Twice as nice. Promise yourself a reward after you’ve done something that already makes you feel good.

One of my favourite cartoons appeared in the New Yorker in 1993. A couple of dogs are in conversation, and the one sitting at a computer declares: ‘On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.’

I’ve always loved it, and it seems I’m not the only one. It even has its own Wikipedia page.

“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” (Conde Nast TagID: cncartoons005912.jpg) [Photo via Conde Nast]
“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” (Conde Nast TagID: cncartoons005912.jpg) [Photo via Conde Nast]
Now to the best of my knowledge, dogs tend to spend little of their time on the computer (although who knows what they get up to when we’re not looking?) but they can be trained to do some other pretty impressive stuff.

And the trick, apparently, when trying to persuade a pooch to adopt new behaviour is to reward them when they do.

Maybe this works in humans, too? And more particularly perhaps in you?

Very possibly there’s something you could do today which might help you feel better, but ordinarily you’d put it off because it feels like too much effort.

A bit of exercise, say (a short walk would be fine). Writing a thank-you letter. Tidying some clutter at home or work.

If so, why not think like an animal trainer? Complete the action, then give yourself a reward. It doesn’t have to be substantial, just a little something that will pep you up. A biscuit, say.

Preferably not a dog one though.

One thought on “Twice as nice. Promise yourself a reward after you’ve done something that already makes you feel good.

  1. Thus is another good one!
    Yesterday after several hours of gardening – in the part of the garden I leave for last – because for a shorter person it’s challenging- my husband and took our selves to a nearby park on the lake that also has a nice cream stand! With our tasty treats in hand we had a lovely stroll around the lake!
    I truly believe when I accomplish a difficult task – whatever it is – I do like to plan a little reward – a cup off tea and some reading, a nice soak in the tub or ice- cream!
    Thanks for your always spot on posts!

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