Tuesday, February 26, 2008

a commitment contract

i am not referring to a form of marriage... i am referring to a concept that the folks behind stickK used to bring together a group of folks (ie: user community) that are trying to stick to a commitment (usually to quit smoking, start exercising, loose weight – those annoying things that the majority of adults commit to – why not commit to getting smarter & this doesn’t simply mean committing the normal yearly goal of “to read more”) & by publicly vocalizing/socializing this commitment they are more likely to actually stick to that commitment.

as an added incentive for someone to stick to his/her commitment he/she can put a dollar wager against their commitment. if they stick to their commitment then the person gets their money back & if not the money is donated to a person or charity of their choosing.

so it’s the sharing of the commitment & possibly the wager of money that help (force) people to actually do something – heck their reputation is on the line.

this concept is so true & follows us ever where we go. need a meeting set up with someone at work? you don’t play the fools game & say we’ll just synch up when we can because you know that will never happen. instead, you agree on a time/date with that person & even allocate an amount of time with that person so you & he/she are committed to having that discussion.

a co-worker, jeremy, is doing this very thing of vocalizing his commitment (weight-loss) on his blog 80-in-08. his goal is to loose 80 pounds in 2008. by publicly announcing this goal & sharing both his good days & bad days with all of us he’s putting extra pressure on himself that wouldn’t normally be there if he weren’t telling so many people about what he’s doing. while i don’t think i can get jeremy to abandon the bog site he developed for himself & switch to stickK, i wonder if i can get him to ante up with a dollar wager to better entice him to continue shedding the pounds as we progress further into ’08 :)

if you don’t want to develop or keep up with a blog like jeremy is doing, yet you want to publicize a commitment, then i recommend that you sign a commitment contract using stickK.

3 comments:

Trevor Baca said...

Certainly agree. Sticking too stuff is important.

So too is cutting *off* some options:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/26/science/26tier.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Apparently humans'll do almost anything to avoid having an option -- even a crappy option -- disappear.

Hmm ...

Jeremy said...

I signed up on Stickk... I didn't put any money down for this goal... I am going to try it for a 12 week period.

The next goal I will put some money on the line.

What do you think a pound of fat is worth?

Brian Kirk said...

a much debated question... in fact clinton & obama are going round-&-round on this top as it relates to health care costs.

some $ figures i pulled from a USA today article posted some time ago:

Just one trip to the doctor a year by 25% of the 54 million obese Americans would cost more than $810 million, based on a doctor visit charge of $60.

If those same people took a year-long basic nutrition/behavior modification treatment program at an estimated cost of $450 a person, it would tally $6.1 billion.

Prescription diet medication could cost as much as $5.2 billion if just 10% of obese people went on a weight-loss drug for a year, at a cost of $80 a month.

If 100,000 severely obese people had gastric bypass surgery, which creates a much smaller stomach and rearranges the intestine, at a cost of about $24,000 a surgery, it would tally $2.4 billion. (Currently, there are an estimated 56,000 surgeries a year; some are covered by insurance.)

Experts agree that the estimates of obesity costs are purely pie-in-the-sky numbers.