Many Americans live lavishly but finance their lifestyles with credit cards or high-interest rate loans. In this chapter, I’d like to connect with those of you on the other end of the spectrum, who deprive yourself to the point of making life almost unbearable. If you ignore the need to reward yourself, you will regret it later on!

I’m writing this from personal experience. I’ve always been working harder than necessary but never feeling like it was enough to deserve a reward. At times I made more money in one day than many of my friends had made in months. But even with that high income, I still lived in the back of one of my phone stores and drove a beat-up old truck. I refused to spend money on anything that wasn’t building the business. I reasoned that since every dollar I put in generated a $3 return, I couldn’t afford to spend money on myself! I’ve intentionally made changes to start enjoying life. In the last few years, I realized that “you can’t take it with you.” I realized it was okay to reward myself for a job well done.

Celebrate Your Achievements

Celebrating a milestone of success can help you move on to bigger and better things. If you always feel like your journey to success is a “hamster wheel,” you can get burned out! Specific recognition for your accomplishments will provide “chapters” for your life story. Then you can take a break, breathe, and start on the next big thing. Remember that you can reward yourself many times along the way!

Get your friends involved. Whether it’s a post on social media or a celebration at your place, your friends and loved ones want to celebrate with you! A time or event set aside can help you process the achievement. It also gives others a specific opportunity to express their gratitude for your hard work and dedication.

Reflect on what it took to reach your goal. Remember that success is a journey over time, but you will need to stop and rest to consider where you’ve come from. Some of the top entrepreneurs find it difficult to acknowledge their success. They focus so much on what’s ahead that they never stop to enjoy where they are. Give yourself credit when you hit your goals!

Celebrate Your Team’s Accomplishments

As a leader, praising your team or employees is just as important as rewarding yourself. Of course, you never want to ignore them while enjoying yourself! One of the most important things to remember is to make praise public. Vince Lombardi, the famous football coach, was known for saying:

“Praise in public, criticize in private.”

Share specifics from the success stories of your team. This public praise will encourage them to push their limits. You can also highlight what works and even what doesn’t within your strategy. The whole team can learn from the success of others. Make it detailed and include any relevant context. Consider adding a gift or reward for recognition. Something as simple as a pat on the back or a high-five can significantly impact your team’s morale!

Reward Yourself Immediately

Being rewarded solidifies in your mind that your effort is worth the reward. Reward yourself and your team as soon as you complete a crucial task or reach a goal. Why is it so important to enjoy rewards as quickly as possible? This creates a definite link within your mind between the achievement and the reward. Every time you are facing similar stress or challenges in the future, your subconscious will remember the positive results. In this manner, you can create a habit of success! Even small rewards can be great motivators, whether that’s a break for coffee, a short walk, or an evening out to dinner.

Choose Something You Enjoy

For many, personal rewards can lead to losing the ground they gained from their goals. Make sure your rewards aren’t counter-productive! Brainstorm for potential recompenses that aren’t just money, but experiences as well. Take a bit of time to figure out some prizes, and make sure to take the chance to reward yourself so you can enjoy the benefits of your success!