Precommitment: What Will You Do to Succeed?

You've set your goals. You've laid out the path steps required to get there. You're motivated. You're determined. That is until you face temptation and instant gratification (hello holiday slackers). Your impulsive side - the hedonistic side of you that has kept you from reaching your goals before now - can be the hardest hurdle between you and the finish line. So how do you control it? What tools help you compromise what you want in the future, versus what you want right now?

One tool I found via the book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength is the website StickK. StickK is built around the concept of precommitment contracts, a deterrence strategy utilizing incentives to force you to stay on track. For example, let's say you set up the goal to go paleo and lose 12 pounds in 4 weeks. StickK helps you set up the timeline (3 lbs a week) and the stakes (... Do you want to lay money on the line? If so, how much? If you fail, where do you want that money to go? A charity? An organization you despise? What will motivate you?). Then StickK encourages you to designate a referee (an independent third party who monitors your progress) and supporters (your cheer leaders). Then 3, 2, 1, go! You and your determined self are off after your goals.

Fail

Because nobody wants to end up here.

With a tool like StickK, the question remains - how much of a priority is your goal? What are you willing to put on the line? I found this a really interesting concept. If you have thoughts about it, post to comments!