Want Streaks

A technique for delayed gratification and giving yourself permission to make purchasing decisions only after you have given them enough thought.

. 2 min read. Minimalism.

When you really want something, and you have the means to get it, what do you do? How do you measure your desire to gauge if this isn’t a decision you’ll regret later? Learning about delayed gratification can help build a muscle that serves many uses.


One technique I use for this, is to ask myself “Do I want this with 100% of my being?”. That’s a bit of a deep question when you’re buying a video game, or something rather inconsequential, but it gets the point across — that this is something you wouldn’t want to live without. I imagine what life would be like the day I got it, the day after that, the month after that and the year after that. If it’s still 100% on all of those days, then the streak starts — with 1.

Depending on the price of the item, I have a personal rule that I need a streak of the price of the item divided by $50 before making any large purchase. So for a $300 PlayStation 4, I would need to answer those questions and have it return a yes 6 days in a row. This isn’t an instantaneous question where I ask myself and get an answer, but a thought exercise thinking about the device potentially sitting unused a year from now, and understanding if I would be 100% OK with that.

Your number may be less or more than $50 — whatever works for you. If you are practicing poverty, then this exercise should be easy.

Completing a Streak

The situation imagined changes for every purchase, and for things under $100 I don’t use this visualization for — unless it’s something I expect to still be in my life a year from now. After waiting the required number of days, if you’ve been able to maintain your same level of desire, then this usually means that this is going to be a positive addition to my life.

This doesn’t work for everything. If you’re making a large purchase, like buying a house or a car, you can’t use this same technique. That doesn’t mean you can’t apply some of the same mindfulness to these additions though, but with, perhaps a different measurement.

Shares 0

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

Here are a few similar posts you might enjoy checking out.


Earning Time

We do a lot of things to earn more time for ourselves. Beyond our jobs, there are many things we can do to earn back time for ourselves today. Earning time goes beyond just earning money.

January 24, 2018. 3 min read.

Reduce Kitchen Clutter with The Dishwasher Challenge

Mrs. Minafi has heard this line too many times to count: “Want to try an experiment?”. Following our recent move from a 1,700 square foot house to an apartment, we’ve been on a mission to clear away as much clutter as possible and earn back as much time as we can. After staying in a […]

January 17, 2018. 3 min read.
6 Comments Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

There is No Such Thing as a Minimalist Life

Minimalism isn't about reducing your possession. For me, it means making space for what matters. What matters is different for everyone. It could mean having more time for relationships, productivity, opportunities, enjoying life or anything that brings meaning.

January 5, 2018. 4 min read.