Reframing Rewards to Change Habits

Let’s talk about little things. Achieving BIG goals doesn’t happen without attention to LITTLE THINGS along the way. As I mentioned in a recent Instagram/Facebook post…

“Races aren’t won/PRs aren’t set on race day. Those things are accomplished during those early morning hill repeats, passing that junk food in the workroom, getting in that recovery work after a long day at work and running the kids to practice, skipping that TV show to get the right amount of sleep, and so on. It’s all about the little things that compound over time to make the big things happen.”

In order to change little habits, we need to re-think our internal rewards system. A quick example: If you’re feeling a little stressed at work, you stop by the workroom and grab a donut. Upon eating the donut, your body gets a reward: The sugar rush to your brain. This reward will reinforce the same behavior over and over if you let it. I’d like to offer an alternative…

Imagine the same situation, only this time you PASS the donuts, go to your desk, and write on a sticky-note the following: “I just made myself stronger mentally and healthier physically.” The simple act of WRITING that statement will give your brain a shot of endorphins and reward your body the same way the sugar would have. Writing yourself notes is a healthy way to alter the reward loop to your brain and make healthier choices. 

Here’s a challenge: Give that idea a try sometime this week. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!!!

Happy Trails,



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