Motivation: Challenges and Rewards Make a Difference

Have you ever tried the strategy of setting up crazy goals for your very own challenges?

I did a couple of weeks ago. I said if I could get a certain amount of funds raised for my Dance Marathon account, I would go to the Haunted Forest here in Ames.

Now that might sound like a lame challenge for some of you…but I’m a scaredy-cat when it comes to anything haunted. I can watch every horror movie by myself, but I won’t set foot in a haunted house. The chasing, real life jump scares…a big NOPE. The last time I did it was when I went to Canada and my group of guy friends made me go. I’m pretty sure I kept my eyes closed the whole time and I dislocated one of my friends’ arm from gripping it to tight. Anyway, this time was not that different–except that I tried to keep my eyes open at all times. This was the arm I dislocated…

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Aside from that I’m probably one of the most annoying people to go to a haunted house with, I had fun. The two friends that went with me helped me a lot. So my point is, it was a very worthy experience.

Another point I want to make here is…setting up goals like these make your victories “extra” satisfying. This is how I was reminded that incentives really help boost your motivation to accomplish something. Personal rewards are also key for this kind of approach.

Say you have a pretty big exam coming up, challenge yourself on getting a 90% or above. Incentive? Go to the The Hunger Games: Mockingjay midnight premiere. Or even if you’re doing whatever you set up anyway…that feeling of satisfaction will absolutely be greater. “Oh yeah, I so deserve to go to this midnight premiere because I crushed my psychology exam!” — See how it adds satisfaction?

When motivation fails, reward yourself! It also adds something to look forward to after the storm! Apply this to everyday life. People who love you love to see you succeed…so why not make it public challenges as well? Just as I did in this occasion. People out there will give their best encouraging words and will be looking forward to seeing yet another success.

Rewarding yourself isn’t the only way to achieve greater motivation though. My main point is that challenges are a very effective option as well. What could these challenges be? Well, trying something new or out of your comfort zone. One example, I remember last year a friend who was studying abroad in Spain challenged himself to speak, write, etc. completely in Spanish for weeks. Finally, when he told me about this experience some weeks ago, he told that it was a very good motivation factor for him to learn and get the most out of his experience in Spain.

So…main takes on what you just read:

  • Constantly challenge yourself. Stop or start doing something to motivate some aspects in your life
  • Rewards and challenges are big motivators. Accomplishing these challenges or getting to enjoy your reward add an extra gratifying feeling when successful
  • Sharing these challenges to a certain public can get you unexpected encouragement
  • Haunted houses are not as bad as they seem…I think

Anyway, see how random experiences make you realize bigger things? Let me pass this on to you to try. Challenge yourself to run the “extra mile” even though that means facing your fears! #HauntedForestSelfie

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