It’s no secret that finals are well on their way and approaching fast, but there’s also plenty of big tests and important assignments throughout the year. Committing mass amounts of time to one grade can often drain me of energy and motivation. It can also be stressful.

While many people may wait to see what grade they received on their test before they celebrate, I don’t. Instead, I reward myself after I take the test instead. Sounds a bit crazy, right? Just try it and you’ll see that it isn’t. If I spend an ample amount of time focusing on a single subject while keeping track of every other class as well, I feel like I deserve a small award. By doing this, it helps to relieve the stress and tension that I may have cooped up inside. Sure, taking the test and feeling like I might have done well is a relief, but a piece of chocolate is pretty nice, too.

I’m not the type of person who needs a pat on the back or acknowledgement for every little thing that I do by any means. Life can just be a bit hectic and sometimes I feel under appreciated. So, I take time for self-appreciation every now and then and you should, too. It’s not always in the form of a piece of chocolate either. I love naps. I take one every day. Occasionally I’ll have a long to-do list for the day that I’ll make myself complete before allowing myself to nap. No matter what your day consists of, you can find a way to reward yourself even if that means just complimenting yourself when you normally wouldn’t. It’s also a habit that’s easy to start, especially if you feel as if you’re often too hard on yourself.

Set a goal

Start with setting a goal for yourself. It can be a small goal. I have a friend who places gummy bears on each paragraph of text in any book she needs to read for class. As she reads, she gets a gummy bear. You can work your way up to larger goals such as confidently taking a test or completing a workout at the gym.

Use your favorites

Use your favorite things as rewards, and use them liberally. Naps, pizza, chocolate, an episode of your favorite Netflix series, a new pair of shoes – the choice is yours. Whatever you choose should make you strive to complete your task for the day or week. Of course, some rewards are much larger than others so you may want to save those for something super important.

Don’t over reward yourself

You may want to reward yourself several times to get in the habit of actually doing so, but don’t go overboard. If you do this, the rewards will eventually become a part of your daily routine and they won't serve their original purpose any longer. Also, don’t allow your rewards to take away from your overall productivity or negatively affect your health, like too much Netflix and chocolate.

Regardless of what you do and how you do it, don’t forget to appreciate yourself every now and then. You deserve it.