Recently, I blogged about an $11,000 trip I am setting up as a reward for myself for getting to 200 pounds. I’d like to dive a bit deeper into why I set up this reward, and how you can do it too.
Why set a reward?
This is also going to be a bit painful. You see, if I don’t hit my goal, then I will constantly see $11,000 sitting in this account, earning minimal interest. That is painful to someone who invests his money. This is a constant reminder of what I am saving, and why I am saving. The excitement of what is waiting at the end of the road is great, but when I need the motivation, I’ll have the pain of seeing so much cash sitting uninvested.
Choose a Good Reward – You Deserve It
- Your Reward must be tangible
- Your Reward must be allowed only when your goal is met
- Your Reward must be big and expensive*
- Your Reward must be something you can brag about
- Your Reward must be something that excites you
- A trip – Anything from a trip to a local amusement park, to a year long trip around the world
- A car – For those who are making $500k/year
- A new TV or other tech gadget (Phone, Game system, computer, etc.)
- A 2 day spa retreat
- A new pet (dog, cat, fish, mouse, snake, hamster, gerbil, alligator)
- A really delicious meal at a fancy restaurant (best for non-weight loss goals)
How to Track a Reward
- Create a savings account just for your reward (this assumes your bank can support this, otherwise, use a spreadsheet, or a simple piece of paper)
- Set up the Goal in Mint to track how well you are moving toward your goal.
- Calculate how much your reward will cost, and when you are targeting to finish your goal (Mint can help with this)
- Set up an automatic draft into your reward account each month
- The equation to use is: Cost of reward/# of months until goal attainment = Monthly amount to save
|I then created the goal in Mint|
This method forces you to commit to your goal. You are automatically putting money toward this reward, and by doing so, you are taking out one of the barriers that could trip you up: Your own psyche. Computers don’t tell little lies to themselves “well, it wasn’t the right reward”, “I could use this money elsewhere”, “I don’t need this, I have strong will power” – all a bunch of fear based BS. The computer will, every month, automatically transfer the cash.
As I set additional rewards for my journey, I will be using exactly this approach.
Final Step: Take Action Now
Yes, it is, so take 10 minutes right now to define a goal and a reward. I then will grant you 48 hours to refine or change your goal/reward.
I bet you already have a goal – perhaps one you’ve been talking about for the past 2 years or so, saying “I’m going to do it”. I bet it has been part of at least one broken New Years Resolution. Goals can be refined along the way, but pick an ultimate goal, and pick a reward…NOW.
Your new life begins in 10 minutes, so get to it.
Here’s some more motivation. Visualize the goal. You have money sitting in front of you, but if you are just not motivated by money enough, then really visualize what the reward will be like!
For example: During my ’round the world trip, I will be finding this place, and staying there: