What are good rewards for yourself?
Rewards for positive reinforcement are commonplace for kids. (The popularity of them in our home is telling).
But, knowing how to reward yourself is extremely beneficial for adults! In fact, a reward is required for any goal or habit!
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EVERY habit that you have has three parts.
- Cue: What’s the trigger? What craving are you trying to fill?
- Habit: The action or routine.
- Reward: Wahoo! Your brain likes this. The habit is worth doing in the future.
Sometimes the reward is a natural consequence like a bonus at work, or a simple mark off a self-care checklist. But physical non food rewards can play a HUGE role in keeping you motivated and making progress.
The Problems With Rewarding Myself
Now, while the science is solid, I often face two issues with self rewards.
Do you have these problems too?
1. All I want is to reward myself with food. Really, chocolate.
While this sounds innocent enough, the truth is that it is a subtle self-sabotage of bigger goals. It’s hard not to love sugar.
2. I don’t want to spend a fortune.
How can I reward myself without money? Or at least a lot of it?
Solve both of these problems without food!
That’s why, in this list of non food rewards, the free/cheap adult reward ideas have an asterisk beside them.*
That way, if you’re looking for something that’s not going to blow the budget, it’s easy to find!!!!
Different Types of Self Rewards for Adults
Obviously, different rewards fit for different areas of life, your interests, budget, and how big the goal/habit is.
Plus, it’s beneficial to build with multiple small rewards for yourself to keep going while you’re putting in the most work. Here’s an example of something that would work for a health goal!
Goal: Workout 3x a week
1st reward: (After 1-3 workouts) Buy 2 new songs to workout with.
2nd reward: (After 1 week) Sit in a massage chair (or have partner give you a massage).
3rd reward: (After 2 weeks-1 month) Buy fun new workout clothes.
There are TONS of things to reward yourself with below, so use a variety along the journey to your bigger goals! They work for weight loss, business, new self-care habits, anything
177 Reward Ideas for Adults
These all CONTRIBUTE to a healthy, happy, and impactful lifestyle!
Now, the following adult rewards are varied and split into:
Amazing Healthy Rewards for Adults
These self reward ideas will encourage and inspire you on your health goals journey!
- Replace an old water bottle with a nice one.*
- Pick up a motivating fitness magazine*
- Purchase a new outfit that makes you feel confident.
- Purchase a new swim suit.
- Get a foam roller. It’s a great self-massage!*
- Buy new undergarments that make you feel amazing.*
- Replace your tennis shoes with new ones.
- Invest in a gym membership (or digital membership for at-home workouts).
- Order new bluetooth headphones for working out.
Build your perfect workout music playlist.*
- Buy workout clothes that you love.
- Splurge on something that makes healthy living easier, like an Instant Pot. Also, mandolines are cheap and incredibly useful!*
- Buy a laptop stand to help with your posture while you work (and upper body pain)
- Take a salsa dancing class on youtube.*
- Invest in a standing desk. Save your body with one of these!
- Meet with a personal trainer, nutritionist, or health coach.
- Buy a fancy spice rack that keeps your kitchen organized.
- Purchase quality meal prep containers for easy storage.
- Splurge on a non-food item at the Farmer’s Market.*
- Purchase an app or program that supports your physical health: Noom, My Body Tutor, and Weight Watchers are just a few examples.
- Set your screensavers to an inspiring photo or a picture of the progress you’ve made.*
- Buy a cookbook or health book that will help motivate you (or check it out at the library).*
- Sign up for a health subscription box.
- Order a supplement you’ve been interested in.
- Try a meal planning service to help delegate future work.
- Invest in quality plates and kitchen utensils. (Make the plates a little smaller and you’ll automatically consume less!)
- Donate a pound of food for each pound you’ve lost. (What an awesome visual for losing weight!)*
Non Food Self Care Rewards for Yourself
Rewarding yourself can be indulgent with these ideas!
- Get a manicure or pedicure (or do your own with new nail polish*).
- Allow yourself to do an at-home self-care retreat.*
- Try new bubble bath products*.
- Take a nap.*
- Take yourself on a solo date.
- Sign up for a reasonsably priced self-care subscription box.
- Get a massage (professional or from a loved one).*
- Invest in a meditation app like Headspace. (They offer a free trial to try it out!)*
- Get a facial (or do your own face mask at home*).
- Make yourself a fun diy self-care box.*
- Buy essential oils. Use lavender for relaxation!
