Everyday Awards for a Healthy Lifestyle

Posted On Mar 21, 2014 By Rachel Weingarten

healthy lifestyle rewards

It's that time of year again when there seems to be an award for everything, and people go crazy for anything even remotely related to the film industry. And then the entire red carpet season brings with it a unique kind of frenzy culminating with the Academy Awards. Sure there are Oscars given out for best director and producers and songs and cinematography, but it's usually the actors that get the most attention. And though they're already paid millions of dollars to do so, in essence they're being rewarded publicly and lavishly for pretending to be other people.

A few years back, I remember reading a book by John "the Penguin" Bingham that included an anecdote about a seemingly ordinary man who sometimes felt ignored and taken for granted by his family. But this man started running marathons and would end each race in tears. He spent each day at a job he didn't love to provide for his wife and children who never seemed to pay him any attention. But as he got to the end of his first race, he marveled to see hundreds if not thousands of total strangers cheering him on, shouting words of encouragement and embracing him at the finish line. Or at least those are the specifics that I seem to recall. It's the message that I took away with me.

The majority of us don't get gold statuettes to reward us for everyday accomplishments, but maybe it's time to create a new trend. In most of our lives, daily rewards can involve an extra or gooey dessert, which isn't conducive to maintaining a healthier lifestyle. What if we started something like the shoelace awards, wherein those who struggle for self-improvement are recognized and awarded for even the smallest efforts? Rewards don't have to be gooey or sparkly. Sometimes they can be small daily reminders of consistent achievements. Like treating yourself to a colorful new pair of shoelaces for your running shoes for every week that you keep running, or indulging in a sports massage for every month hitting the gym. I don't need Hollywood to tell me that my accomplishments matter to know that they do. How about you?