8 rewards that keep me motivated to achieve my goals

2018 has been a tough year so far.

Mainly because I’ve set myself some major life goals to achieve and I’ve been hammering at them hard.

Setting hard goals for yourself is a good thing – if you don’t go and build towards the things you truly want to achieve, nobody’s going to do it for you.

But it can also be difficult to stay motivated and keep going.

8 rewards that keep me motivated to achieve my goals / Cake + Whisky

Regardless of your goals and the obstacles you run into to achieve them, I find a reward-based approach to be helpful in keeping your spirits and motivation up.

Setting up a reward ‘programme’ before starting to tackle a new goal, no matter its scale, has two major roles:

  1. Give you the day-to-day motivation to carry on
  2. Allow you to aknowledge important milestones, especially when you’re not fully in control of the goal being ‘achieved’ (e.g. getting a new job or a new client…)

The rewards you choose should not only be a reflection of the scale of the goal/milestone itself and how much achieving it challenged you, but also be things that truly make you happy.

So, of course, they will be different for everyone…

But here are a few ideas of the rewards and treats I found helpful to keep me motivated to achieve my goals.

8 rewards that keep me motivated to achieve my goals / Cake + Whisky

To keep you going on a daily/weekly basis (e.g. to exercise, to file your work expenses every week…):

  • An episode of a series you love

    Pairing an activity you want to indulge in with one you tend to put off is incredibly effective. TV is a very helpful tool to use when working on physical or repetitive tasks that require little brain power.

    Since January, I’ve set this rule that I only watch reality TV programme whilst exercising. And truth be told, Queer Eye and Grace & Frankie are the best thing that’s ever happen to my physical health!

  • An indulgent bath

    When you’re caught up in the most intense, work-heavy phases of goal achievement, it can be very easy to forget to take care of yourself – both physically and mentally.A truly indulgent bath caters for both, giving you a chance to take some time for yourself, pamper and relax.

  • Baking time

    Along the same lines, I tend to do a lot of baking when I’m stressed or am working towards achieving a big goal. The reason for that is simple: for me, baking is the ultimate way to relax. It allows my mind to stop buzzing and rest.Your ‘relaxing time’ might not be baking time – it might be reading, or playing an instrument, or craft projects… Whatever it is, adding some more of that activity into your schedule as a reward is very beneficial when building towards a goal.

  • A nap

    Being quite introverted, having to deal with interaction-heavy environments and situations is a very demanding challenge for me, and the best way to reward myself afterwards is with extra sleep.

    Depending on the nature of your goals, achieving them might be putting a lot of pressure on your body and/or your mind and allowing both to rest is essential to avoid burn-out.


To celebrate reaching a milestone:

  • Fresh flowers

    Despite how much I love them, I rarely treat myself to fresh flowers. But a friend recently brought a bunch to me, and it’s be so good at lifting my spirits up.So, I’m going to take the risk of sounding soppy and silly and say that sometimes, something that’s pretty and a little bit useless is an excellent idea.

  • Small treats that would make achieving your goal easier or more enjoyable

    There something extremely motivating about a new gym kit when you’re trying to make exercising a habit. Or great stationary if your goal involves a lot of writing. Or quality boxes if you’re trying to meal-prep more.

    It’s some sort of ‘back to school’ effect, when the idea of using new, better tools/equipment just makes you excited to get up and dig right in!

8 rewards that keep me motivated to achieve my goals / Cake + Whisky

To celebrate achieving a goal:

  • Tickets to a show/event

    If your goal has a set deadline, booking tickets for an event you’re excited to attend for right after is an excellent thing to do.Getting close to deadlines can be a stressful time, but having something positive to look forward to as well makes the dread easier to handle.

    And by the time the event actually rolls around, you’ll be in full celebrations mode, making it even better than you anticipated!

  • Significant ‘treats’ you rarely indulge in

    Things that you enjoy but don’t really buy for yourself because it feels too extravagant, or doesn’t feel like you’d get a lot of use out of.Now is the time to treat yourself. You deserve it – you’ve worked hard to achieve those big goals.

    And it’ll also be an excellent reminder than you can achieve whatever you put your mind to.

Don’t even think about ‘punishment’

Because you didn’t manage to reach your goal fully doesn’t mean you haven’t moved forward with it.

I’m sure you already feel bad enough about this without needing to put extra pressure onto yourself with a punishment.

