As my friend Kate so eloquently described me last week, "you and your constant self-bribery." She was kindof joking, but mostly not. I probably "bribe" myself to do something at least a few times a week. And you're thinking: "Carolyn, you are not a child or a dog. Why do you always bribe yourself?" OH, BECAUSE IT WORKS.
Quick psychology lesson (because I am obsessed with psychology and if I ever quit my day job it would be to go back to school so I can get certified to analyze psychopaths like Clarisse in Silence of the Lambs). So, quick lesson: There is a principle in psychology called the Premack Principle. According to the Premack Principle, if doing an enjoyable behavior (say, reading a book), is contingent upon completing a less-enjoyable behavior (say, going for a run), than you are more likely to go for a run than you would be if it wasn't required in order to read. In layman's terms, self-bribery works because SCIENCE.
When it comes to eating and exercise, I think having a reward system in place is a critical element of success (for me, at least). When I'm eating poorly or blowing off workouts left and right, it's usually because I make a snap decision to eat crappy food or skip the gym, and then I feel like I become so committed to the idea of eating pizza or watching 18 more episodes of Law & Order that I can't convince myself otherwise. Here's where the bribery comes in:
When there's a "bribe" in place (if it's a good reward), it becomes a lot harder to commit to the snap decision, because the activity I don't want to do is tied to one I do. So it becomes easier to drag myself out of bed to go to the gym on a Thursday morning, because I'll be damned if I'm behind on Serial, and I don't let myself listen to the new episode on Thursday unless I'm in the gym. And it's easier to keep myself under my points for the week, if doing so means I'm allowed to go to brunch with friends on Sunday. Sticking to the reward/punishment still requires discipline, but it makes sticking to the harder stuff a bit easier. And no, unfortunately the reverse Premack Principle doesn't work (as in, giving yourself the reward first doesn't make it easier to do the hard part).
So there you have it. Me and my constant self-bribery? There's a method to my madness (sometimes).
How do you keep yourself disciplined? What are your favorite rewards?
More importantly for the fellow 90 Day Fiance fans, Danielle and Mohammad WUT IS HAPPENING?!