REWARD YOURSELF!   Do I have your attention?

Let’s be honest – rewards are a very powerful tool for shaping behaviours.  Call it rewarding or call it bribery but, when there is a payoff for good behaviours, it works quite well!  How are you rewarding yourself for participating in the 21-day challenge?  Is it the lure of the free credits? Have you made a deal with yourself that you’ll treat yourself to a new workout top or a massage appointment?  Is it as simple as being able to cross the day’s challenge off as completed??

Wait a second, why are we talking about rewards when we’re on Day 9?  Why not Day 21?

Habits have three components that form a “habit loop”:  a trigger, a behavior, and a reward.  There must be a reward to the behaviour in order to establish it as a new habit! There has to be a payoff to close the loop or otherwise the old habits will start to re-emerge.  When it comes to exercise, if you don’t have a clear reward it will become easy to start skipping workouts or stopping altogether and many of us have been down that road way too many times and know where it takes us.

So, what is your reward as you build the habit of regular exercise?

Sometimes the behaviour is the reward – working out feels great and serves to reinforce sticking with it.  If the act of participation isn’t yet rewarding enough and you want to decide on an external reward, you have to decide on one that supports you rather than sabotages you.  This is why rewarding yourself with a skipped workout is the worst mistake you can make when you’re trying to make exercise a lasting part of your life!  It only serves to reinforce bad habits!  Look a little deeper when you’re thinking about rewarding yourself… A reward doesn’t always have to be a “treat”.  It can be a sense of completion or satisfaction.

Fitness, physical activity, exercise… whatever you call it…. has rewards that are as strong as wine or chocolate for those of us that have successfully built the habit.  Maybe you’re not there yet… but that’s why you’re here!  It’s safe to say that,  when you have a good workout, you’re rewarded by the feeling that comes afterward.  There is a saying that the only workout yo regret is the one you didn’t do!  You’re rewarded by the pounds lost, the calories burned, the satisfaction you get from attending a class or even marking off each day of this challenge.  Each time you reap the rewards of exercise, your further establishing exercise as a habit.

So, your challenge today is two-fold…

  1. Tell me how you’re rewarding yourself during this challenge!
  2. Complete the workout that I designed with the concept of rewards in mind… this one’s going to reward the heck out of you!!!!  Here’s how:
  • you’ll be rewarded with marking off another workout and another day completed – feels good!
  • you’ve got more points to tally up that can win you double your credits next month – free!
  • you’ll feel great when your 8 minute workout is done – proud of yourself for working hard!
  • your metabolic rate will be elevated in a big-time way for hours and hours after it’s complete since our format today is higher intensity interval training! I will say “you’re welcome” since this is my reward to you – a huge calorie burn from designing a great plan that only takes 8 minutes!

If you want a little more detail on why this format is so amazing, read about it here!

Here’s what you’ll be doing: 

4 exercises, 4 rounds of 20 seconds ON and 10 seconds OFF for a total of 8 minutes.  Done.  If you don’t like using your watch, download a free Tabata Timer on your computer or smartphone.  It’s such a popular workout format that there are apps and websites all over the place!  It’ll make a noise to signal the ONs and the OFFs so all you have to do is go for it!

Part 1: Mountain Climbers – 20 seconds ON: 10 seconds OFF for 4 rounds (2 minutes)

Part 2: Lunges – 20 ON: 10 OFF on the R leg for 2 rounds, then the L leg for 2 rounds (2 min)

Part 3: Push ups – 20 ON: 10 OFF for 4 rounds (2 min)

Part 4:  Squats – 20 ON; 10 OFF for the last 4 rounds (2 min)

Give yourself a run through of 10 reps per exercise as a mini-warmup.  Take a few minutes after the workout to stretch out the muscles you used.  You know it’s important to warm up and cool down with every session.  As always, if you need some modifications to the above plan, all you have to do is ask!

Go ahead everyone, get your rewards!!  It all starts with the workout…