Just Rewards

I work a lot with rewards in my coaching work with people. They work. By fully acknowledging and affirming the things you accomplish toward clean eating, small and large, you literally make yourself stronger, fueling yourself for further accomplishment. Just like if you were coaching a young child.

By contrast, not really celebrating your achievements weakens your resolve. It’s like driving with one foot on the brake pedal. Plus rewards just add a quality of lightness to the whole process of diet transformation. So do like this: Sit down and make a list of cool rewards. I suggest two lists, actually, one of rewards that cost money, such as:

* getting a massage
* buying yourself a CD or a book
* a half-day at a spa

And one list of rewards that don’t cost money, like:

* a day at the beach
* a long bath with some “guilty pleasure” magazines that you don’t usually let yourself indulge in
* a couple hours browsing in a cool used bookstore

Your lists should include both small and large rewards.

Then, come up with some landmarks of clean eating: having found a certain number of delicious, clean dishes that you love, going a week without eating refined sugar, completing a fast or cleanse, sticking to your menu plan for a certain stretch of time, whatever. Now match them up, the landmarks with the rewards. This is one of the obvious—but nevertheless potent—“tricks of the trade” to play your own psychology like a flute. Watch your rejuvenative eating snowball like magic!

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