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Monday, January 17, 2011

Clutterbugs: The Beauty of Small Rewards

This is a little essay from my on-line financial advisor Chellie Campbell. Go visit her over at Chellie.com - she's always got a lot of great ideas and upbeat ideas. I think it ties in nicely with my advice about giving yourself frequent, small rewards. 

“Money won’t make you happy…but 
everybody wants to find out 
for themselves.”—Zig Ziglar


Shipshape Dollars by Chellie Campbell

My friend, Korey, and I went on a cruise. We worried about gaining weight, since there was so much scrumptious, abundant food supply on board that we couldn’t believe it. There were about twelve meals per day: Pre-breakfast snack, breakfast, after breakfast snack, mid-morning snack, pre-lunch snack, lunch, after lunch snack, afternoon tea, cocktail hors d’oeuvres, dinner, mid-evening snack…by the time the midnight buffet arrived, I couldn’t get so much as another cracker in my mouth!

We decided that we would counter all the food by exercising: Always using the stairs instead of the elevator, making sure to do a lot of walking, dancing in the disco, and going to aerobics class every morning.

We showed up for aerobics class the first morning bright and early. There was a good crowd at the class and the instructor, Debbie, was energetic and upbeat, so a good time was had by all. Debbie was dressed in a cute yellow Royal Caribbean T-shirt and matching visor. At the end of the hour, she gave each one of us a yellow “Ship Shape” dollar and told us that we would get one at the end of each exercise program on the ship. If we collected ten “Ship Shape” dollars, we could redeem them for a yellow T-shirt and visor just like hers. Everyone’s eyes lit up. A free prize? Cool!

You might guess that, as the week wore on, and we partied and danced ‘til the wee hours of the morning, it became increasingly difficult to get up at 7:00 A.M. to go to aerobics class. The wake up call would ring in our rooms, shattering our slothful sleep, and we would groan in chorus. I would say, “I don’t want to get up and go to aerobics this morning, do you?” Korey would say, “No…but I only have five ‘Ship Shape’ dollars. How many have you got?” “I’ve only got four—how did you get five?” “Oh, they gave me one for shuffle board yesterday.” “That’s cheating!” “No, it isn’t, it was exercise!” “Well,” I said, “I’ve got to get up and go to class so I can catch up.”  And we’d both get up and drag our tired bodies to aerobics class.

There were a lot of tired bodies there! But I noticed everyone telling versions of our story: “Well, I was really tired and didn’t want to come today, but I only have six dollars and I need four more to get my T-shirt,” or “I wanted to sleep in, but I need three more dollars!”

It was amazing how people were plugged into this competition for a T-shirt while on this cruise that cost $800 (they could definitely afford to buy themselves a T-shirt if they wanted one).

The lessons of the “Ship Shape” dollars are: 1) Rewards and prizes are fun. 2) People will work hard to get their prizes, no matter what they are. 3) The actual value of the prize doesn’t matter. 4) Therefore, pick prizes to reward yourself when you accomplish your goals!

Today’s Affirmation: “I accept rich rewards—and I deserve them!”
 
How can you use this idea to motivate yourself to do the things you don't really want to do?

If you'd like to see past posts on the subject, click on the label at the bottom of this post for a complete list.  
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