- Get a meditation pillow. (I love this one)
- Purchase a full self-care planner, to guide you to take better care of yourself.
- Do a mind dump*.
- Invest in a sanctuary spot in your home. Dress it up with soothing candles, cozy blankets, pillows, etc.
- Go to bed early.*
- Indulge in a self-care day.*
- Purchase products to create a soothing skin care routine.
- Sit in a massage chair for 5-10 minutes.*
- Listen to your favorite podcast for extra time.*
- Splurge on a babysitter for the night and take time for yourself instead.
- Give yourself permission to dream big. Take the afternoon to make a vision board and set goals.
- Buy a new candle. Then, light candles around your home for the evening.*
Have a movie night with your favorite childhood movie.*
- Get your eyebrows professionally done.
- Go to a local book store and spend a few hours checking out the latest magazines or new books.*
- Invite friends over for a relaxing night catching up.*
- Let yourself sleep in for a day.*
- Try a dry brush for your skin.
- Spend a few hours at a pet store or snuggling with your furry friends at home.*
- Take an hour to sign up for birthday freebies and spoil yourself on your birthday.*
- Have a pajama day. Allow yourself to stay in your jammies all day.*
- Order a fancy new herbal tea to try.*
- Re-read your favorite book.*
- Pay yourself 3 compliments. A little self-love goes a long ways!
- Take the night off from responsibilities. Let someone else cook dinner, clean up, etc.*
- Spend the entire day hanging out at the library, reading whatever you want.*
- Color in an adult coloring book.*
- Buy yourself fancy new bed sheets. Feel luxurious as you sleep!
*Need a self care boost? Grab access here to the free 2-page toolkit! (along with access to much more!)
Adult Relationship Rewards
These non-food experience rewards for yourself allow for fun and strengthening of connections!
- Go on a date with your partner. (or do a year of dates)
- Schedule a coffee date with a friend.
- Go stargazing with your favorite person.*
- Sign up for a creative class with someone you love (cooking, painting, etc.)
- Go to a concert.
- Try Top Golf or go mini-golfing.
- Hit the movie theater for a recent blockbuster. (Or a drive-in movie!)
- Go to a comedy club.
- Attend a sporting event.
- Find a new activity you’ve never done (escape room, axe throwing, painting party, etc.) Check Groupon!
- Book a night at a bed and breakfast.
- Grab the ladies for a fancy girl date or chick flick night in.
- Meet your partner for a lunch walk.
- Buy something to make a family tradition special (fancy glasses, fiesta hats, etc.)*
- Visit a monument, zoo, or museum.
- Do a staycation and explore your area.
- Go to the symphony, play, or other arts experience.
- Take a vacation (or weekend road trip) with someone you love.
- Spend the night in a hotel with your family.
- Check something off of your bucket list (Get ideas for spring, summer, fall, holiday, and winter + each post has family and adult lists!)*
Self Rewards That Make You Feel Good
Next, these ways to reward yourself are meant to bring joy and pleasure in general! They also make great ways to treat yourself on a tough week!
- Get a fresh hair cut or color.
- Buy something fun at Target.*
- Hire someone to clean your house.
- Order new pillows for your bed or couch.
- Take your car to get professionally cleaned/detailed.
- Have a movie night with a movie you’ve been wanting to see.*
- Take a mental health day off of work.
- Buy some cheap fun pens.*
- Get a book you’ve been wanting to read.*
- Buy a new bookmark that gets you excited to read.*
- Pay someone to mow your lawn.
- Put $5 in a jar (this allows you to save for a bigger reward later!)*
- Splurge on a new coffee cup or tea cup.*
- Buy a piece of art or a photograph that inspires you.
- Purchase music that motivates you.*
- Buy plush new bath towels. (*good value!)
- Take a lesiure trip to the library. Peruse books and read quietly just for fun.*
- Sign up for a conference or seminar you’ve been wanting to attend.
Give yourself a night to “do whatever you want.” No guilt.*
- Binge on a tv series others have recommended to you.*
- Sign up for a meal delivery service (technically food, but it’s more about food coming to you!)
- Splurge on nice photos of yourself or your family.
- Buy a new purse.
- Look up stand up comedy on youtube and spend an hour laughing.*
- Take a joyride in the car driving by a pretty view.*
- Get a hair blowout.
- Invest in an optional procedure that improves your quality of life. (ex. Lasik, laser hair removal, Invisalign, etc.)
- Buy a new lipstick color.
- Get a pet you’ve been wanting.
