Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Give Yourself The Prize First!

The Princess Bike

 The PRIZE is the Princess Bike. Katelynn had some problems getting the whole potty-training thing. Oh she knew how and would sometimes use, but for the most part just did not show much interest. Her parents - my daughter is the mother, cajoled, and bribed... but she really did not seem too interested.

Most recently she informed me - Grandma Darleen - that if she went potty and could wear her big girl panties without any accidents, she would get the pink princess bike she wanted. I asked her if she was going to do that. "Oh yes", she said, but when asked if she wanted to try that day, "Ah no.", she said as she guzzled a very large glass of milk.

However, Katelynn turned 3 this week, and her parents surprised her with the Princess bike. She was delighted, of course. This being what she really, really wanted. After all she is a real princess. As you can clearly see in this photo, at one of her Royal Celebrations.

BUT. Surprise of all to her mommy, has been that she is using the potty and wearing her big girl panties. No problem at all. She got the Prize!! So .. either it is coincidence that all just 'clicked', or she is a very shrewd little girl,. She got the prize and now will deliver. hmm... there is some sense to this.

How many times have you wanted to reach a goal, and set a Prize if you obtained?
If I lose 20 lbs , I will get to buy that beautiful dress in size 8.
If I quit smoking, I can get a new car.
If I work hard and get the promotion, I will buy a motorcycle.


You get the idea. We set Prizes for ourselves, if we achieve 'something' - in order to motivate ourselves. A carrot.

Does this work? Sometimes. Other times, we convince ourselves that we don't really want the Prize. And anyway, we are losers and don't deserve. Excuses.

But what if... we gave ourselves the Prize first? Or at least part of the Prize? Or small prizes leading up to the large Prize? Rewards to reinforce that we are worthy. Smoking Cessation programs often use the reward yourself at set points - such as after one week, one month, three months, 6 months, 1 year. They also encourage to setup ongoing rewards to continually be reminded of what you have achieved and gained. A little different than toilet training, but does involve putting on your big girl panties, and sticking to it.

Think about it. And this is something that comes with age - yes the thinking, but also the fact that I am getting the Prize first. Not because we don't care, or think we might exit this world soon, so should grab all we can -BUT, because we realize it provides incentive and a boost to our self esteem.

Also there are those that have demonstrated and teach how to make changes, and insist that you talk to yourself  as if you have already achieved. This can be found in the book

What to Say When you Talk To Yourself

- What To Say When You Talk To Yourself , by Shad Helmsetter.

I am suggesting that we take it one step further, as clearly shown to us by Katelynn - and give ourselves  a PRIZE to start. Maybe it is not the entire Prize, but something that will encourage us, and make us feel powerful about our success.  Feel deserving of this accomplishment.

What do you think? Should we treat ourselves to begin?
Obviously we do at least need to be accountable to ourselves - and not just take the Prize and run. Of course if it is a new dress in size 8, and we cannot fit into it - that is our loss, until we try again.

This is only part of the puzzle to motivate and get ourselves off our butts to achieve what we want, and what is best for our bodies.

In the quest to find happiness .. Be Happy with yourself first, and the rest will follow.
Treat yourself to prizes along the way to your large goals, as you deserve it.

For me - oh that quit smoking thing? Yes, I am working on that.

What do you think? Should we Give Yourself The Prize First?

...darleen & jan

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