Alex Meub

Material Rewards for Motivation

Setting material rewards for myself has helped me stay motivated and focused on important long-term goals. This isn’t a new idea but I’ve found it to be really helpful in keeping me on track and giving me that extra push to follow through on my goals.

Set SMART Goals

In order to have any hope of being successful in reaching your milestones, goals should be Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic and Time-Bound. The only part of SMART that I don’t always follow is Realistic. I often will set stretch goals for myself that I know I have very little hope of achieving. These goals can sometimes motivate me even more and, even if I usually don’t reach them, when I do it feels really really good!

In addition to setting a good goal, the act of matching up your goal with a single material reward is also really important. This way you associate that goal directly with the reward and wanting the reward will start to motivate you instead of distract you.

Of course it doesn’t make sense to set material rewards for yourself if you’re regularly buying things for yourself that could be considered rewards. If this is happening, the line between “something I want” and a “personal reward for a predefined goal” gets blurry and the system really doesn’t work.

Weekend Project:

My brother and I found that we both had personal rewards lists and were using them in similar ways. We stored our rewards in text files that were simply a list of goals and material rewards for those goals. Naturally, we thought this was a pretty lame way of doing things so we came up with something better. is an extremely simple personal to-do list with a very specific purpose: to encourage you to meet your goals. It’s totally free-to-use and syncs with your google account so that your rewards will stay with you no matter what device you’re using.

Feedback Appreciated

We both use it ourselves and we’ve found that having a simple, attractive rewards list just one click away helps us stay focused and committed to reaching our personal goals. Rewarder is currently optimized for rewards from Amazon (amazon product links) but it will work for any reward (without image thumbnails).

Rewarder does use affiliate links to Amazon and anything we earn will motivate us to make the app better. Please try it out, we’d appreciate any feedback on it.