis, or hockey. Who knows?
- Put your heart into art
New you might like art too. Express yourself through piano, singing, acting, painting…there are lots of ways to create in your new state.
- Enjoy a laugh at a local comedy club
And, bonus, studies have shown that laughter helps you lose weight. Win-win!
- Take a road trip to your favorite local town and spend the night
- Go fishing
There’s something about the calm of a lake or river that puts everything into perspective. You can reflect on how hard you have worked to achieve your goals and how far you’ve come. It’s also a great time to make a mental gratitude list for anything about which you feel fortunate. Plus, studies prove gratitude activates the reward centers in the brain.
- Go to a concert
Live music can boost your energy, your mood, and help you connect with friends (who will likely compliment you on your new accomplishments.)
- Get a tattoo
This one is a personal choice but if you’re game, may we recommend the Running Man?
- Buy a new pair of gym shoes
This one can be as practical as it is a prize. Keeping your shoes in tip top shape will prevent injury and keep you pounding the pavement as you drop those pounds.
- Take a cruise (just limit those trips to the never-ending buffet!)
- Attend the next Olympics
Maybe even as a participant, you go-getter.
- Attend a local sporting event
Studies show that immersing yourself in all things active, even as a spectator, reinforces your health and fitness commitments.
- Get professional photos taken
Document this amazing moment in time! Beautiful proof will be one of the great rewards of your accomplishment.
- Get a manicure
Pick a bold color for your bold achievement.
- Golf at your favorite course
- Learn to make a new healthy dish
The more you arm yourself with options to keep on keeping on the better, and cooking for yourself is the best way to monitor ingredients that are in the plus category.
- Buy a new water bottle. Maybe you found you need something you can grip better, or one with a squirt stopper, or you want one of the awesome BPA free versions. Hydration is key so make sure that vessel is your vibe.
- Start a garden
Digging in the dirt is medicine for the mind.
- Go for a hike in the woods or better yet, go camping
Nature is the ultimate healer, connector, humbler…try and get outside into nature a little every day.
- Get a personal trainer
Now that you’ve gotten a start and no doubt a little confidence, it might be time to level up. One of the best ways to keep dropping pounds is by being accountable to someone, and no one will support you more in reinforcing your goal than someone who does health and wellness for a living.
- Have a spa day
Sip some cucumber water, detox, exfoliate, and luxuriate in the glow of your victory. And if an actual spa isn’t in the budget, you can do everything on that list in the comfort of your own home.
- Take a day off of work
- Take a class in photography
A better you + a better understanding of snapping pics = better selfies.
- Paint an old piece of furniture
- Indulge in a new purse or work bag
- Upgrade that iPhone or Android
Then post your successes on social. When others see the pounds you dropped, they’re more apt to believe they can change too. (And don’t be surprised by all those likes.)
- Take a class in knitting or woodworking
- Head to the batting cages or go-cart track
One of the surest paths to health and fitness is fun. Remember all those activities we were into as kids? Well, that kid is still in there. We’d put money on it. You just need to invite them out to play once in a while!
- Get a facial
- Buy one thing off of your Pinterest boards
Studies show that taking an action on something you have imagines proves to you it can be accomplished.
- Dig into that new book and enjoy a relaxing afternoon of reading
OR! Start writing that masterpiece that’s been floating around in your head for years. We all have a story. Tell yours to inspire others.
- Get waxed
Since you might be baring a little more than usual. (Complimentary whistle ; )
Now, we want to learn about your weight loss goals ideas. And since many of ours were pretty big, we’re especially interested in the small rewards you use to mark a milestone.
We’re proud of you!