- Get fitted for a bra.*
- Invest in an audible subscription.
- Spend extra time working on a hobby you love.*
- Buy something special for that hobby you love.
- Watch an inspiring TED Talk.*
- Purchase new sunglasses.*
- Perk up your work space. Buy a plant or new candle.*
- Get yourself fresh flowers.*
- Give yourself a gift card to your favorite place.*
- Buy a pair of high heels that make you feel sexy.
- Hire someone to fix up your home (a painter, carpenter, etc.)
- Purchase your own personalized stationary to write to friends and family.
- Buy yourself new luggage tags (or luggage).* (Great when hitting a savings goal for a vacation)
- Purchase a new pair of earrings you love.*
- Get all dolled up. (Enjoy feeling your best!)
- Tell your mom, sister, or best friend about your accomplishment. Celebrate with someone!*
- Pay your child $5 to do extra chores around the house.*
- Buy a new air freshener or accessory for your car.* (Great when saving for a new car).
- Test drive your dream car.* (Great when saving for a new car)
- Walk through your dream home models.* (Great when saving for a new home)
- Remodel a room in your house.
- Create an Amazon wishlist.*
- Sing karoake.*
- Spend a few hours going through past photos.*
- Cash out your credit card rewards and spend $100 on something just for you. (Not the house, the kids, etc.)*
- Take a free online class learning about something you’ve been wanting to for awhile.*
- Indulge in a fresh veggie juice at a healthy restaurant or market.*
Take a free library class that looks interesting.*
- Spend the afternoon playing video, computer, or board games.*
- Eat on your best dinnerware, and light dinner candles just for fun.*
- Upgrade your phone, ipad, or computer. (Great for work goals)
- Buy a new app or computer game you’ve been wanting.
- Buy a magazine you don’t normally let yourself purchase.*
- Buy one thing off of your favorite Pinterest board.
- Purchase these hilarious socks for women.
- Give yourself 30 minute to scroll your favorite social media – guilt free!
- Hire someone to do your laundry. (Or hire your kids for a weekend!)
- Host a tea party.*
How to Reward Yourself With Nature
Finally, small outdoor rewards are healthy and practically free! You can’t get better than the beauty of nature!
- Take a hike out in nature.*
- Walk through a botanical garden.*
- Head to a park and watch a sunset. (bring a bottle of champagne to toast a bigger accomplishment!)*
- Go camping (or glamping).*
- Travel to visit a beautiful natural site you’ve been wanting to see.
- Lay in a hammock for several hours in your backyard or park.*
- Have a bonfire or fire pit night with someone you love.*
- Pick out something beautiful to plant in your garden.*
- Hit the beach for a day and bask in the sun and sand.*
- Go stargazing.*
- Indulge in forest bathing.*
- Explore a simple natural beauty nearby (cave, hidden trail, hill, lake beach)*
- Take yourself on a healthy picnic. – Or just spread out on a blanket in the grass for a day!*
Have a specific goal, but you’re not sure what reward to pick?
Leave a comment below, and I’ll help brainstorm possibilities. 😊
Or check out this video for a few other examples:
Need more help with goals and habits?
First, read this list of habits to develop to figure out what your goal is.
Then, use the following tips to crush your goals!
- Make a specific plan for your goal/habit. (Schedule it in using a template)
- Repeat your why or write down your goal daily.
- Tell someone or join a group for accountability.
- Make the habit as easy as possible. (i.e. set out your equipment, etc.)
- Keep track using a free habit tracker.
- And again, utilize the self reward ideas above during the process for extra motivation!
How to Follow Through: Actually Reward Yourself!
Finally, force yourself to enjoy the rewards! Sometimes, it’s difficult to celebrate our wins before we’re on to the next thing to do.
So, tell a friend or partner your goal AND your self rewards. Let them help you follow through and celebrate together!
*Are you struggling to achieve your goals?
This affordable personal development planner will help you build momentum and direction!
To Consider With Non Food Rewards for Adults
Phew, I hope you enjoyed this HUGE list!
What are your favorite ways to reward yourself? I’d love to know!
*Read here for rewards to motivate your kids!
Other personal growth posts you’ll enjoy…
- Take the Self-Love Challenge! – 30 days of loving actions for your best self.
- Powerful Quotes for When Adversity Strikes – when the going gets tough, put these quotes on your wall!
- Sleep Affirmations for an Easier Bedtime – easy, peaceful self-talk before you close your eyes.