Rewards – Make a lasting change.

According to a study carried out by Richard Wiseman for his book ‘Quirkology‘ only 10% of us will actually achieve that new years resolution. I think we probably all know that’s the case to be honest… It’s one of the reasons I’ve never really partaken and probably been a bit humbug about the whole idea. This year though I’m looking to ‘practice what I preach’ and keep you updated on what I learn in the process.

Having suffered over the past 12 months from various undiagnosed gut related maladies I’ll be looking to continue my health journey and find new ways to motivate myself. I’ve been running 3 times a week for about six months – I must admit though that I’m a bit lack lustre at times and whilst I enjoy getting out I remain firmly within my physical and mental limits. So… As I’ve learnt from Wiseman’s study I’ve set myself a larger goal (improve my health) as well as setting myself time related specific goals along that path. My first goal is to run 5K by mid February. Now, I’ve run for 30 minutes before but at my pace (and age) I’m probably looking for between 37 and 40 minutes of running to achieve the 3.6 miles needed. This might not sound a lot to you but for me this is a big deal and will easily be the furthest I have run ever – I had a doctors note for those school PE sessions so I’ve spent most of my life avoiding pushing myself physically.

One important factor that impacts on whether we achieve a goal is the reward we give ourselves. These help us to rightly mark our steps as real achievements and keep us motivated onto the next step. These rewards should be in line with and not hinder our goal e.g. no big slabs of cake for eating healthily all week – That’s not because you shouldn’t enjoy cake every now and again but because we are creating new habits and for me at least, given half a chance, I’ll be rewarding myself with cake every five minutes and that will get me nowhere.

A reward can be as simple as taking some time for yourself to have a cup of tea or a read. So before I start I’ve made a list of things that I enjoy and that can help motivate me to achieve the small steps to my big goal:

  • Watch a Film
  • Buy a book
  • Go for a meal
  • Go to a gig
  • Have a long bath
  • Take a class
  • Go for a walk
  • Learn something new
  • Play guitar
  • Treat myself – Usually means buying something…

These are just a few of mine and of course they are specific to what I like. There are 100’s of things you can do though and a quick google can give you ideas if you’re struggling.

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A bit more information

Ben Gaskell is a Clinical Hypnotherapist working with clients who suffer from anxiety, stress, low mood and phobias. He practices from Stretford and Deansgate, Manchester and serves the areas of:


Altrincham, Stockport, Trafford, Urmston, Didsbury, Sale, Chorlton.


Deansgate, Northern Quarter, Spinning fields.

Further details can be found on the ‘getting here’ or ‘contact’ page. For more information on how Ben at Greater Manchester Hypnotherapy can help you please call 07756 932 702 or email