Rewards and Consequences for the To Do List!

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Unpublished from May 4, 2018:

I keep whining about not doing my to do list.

I think the answer could be rewards and consequences.

It goes back to one of my earlier notes on this subject… I get worse and worse as the years go by because I discover there is very little real consequence or at least immediate consequence. But these are still things that I WANT to do.

There is something that was a problem for years that I finally beat and have kept at for 8 months. I got my weight down to under 110. And I keep it that way with a self-imposed consequence.

I got it down with 500 calories 2 days a week. I had thought I’d continue that intermittent extreme calorie reduction for health reasons, but I really didn’t want to. Instead, the deal I made is that I weigh myself nearly every day. If I go above 110 two days in a row, I need to do a 500 calorie day. I’ve never done a 500 calorie day since and have kept my weight to under 110.

I think I could easily motivate myself with food rewards and consequences. I’ve been eating sugary treats and feeling a bit bad about it because it’s bad for my health. But I’m still doing it. So how about I can only have the treat if I first do something on The List? Don’t do anything on the list, no treat that day. I think I win no matter what. But I also think it will be very motivating. Sugar is addictive and my body will fall in line with what my brain wants if I reward it.

At work, I sometimes need to visit another office. This office happens to have large, thick, very delicious chocolate chip cookies. The inside of the cookie is cookie dough – or as close as you can get to it and still be baked through.

I was driving to this other office for a workshop. Just zoning out listening to music, when the thought that popped into my mind was, “Yay! We’re driving to get a cookie!” (Yes, I’m typically “we” in my head. Not sure why. I don’t have distinct alternate personalities, but it does feel like a committee. I could really relate to that Pixar movie, Inside Out.) But, No. That was not the reason for the drive. It’s just what my sugar-obsessed body thought.

I’ve heard that you shouldn’t use food as a reward; it fosters the wrong relationship. Food should just be about body fuel. But I still want to try it. I eat the sweets anyways. Because I want them. Can I successfully switch it up so that they are “earned”? And get more of what I want done?

Caffeine too! I usually use eating and caffeinating as a stall tactic. I’ll start on that thing I’m supposed to be doing after I’ve had my tea or coffee. Instead, I can’t have the drink until I’ve gotten something done! Or at least started. It’s all about starting and then the momentum keeps you going.

And the reduced calorie rule is still in place. Hopefully, that will help to keep this system in check.

[Update: this did not work for me. I think that’s why I didn’t publish it. I’m interested in it now though because I’m trying a new method to get stuff done. I want to have some previous attempts out there for comparison.]

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