It was a hot day in the Arizona desert and I was taking my late morning walk.
I felt a vibration coming from my pocket. My cell phone.
But it wasn’t the text or email notification.
Confused, I grabbed my phone and looked at the notification. It was from Fitbit, and apparently, I had just achieved the “Nile Badge,” which means I’ve walked 4,132 miles, the entire length of the Nile River.
“Wow, that’s cool!” I remarked under my breath. That completely meaningless reward pumped me up with a little more energy. I walked almost 20,000 steps that day because of it.
What does this have to do with being a millionaire?
Little Rewards Build Massive Achievements
Fitbit knows what they are doing. So does Duolingo, the app that helps you learn new languages straight from your phone.
Little rewards along the way keep you going.
Rewards make it more likely you’ll stay consistent.
It’s called “gamification.” In other words, making a game out of routine or monotonous things to make them more fun.
Deep down, we all know this shit’s meaningless. I mean, earning the “Nile Badge” doesn’t make those 4,132 miles more impressive.
But it sure as hell makes it cool. I just walked the longest river in Africa!
These small achievements boost our confidence. Our energy.
Millionaires, including me, use gamification to help keep themselves (and their spouses and kids) on the right path by rewarding the little things along the way.
For instance, assume your goal is to accumulate $100,000 in your 401(k). That’s a great goal and is easily achievable by most people. But that goal also takes time. Many years.
You could keep your head down and plow through until you reach $100,000 without rewarding yourself throughout the journey. But for many of us, that’s not what keeps us motivated…to keep us taking those extra steps.
After all, $100,000 can seem far, far away.
Here are a few different ways to reward yourself along the way:
- After $10,000, take your spouse out to a nice dinner
- After $50,000, splurge on concert tickets to your fav band
- After $75,000, take that 3-day get-away trip with your spouse
You get the idea.
It’s okay to give yourself rewards. It’s okay to gamify your life if that’s what it takes to keep you going.
Research shows it works and works well.
Keep in mind that the reward doesn’t have to be monetary, either. For your kids, maybe the reward is letting them stay up later than usual. Or it might be as simple as sending an email or text telling them they did a great job.
It’s the little things that keep us human beings going. Our lives can’t feel like a sacrifice. It’s no fun to become a millionaire if we never, you know, live a little.
Caution: Avoid always rewarding yourself or it’s no longer a reward. Be honest with yourself about what’s reasonable. If you were to “reward” yourself every time you add another $1,000 to your 401(k), those rewards will be less meaningful, and it will make it much tougher to achieve the goal of $100,000.
Inquiring minds want to know: Do you gamify your life by rewarding yourself every now and again on your way to a big goal? If so, how?
Reply and let me know.
Until next week,