Strategic Self Reward
Self reward is a powerful way to encourage behavior. We use it all the time.
But sometimes we reward ourselves so much that the reward loses its glimmer. It gets taken for granted. When this happens it no longer serves as a reward, but instead becomes a need.
Once reward becomes need your aim sinks low, encouraging you to do only the minimum to give yourself what you already think you deserve.
However, If we are more strategic in our self reward we can use it to inspire good behavior, raising the bar and pushing us to higher achievements.
We should be mindful of this as it changes the nature of the transaction and not lose sight of the outcome we sought in the first place - better behavior.
When a reward is taken for granted and treated as though it's already deserved, we will do only the minimum to give ourselves that reward. But if reward is seldom and must be earned then we'll be forced to step up and reach a new standard.
So don't make it easy on yourself. In the end, the reward is not the goal. Behavioral change is. And no one puts their participation trophies on the mantle.