Wednesday, March 12, 2008

i hope this stickks

A while back I discovered Stickk and committed to quit drinking soft drinks from January 22nd until my birthday (March 5th). It's not that I didn't want to ever have one again. It was more that I had gotten to the point where I didn't like to drink anything BUT soft drinks. I had always tended to choose water over anything else and I wanted to be that way again and after multiple attempts I realized that I really couldn't do it without quitting them cold turkey for a while first.

Anyway, the way Stickk works is that you put a contract on yourself to reach whatever gol you set. You then choose a "referee" to monitor your progress and it can be anyone. All they really have to do is vouch for your success (or failture) at the end of the time period. When you "sign" your contract you put up a (determined by you) set of money that you will either get back or lose at the end of the contract period. You do have to pay the money up front. You can designate who you want the money to go to. It can be a friend, an enemy, a charity (chosen by Stickk), or an anti-charity (an organization that you would NOT want to give money to). Read more details here.

I know it's not for everyone, but for me this is the perfect set-up. For one thing, I am super-tight with money. Not that I don't spend it, more like I love a bargain, try very hard not to throw money away, and do my best to get a good deal on everything. I hate seeing my money go to waste! Also, it incorporates friend and family participation if you follow the plan correctly and recruit supporters to encourage you along the way. And when you're done with the contract you've either met your goal and gotten your money back to apply to the next contract or you've failed and suffered the great loss of not only falling short of reaching your personal goal, but you're also out a few bucks.

I would like to point out the obvious fact that if you don't put up a significant-to-you amount of money in the first place (whatever that may be) then you're sort of not really committing fully to the goal to begin with and you're setting yourself up for failure. Certainly different goals would warrant different sums of money, but whatever it is you kinda know from the begininng if it's going to be an amount valuable enough to you.

I gave Stickk $25 of my desparately needed dollars and then earned it back. And I was super-duper proud of myself.

That was on March 5th. Today is the 12th and I still haven't had a soft drink. I just haven't really wanted one that badly and even when I did want one, the experience of the past couple of months made me actually stop and think about it before I poured that glass or opened that can.

Now I have $25 back and I'm trying to think of my next Stickk goal. Maybe 15 minutes minimum exercise per day...?

So tell me. Do you think this Stickk thing would work for you? What are some personal goals that you want to work towards? Aren't these people geniuses? To come up with an idea like this where all they really have to do is set up the site and then just hold people's money for a designated time period before they give it away again. They get the benefits of holding the money, as a bank would I suppose.

**Also, please don't forget Vinny!

1 comment:

Ruth said...

What a great idea. I've been super busy the last couple of days but when I get a minute I am going to really give this some thought and try it out. Exercise sounds good, maybe candy/cookies, maybe showering before 10am! Endless possibilites! Thanks for sharing!

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