Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Lesson 1539 – The Best Motivation out There (I’m Not Kidding)

By Wendythomas @wendyenthomas

Lesson 1539 – The best motivation out there (I’m not kidding)

My son heard a story on NPR about how using a negative “reward” is more effective at motivating behavior than a positive one.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

He proceeded to tell me that while a positive reward (I get an ice cream cone every time I do …) helps to motivate people, it’s having a negative consequence that really makes a difference and which actually  makes people do the task. This is how it works.

Step 1:

Choose a task that you want to do every day for the next 30 days, i.e., stop snacking, stop drinking alcohol, or even getting out and exercising every day. In my case it’s going for a 3+ mile loop around our neighborhood.

Step 2:

Choose an organization that you would *NEVER* give money to. (I looked for a “New Hampshire adorable puppy, kitten, and baby raccoon kill center” but apparently we don’t have any of those up here, so I chose the next best thing.)

Step 3:

For the next 30 days, every time you complete the task, reward yourself with a dollar.

If you don’t do the task on one day (it’s hot, it’s raining, I’m too tired) then all of the money collected to that date gets donated to the organization you chose.

The next day you start over at $1.

Step 4:

At the end of 30 days you either have $30 to spend on anything you’d like or (as it is in my case) you will have contributed to Trump’s re-election campaign.

We’re having a wet summer. I’ve walked in pouring rain, I’ve walked under stormy clouds. I’ve walked when my legs are sore from a weekend hiking. I’ve walked late at night.

But I’ve walked Every.Single. Day. since we started this challenge.

Because there’s just no way in hell, that man’s campaign is going to get a cent of my money.

I guess this method really is motivational.

Wendy – $15

Trump’s re-election campaign – $0


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at

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