In the original Twin Peaks, Special Agent Dale Cooper lets Sheriff Truman in on a secret to living the good life: “Every day, once a day, give yourself a present.” According to Cooper, the present should never be planned or waited for. It could be anything from a new shirt, to a cat nap, to a cup of good, hot, black coffee.
As a generally self-deprecating person, I’m always questioning whether or not I earned certain things. Did I really deserve to buy myself that new record or that fancy lunch? Was I worthy of that expensive bike repair? (Yes, because I don’t want to die.) It is a truly baffling and dumb mental struggle. I’m getting better at indulging in nice things, though. I also share the ethos of doing something small for yourself every day — supplemented by bigger rewards after completing personal projects or reaching milestones.
I asked several friends how they go about rewarding themselves. One treats himself to movies, no matter how crappy he’s feeling. After pulling two consecutive all-nighters working and traveling, he beelined straight to the theater instead of getting some sleep. Another believes in making small gestures to herself, like ordering the $5 slice of cake after dinner. In contrast to Cooper’s advice, she emphasizes that these treats should occur more sparingly, so the rewards don’t lose their meaning.
What about you, readers? How do you decide when to treat yourself? Let us know in the comments. Then, reward yourself for all your future small achievements with a Diet Dr Pepper.
Angela Wang is a Senior Writer for Studio@Gizmodo.