Motivation Monday – Rewarding Ourselves For Accomplishments

by David Ning · 9 comments

This is developing into a Monday series where I will discuss motivation and inspiration to counter our Monday blues.  Hopefully, this will help everyone start off the week right.  Let me know what you think so I can continue to improve this blog.

When was the last time you bought something on impulse?  Next time you really want to get something, why don’t you try to set it up as a reward?  By doing this, you can motivate yourself to accomplish that task while giving yourself time to think about whether you really want it at all.

This past weekend, I really wanted a golf range finder just because my colleague bought one for my boss.  Instantly, I felt like I had to have one.  The device just felt like it was the next most important thing that I needed to get to improve my game.  I chatted with my friend in Canada and of course he has to tell me that he’s always had one and would highly recommend it.

Even though the device seemed like a must-have, it wasn’t a necessity since I’ve been fine without one for the past 27 years.  So, instead of trying to resist of getting it altogether, I am going to set up the reward system I talked about.  I told myself that if I can save $8000 in Q1 of 2008, then I will get one.

This way, it will help motivate me to save more.  Sure the range finder is quite expensive at $400.  However, if I can save $8000 instead of $7000 for instance, then I’m still ahead by $600 after 3 months.  I know $8000 sound like quite a bit of money to save in 3 months, especially since I’m not going to count the increases in my own investments.  However, I’m counting all 401k contributions on top of savings for this so I believe it is doable.

For this system to work, I’ve got to be serious about the goal.  So, I wrote it down on a piece of paper and even told my fiancee about it.  Giving myself 3 months will also give me some time to think about whether I even want the range finder that badly.  This will be much needed for my impulses to cool off so I can reevaluate based on logic and not emotions.

Next time you really really want to get something, maybe you can try it.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • MoneyNing says:

    Money & Investing: Positive reinforcement, something we should all do more often.

  • Money & Investing says:

    Such a good idea. I find it much easier to save long-term if I give myself rewards when I hit shirt-term goals.

  • MoneyNing says:

    Richard: I’m glad you like it. Good luck with your selling and let me know when you get the handgun.

  • Richard Day says:

    I liked your article. I have been wanting to purchase a new handgun which will cost about $400. As a result of reading your article, I have decided that I will sell some my other “really must have things” that I have accumulated. Once I have sold them on eBay, then I will allow myself to purchase my trinket.

  • MoneyNing says:

    EnoughWealth: Yes a few other people are interested in having one but they don’t want to share. I even have a friend who has a couple and he wants them all for different courses 🙁

    It’s a great suggestion though.

    Aaron: Yup we are getting married soon. We are actually living together already so I’m semi-through the stage where we are tempted to buy more stuff together. The thing that we are thinking about now is a house (which is a huge expense of course).

  • Aaron Stroud says:

    David, are you and your fiance tying the knot soon? I can warn you from personal experience, that you two will probably be tempted to buy more stuff together as soon as you get married.

    It might be a good idea to figure out how this purchase will fit in with any later inevitable purchases.

  • EnoughWealth says:

    If you discuss this goal with other friends in the meantime, you may even find a few other friends that play golf are interested, and could split the cost and share the use of the item. There are a lot of big boys toys that can be shared around, rather than sitting in the cupboard for weeks at a time.

  • Emily says:

    Sounds good to me too. Thanks.

    Happy New Year.

  • Calvin says:

    Great idea. I will try that next time for sure.

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