Saturday, January 8, 2011

Achieving Goals By Raising the Stakes

I used to say that I was "extrinsically motivated" when it came to my diet and exercise goals.  I used to focus on looking good by using an important event as my primary source of motivation.  But over the years and being happily married, the need to look good around others became less important and hitting targets fell by the wayside.  I suppose I've gotten used to not honoring my self-promises because I would set unrealistic goals AND I didn't have something to help sustain my motivation over the long-haul.  So I was intrigued to discover a new goal setting site called in which users set-up Commitment Contracts.  But this isn't your run of the mill written contract that you make with yourself and forget about it the next week.  At, your commitment contract carries a financial penalty for not achieving your goals.  This website was created by economists who realized that when people put their own money or reputation on the line, they are more apt to follow through with their plans. 

At Stickk, you give your money to either their charity or 'anti-charity' of your choice.  You also designate a relative or friend to be your "referee" to monitor your progress and keep you honest.  There is also an option to select which people you want to have access to your goal progress so they can serve as your very own cheerleaders.  For me, the idea of giving money to an "anti-chairty" intrigues me the most...Say my anti-charity was the Sarah Palin Political Action Committee, I would do my damnedest to make sure I didn't have to get that woman a single dollar of my money. 

I'm realizing that I need to avail myself to every tool available so that I can finally drop this weight and get into shape. Obviously, shaping up for "bikini season" wasn't working but the thought of giving the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin any of my money would keep me up all night dreaming about hopping on the treadmill in the next morning. Time for me to put up or pay up.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like an intriguing premise for sticking to your goals; I'll be interested to see how it works out for you.

    Good luck!