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Got Goals? Need Motivation? Done and Done.

Most of us have good intentions. Great intentions, even. And many of them are health-related. Usually to the tune of: I want to lose 10 lbs, exercise regularly, quit smoking, floss every day…dammit (while we’re on this: why is flossing such a hassle anyway? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this a New Year’s Resolution).

So, for whatever reason, sometimes the best intentions just aren’t good enough to bring about real change. It’s not like we don’t all know what we should be doing. So what is it? What’s the problem?

Of course, there are all those old chestnuts on goal setting and achievement. Make a list. Make a chart! Make your goals specific, realistic, measurable. And all that.

But what if even that stuff doesn’t help? Well. Sometimes, you just need to up the stakes.

How about putting money on it?

My sister sent me a link recently, to a site called stickK.com The concept is cute, at first blush…but could be seriously helpful for those of us who need a little assistance in the motivation department.

Here’s what they say on their site:

stickK was developed by Yale University economists who tested the effectiveness of Commitment Contracts through extensive field research.

We all need help to reach our goals – whether it’s incentives, or support from others. Years of economic and behavioral research show that people who put stakes – either their money or their reputation – on the table are far more likely to actually achieve a goal they set for themselves.

So you register on their website (all totally free, by the way), list your goal(s) and time frame, and then if you want to, you can put your money on it. It’s a commitment contract. If you don’t meet your goal (they recommend using a third-person referee to monitor your progress) a pre-specified amount will automatically be taken off your credit card and donated to the charity of your choice.

Their cheekiest idea is the anti-charity. This is to give you that extra motivating oomph…you choose a controversial charity, one that you really don’t want the money to go to. Like the NRA or something.

So crazy, it just might work.

Dr. Kim Foster, MD. (photo credit: Tamea Burd Photography)

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The content of this website is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat disease. It is not a substitute for seeking medical advice or counseling. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. You should seek medical attention before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health program described on this website.