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Use motivation and rewards effectively to raise your enthusiasm and obtain success

Motivation and rewards - The use of motivation and rewards is a great tool for inspiring yourself or others to take action. Apart from being a strong incentive, rewards can be a very powerful behavior reinforcement instrument if it is used and applied in the proper way. That simply means it is able to reinforce behaviors that are desirable so that we develop good habits and practices in the long run.

motivation and rewards Whenever someone doesn’t feel motivated, it simply means they rather be lazy and enjoy the moment rather than take action and reap the long term benefits from it. This is where rewards can be helpful to provide motivation.

I would say that people generally underestimate the impact and effectiveness of using motivation and rewards. They think that intellectually knowing the benefits of doing something is enough. That it alone is sufficient incentive. They think to themselves “I don’t need to give myself any other incentives. I already know the benefits that I will get from taking action. I don’t need any external rewards”

The reason rewards are effective

The reason why rewards are effective is because the mind and body responds differently when there is something tangible that can be clearly seen & felt to happen in the immediate future. Contrast this with a future benefit which can sometimes be pretty vague and not related to the present moment. The mind will experience the tangible reward being much more attractive and thus, have a much higher motivation factor.

In addition to that, perhaps the most important facet of using motivation and rewards is it also a very effective conditioning instrument, not just purely a motivation tool. What do I mean by that? By using setting up rewards effectively and correctly, we can condition ourselves to develop desirable behaviors. And that I believe is even more valuable than using it for motivation.

How does that work? Well it’s pretty much similar to the manner animal trainers train animals to perform tricks and obey instructions. Whenever the animal follows instruction and performs what it is requested, it will be rewarded with snacks or treats. This pleasurable reward will reinforce the animals to perform those behaviors even more. Before long the animal has associated pleasure and happiness to the behavior. The more it is reinforced, the stronger the habit becomes.

Tips for using motivation and rewards effectively

Get the timing right

motivation and rewards The timing of receiving the rewards is vital to the impact and extent of the effectiveness. To be successful, reward shortly after the behavior/action is performed. When someone will only be rewarded long after they have done something, the motivation is lower.

Take this scenario for example. The boss wants you to take up a project. If you do a good job, the organization will provide you a company car with all fuel and maintenance expenses paid for.

Now, which of the following would give you more motivation;

Option 1 - The car will be provided once you successfully complete the project - which would probably be a month from now, or

Option 2 - The car will be provided after the company’s annual HR staff benefits review, which will take place in 3 months.

Obviously people will be more motivated with option 1. Ok, but what happens if we change options 1 and 2 with options A and B.

Option A - The car will be provided 8 months after you complete the project.

Option B - The car provided 10 months after you complete the project.

So, now let’s take a look at both set of options. The rewards in both scenarios are the same. For both set of options, you will get the car 2 months earlier by choosing option 1 and A over option 2 and B respectively. So relatively, in both scenarios the incentives are the same. But will the motivation factor be the same? Will choosing option A over B give you as much motivation as choosing option 1 over 2?

Definitely not. You’ll definitely be much more motivated to choose option 1. The notion that you will be getting rewarded immediately gives a greater motivation.

This is exactly the same for animals. If the dog is only given snacks at the end of the training session, the impact of the reward will be much lower.

By rewarding immediately, the brain will associate pleasure with performing the action. This is how rewards can reinforce desirable behaviors.

Have a variety of rewards

Use a variety of different rewards. This keeps things fresh and interesting. Apart from that, we should also remember that there is a limit to indulgence rewards – such as money, food and other surface level pleasures. You can only go so far with it. Before you know it, you’ve hit the limit of it’s appeal.

Instead, for long term drive and motivation, try to target rewards that are related to personal growth and spiritual fulfillment. This will provide an inner drive and motivation that is much stronger and longer lasting than any type of indulgence available. It is in our human nature to desire growth and inner fulfillment much more than any external object out there.

Schedule it effectively

motivation and rewards Finally schedule the rewards effectively. If you’re involved in long term projects and only plan to reward yourself after completing it, you’re gonna have a hard time staying motivated. Instead for long term projects, set milestones and schedule mini rewards for achieving it. Have bonus rewards for reaching bigger milestones and finally the ultimate prize for completing the project.

Occasionally vary the reward schedule so that things interesting and fresh. For example, instead of rewarding yourself for every 10 sit-ups that you do, change it to 15 sit-ups for certain days.

Final thoughts…

Sometimes we just need that extra bit of incentive to get us going. And that is what motivation and rewards do. It doesn’t take long to plan and schedule rewards. In fact it will be a lot of fun. And the planning and scheduling process itself will already start to motivate you.

So make use of rewards to motivate yourself and others today!

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