Saturday, October 4, 2008

Having Trouble with Goals? Try Stickk

Do you want to write a book? Drink less coffee? Clean that garage? Loose weight? The world is paved with good intentions, right? Well, I found a new website that I want to share because I think it is really cool. It is called

This site helps you stick to goals by having you make commitment contracts and engage your friends and lovers to keep you on track. Dean Karlan, economics professor at Yale and co-founder of Stickk says the commitment contract concept is based on two well known principals of behavioral economics:
1.People don't always do what they claim they want to do, and
2.Incentives get people to do things.

At Stickk you make your commitment, invite your friends to be your coach and referee and then you put money up as an incentive. If you succeed your money is returned to you. If you fail to live up to your commitment (you define it), your money goes to a charity of your choice or, even more anti-charity.

Are you a staunch pro-life person? I bet you'd hate to see your money go to pro-choice organization NARAL. Do you think marriage between a man and woman is sacred? Your anti-charity would be Freedom to Marry.

Or you can do like I did and choose The George W. Bush Presidential Library to receive your donation if you don't meet your commitment.

According to Jordan Goldberg, the CEO, "78% of the users who designate a referee and have money on the line are successful."

My coaches are keeping me on track and encouraging me to meet my goal and I sure don't want that presidential library to get my hard earned money!


Anonymous said...

That sounds like a really cool concept. I've been trying to motivate myself to learn a foreign language. I wonder if this will help get it done! I'll check it out.

Cecilia said...

Hey Dr Brayer, NARAL is a pro-choice organzation! Think you've got a typo there! Cool website, though. Thanks for sharing!

Toni Brayer MD said...

cecilia: I knew that. Thanks! Correction made.

Manya Arond-Thomas, MD said...

As a professional coach myself, I do know of some coaches who use this tactic with their clients. Personally, I don't think this works for everyone, if you understand intrinsic motivational factors. One aspect of this is that some people are motivated by goals, and others are motivated more to solve problems. Also, core intrinsic motivating factors - e.g. those things that really are core driving desires such as the 16 delineated by Dr. Stephen Weiss - are what predict behavior. And money by itself often isn't a motivating factor, though I have to agree with you that I'd never want to send my money to the George W. Bush Library!

Jared At The Doctor Job said...

Thanks for the post! That looks like a very helpful website.