I believe in treats. They are so much more motivational than punishments. When we do things for treats, not only do we accomplish what we need to get done, but we also get rewarded.
Here’s the thing: we have to choose the right treats.
There is an art to this. Unless I mean there is a math to this. I get those things confused. Let me clarify by using an example. Let’s say I want to exercise more often. I decide that I will motivate myself to exercise by giving myself a treat. If I choose staying up all night playing pinochle as my reward, I may find that the next day I am too tired to exercise. My treat may have been fun, but didn’t advance my overall plan to exercise more often. (Also, I have no idea how to play pinochle, so my brain would probably hurt. And doesn’t it involve worms? Or is that just the song?)
I have to choose something as a treat that will not get in the way of the larger goal. This may mean choosing smaller treats (one cookie, not ten), different treats (hot bath), or better proportioned ones (pinochle party that ends at 10, not 2).
Within those parameters, the treat should be as awesome as possible: that had better be one life-changing cookie, bubbly bath, or hilarious party. Make the treat worth it!