Always Look Forward to Small Rewards too – Ritter Ames Mysteries

Always Look Forward to Small Rewards too

MMM memeMy husband starts cutting firewood in late summer/early fall and continues through the winter splitting heavy oak logs and cleaning out brush that’s accumulated in the warm months. He doesn’t just do this because he sells more firewood in the winter and we use it to heat our home. The colder months are also better for cleanup and cutting because snakes are hibernating this time of year and mostly remain in a hole somewhere, so hubby runs a much lower risk of stumbling into a nest and getting bitten.

My husband is a lot like Indiana Jones–he hates snakes.

But while all of this work produces terrific results around our home, I noticed over the years that hubby tends to just take this as something he must do. He’s good at this kind of work, truly enjoys it. And while he can tell you to the penny how much money he makes each year selling firewood, how much he’s spent on equipment/maintenance, gas for the chainsaw, and ads run in the local paper–what he can’t seem to get is the reward for the aesthetic improvement he makes around the place. When he cleans out a new section, I always tell him how great it looks, and he shrugs it off saying “It had to be done.” He’s too hard a worker for his own ego.

So, since he loves Lindt truffles, I keep a stash around the house that he doesn’t know about, and always pocket couple when going out to see what new area he’s cleaned up. After I ooh and ahh over it (mostly because he does the majority of the work himself and doesn’t make me help him–gotta love the guy), I hand him a couple of Lindt truffles and say they’re for a job well done. He grins and takes the truffles, making a joke about it all.

I believe in small rewards to keep motivation high. It doesn’t have to be candy–it can be looking forward to reading a new book as soon as a project is completed, or a new lipstick just because I like the color.

Small rewards can make us remember big accomplishments every time the rewards come to mind or another comes up in our lives. For instance, my husband isn’t even surprised anymore when I pull truffles from my pocket, but he is pleased.


When I gained my USA Today bestselling title, I treated myself to a handbag I’d fallen in love with the previous spring. Now, every time I look at that purse, I remember my excitement at seeing my name and book title on the USA Today web page.

What about you? Do you reward yourself in any way when you complete tasks?

11 Replies to “Always Look Forward to Small Rewards too”

    1. You don’t have to buy something to reward yourself–it could be sitting in a park for an hour because you like to be there, or making a date to meet a friend for a chat. It’s all about validating to yourself that you deserve a bright spot in your day/week/month for all the many unsung things you do everyday in life.

  1. I love that you do this for your husband! [Dare I say it?] How sweet! (Sorry. Couldn’t resist!) And having the purse as a reminder is a great thing, a wonderful reward for you. I’ve fallen out of the habit of “rewarding” myself, even with small things, but it will come back (for myself) as I’ve declared that this new year I will treat myself more better-er. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Glad you liked the post, and I’m also glad you’re going to get more better-er this year on rewarding yourself πŸ™‚ Hey, that M&Ms store isn’t located near you for nothing. LOL

  2. I agree that it is often the small rewards make the best rewards. Having retired last year I really can only afford those small rewards but I’ve found that they make me just as happy. Books are usually my choice.

  3. I hadn’t even thought about it or about rewarding my husband in small ways for the many things he does. That is kind of strange since as a school librarian/teacher I used rewards all the time and saw how just a little something in recognition makes the kids feel really great; it makes sense that it would work for adults. I guess I need to walk around with ammo in my pocket for the man who has developed a love of hunting above all things. Ice cream is his favorite treat but that would be a little hard to carry in the Texas heat. I really will think about an appropriate treat. Thanks for the suggestion. Now for me hummm. What do I want besides books and chocolate and what is it worth?

    1. Yes, I can see how ice cream treats might be a problem, Jeanie. LOL! And books and chocolate are two of my favorites, too πŸ™‚ You’re right that ammo might be most appreciated, but he probably buys his own of that. Maybe you could slip him a gift certificate for an ice cream store–do you have Braum’s or Baskin Robbins?–and suggest he join you in a treat?

  4. I absolutely LOVE this In our home it is definitely small
    “rewards”. For a pick me up after a small task is completes, I’m right there with your husband. A Lindt truffle is a wonderful treat. If the project is major, “my” treat to me is definitely a book. For my husband it is going to one of the local forest preserves and either walking around or dropping a fishing line (catch and release).

  5. Yep, the small rewards really add up in my mind. And now that the kid is gone we’ve started getting into the “let’s get rid of this” stage, so it’s nice little gold stars for us when we get a smaller reward. πŸ™‚

  6. This is such a cute post! πŸ˜€ I keep chocolate stashed around too, as small rewards. But mostly for the weekend when I get to open up a good book and read.
    P.s. Lovely handbag, and with such a neat story behind it <3

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