Instead, take some time to analyse what hasn’t worked out and why, so you can learn from this experience and do better moving forward.

… And on that note, I’m off to buy myself some shoes to celebrate achieving the biggest goal I had set for myself this year!

Do you find it hard to remain motivated when working towards a big goal? What helps you carrying on? 

8 rewards that keep me motivated to achieve my goals

25 before 25

I’m not the kind of person who love birthdays. Or actually, I love them when it’s somebody else’s (because it gives me a good excuse to bake cakes and write cards and wrap presents and do all the things I love).

Cake + Whisky | Another Birthday
A previous birthday party of mine (and the definite proof I shouldn’t be a fashion blogger!)

I’m, however, not quite as good at dealing with my own birthday. I have this weird thing with presents, and I definitely don’t know how to deal with surprises.Oh, and I don’t quite like the ‘I’m so oooooold’ feeling (even if I probably shouldn’t worry about this too much as I’m still being asked for IDs in most places…).

But this year’s a big one as I’m going to be turning 25 in 4 months. I can hardly believe it, it’s like each year is shorter than the one before. So I thought I’d make it a bit less crazy/scary by setting myself 25 goals to reach before my birthday (so I feel like I’ve done things with my life etc etc…).


1. Eat at Duck & WaffleCake + Whisky | Duck & Waffle | London04/05/2015: I was told to order the signature Duck & Waffle dish and it did not disappoint.

2. Make jam (pinapple-rum-vanilla IS a winning combination, in case you were wondering!)

3. Eat jellyfish (what do you say, yay or yuck?)

4. Make pickled turnipsCake + Whisky | Lebanese pickles

5. Make falafels at home (Can you feel the Lebanese feast coming?)

6. Poach eggs (it’s just ridiculous how long I’ve postponned that!)

7. Go to Street Feast

8. Cook at least one recipe from all of my cookbooks

9. Have really good sushi (it’s been too long!)

10. Have dinner in a gastropub (see #9)Cake + Whisky | Pig & Butcher, Islington25/04/2015: Excellent cod brandade (and overall meal) at The Pig and Butcher

11. Write another “5 healthy recipes” article Cake + Whisky | 5 lunchbox ideas | Mexican Chicken Salad15/06/2015: 5 new recipes including this delicious Mexican-ispired chicken salad!


12. Book tickets to The Lion King

13. Go to Greenwich

14. Go to the V&A


15. Keep up with daily abs exercise for 1 month

16. Fit in my jean shorts again

17. Get a pedicure

18. De-clutter my wardrobe

19. and my kitchen cupboards!

20. Get tested for HIV (not fun, I hate bloodtests!)

21. Read 10 books (any recommendations?) Sofar I’ve read: Une Page d’Amour, Emile Zola; La Faute de l’Abbé Mouret, Emile Zola; 1984, George Orwell; The 13 problems, Agatha Christie; Not that kind of girl, Lena Dunham (5/10)


22. Travel to somewhere I’ve never been I’m going to the US at the end of June! Wooo!

23. Give a talk

24. Learn how to use the manual settings on my camera

25. Organise something special to celebrate being 1/4-of-a-century old!

What do you want to achieve this year? Anything exciting? Let me know!

25 before 25

2015 Bucket List

A little while ago, I overheard a conversation between two elderly people in the bus. She was coming back from a concert. “When you live in London, it’s so easy not to do things” she said. And you know what? She was right.


When I was younger, I wanted to live in a city and finally have access to all these things I couldn’t do. Museums, theatre, musicals, stores, restaurants, all of it. But now that I live in London, I realize that I don’t do quite as much of them as I wanted to. Because life gets inbetween and the proximity, the convenience often makes me reconsider doing them now, because I could “just go anytime”.

But that lady on the bus got me thinking, and made me realize that “anytime” almost always meant never. I decided I had to take actions to save me from myself and (after procrastinating a little bit more, Rome wasn’t built in one day!) chose to tackle it the one way I tackle most issues I come across: by writing a list, and ticking things off it.

So here it goes; my 2015 bucket list!

□ See The Lion King (the musical)

□ Go to Duck & Waffle

□ Make cured salmon

□ Organise something for Restaurant Day

□ Read 25 books

□ Go to Barcelona

□ De-clutter my wardrobe

□ See a ballet

□ Start learning Spanish

□ Loose 5kg

□ Post at least twice a week on this blog


What are your goals for 2015? Do you have a bucket list? 

2015 Bucket List