Dear Sally,

Be good to yourself

Why is it that we don’t pat ourselves on the back more often?  Is it because we’re afraid of looking smug, over-confident or even arrogant?  We’re also not particularly good at taking compliments, usually choosing to dismiss anything nice anyone has to say to us with a wave of the hand and a ‘don’t be so silly’ retort. 

The rewards you get out of life can often seem few and far between and at times you may struggle to see the benefit of doing something if there isn’t an easily identifiable answer to the ‘what’s in it for me?’ question.  This issue of Seesaw looks at how to balance what you know you have to do in your everyday life with some feel good rewards which will help to encourage, motivate and drive you to complete your most dull, boring and mundane tasks – and still get a kick out them!

Until next time


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What's in it for me?

If someone rewarded you each time you did something, what would you like to get?  I can remember asking one of my clients how they were going to reward themselves when they had completed the task in hand and he was absolutely stumped.  He considered completing the task was reward enough!  If the task is a pleasant one then that might be the case but if it is working your way through two months of post, knowing that there is something for you when you’ve completed it might just be the motivation to get the job done.

One of the key things that stops people having a great work/life balance is that never ending list of things that they’ve just not quite finished.  At work it’s the continual tweaking of an important report, the evening meeting you feel you should go to, that last email to send before you head home.  In your life you’re faced with a car that needs cleaning, buttons to sew on, exercise to fit in, alcoholic consumption to reduce.  If there was a small reward lined up for you when you’ve completed the task, chances are you’ll be more inclined to roll up your sleeves and get cracking! 

Creating a compelling reason for finishing one of those things on your list is often all the incentive that’s needed.  If you finish your list you will create more time for you.  What will you do with that time?  If you haven’t planned something specific for when you complete a task, you will easily fill that spare time with another task from your list.  Continue on through life in this way and very soon you ask yourself  ‘What’s the point?’  Rewarding yourself along the way makes the dull, boring and often tough jobs a little easier to achieve.

What was the last reward you gave yourself and what was it for?    Click here to let me know.

Praise, praise, praise

Supernanny advocates rewarding and praising children to get the best out of them.  A keen advocate of star charts linked to rewards and praising good behaviour, Jo Frost uses these simple but effective techniques to make life better for the families she visits.

Children shine when they are praised.  They grin from ear to ear, they laugh and they get excited about the next thing that they have to do.  You think nothing of dishing out lashings of praise to someone who reaches your knee caps, but many of us seem to stop praising when we deal with people who no longer have an age in single digits.  When you were a stroppy teenager (as we all were somewhere along the way!) the praise we received probably dwindled.  Moving on into adulthood, praise thins out even more and when we do get it, we dismiss it as being words without any real value. 

You know that praising and saying “thank you” to someone works.  The only trouble is, we don’t do enough of it.  The last time someone said “well done” to you, how did you feel?  Upset, angry and hurt or did you beam inside?  As adults we may not show our happiness on the outside as readily as children do, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like it any less.  Next time someone says “thank you” to you, take note of how you feel.  Do you smile, do you stand a little taller, do you imagine punching the air with a ‘YES!’?  Praise someone today, before it’s too late!

And remember if someone says something nice to you, whether it’s thanks for lunch, for doing the dishes or buying you a special treat or you receive a compliment about your appearance, your good nature or your dedication to fixing a problem – accept their words with grace – and be proud of yourself.  Simple acts of kindness make everyone’s world a better place.

The 'give it a go' bit

  • Things to do vs. Rewards
    • Create your own list of how you can reward yourself for completing the current tasks on your ‘to do’ list.  Rewards don’t have to be constrained by money, size or imagination.  Reward yourself with a bunch of flowers, five minutes of peace, a crossword puzzle or putting your feet up for a ten minute snooze.  Create things to fill in the ‘life’ side of your work/life balance and know that there is something for you at the end of the task in hand.

  •  Thanks and Compliments
    • Find a reason today to either say “thank you” to someone or pay them a compliment.  Your reward?  Someone will do the same for you. 

Give yourself a half hour reward to focus just on you.  If you'd like to talk about how you can reward yourself, contact me to arrange a free half hour coaching session to explore making the best of your work/life balance. 

Your monthly thought to contemplate…

To praise is an investment in happiness.’- George M. Adams

Kathryn Proudlock
Tel: (01235) 810938
Mob: 07786 270951

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