Skip to main content

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

Popular posts from this blog

scintillating scotoma

image from myaspiebrain Nothing like experiencing a medical condition first-hand to really help a doctor understand it from the patient's point of view.  After all these years, I had my first (and hopefully last) scintillating scotoma while sitting on the couch playing "words with friends" on my ipad and watching TV.  A scotoma is a partial loss of vision in a normal visual field.  Scintillate is flashing, sparkles.  Put them together and you have moving, flashing sparkles with a blind spot in your eyes. This visual aura was first described in the 19th century  by a Dr. Hubert Airy who had migraine headaches.  The visual sparks and flashes are in a zig-zag pattern and they can precede a migraine headache or occur without any pain.   The scotoma affects both eyes and closing one or the other does not make it go away.  Sometimes the term "ocular migraine" or "retinal migraine"  are used to describe this phenomenon but these involve only one eye, not

Do Doctors Make Too Much Money?

An article in the New York Times says the reason health care costs are so high in the United States is because doctors are paid too much. I saw that and my eyes bugged out. I just came home from a meeting with physicians and hospital administrators and the entire meeting was spent discussing the financial challenges physicians face in keeping their doors open to see patients. The goal of this meeting was to keep health services in that community so patients will have someone to care for them. Not a person in the room would agree that the doctors earn too much. Physicians paid too much? Lets break that down. A doctor spends a minimum of 11 years in education and training after the age of 18. Many are in training for 15 or more years. They are living on student loans and contributing zero to their family's income until the residency years. At that time they earn less than minimum wage if you factor in the 80-100 hour workweek. When a doctor emerges from training (and believe

Spots on the Scrotum

The answer to yesterday's Image Challenge was #2 - Fordyce's angiokeratomas. Like many unusual medical names, the condition was first described by John Addison Fordyce in 1896. These tiny blood vessels (capillaries) are under the superficial dermis and can be found on both men and women in the scrotum and vulva area.  They are painless and appear in the 2nd and third decade and may continue to appear as the person ages. Fordyce's angiokeratomas should not be confused with warts, herpes or other conditions.  They are completely benign and require no treatment. There are a number of chat rooms on-line where men are concerned about these lesions and want them removed by laser.  That can be an expensive and time consuming treatment and there is no guarantee that they will not recur.   The best treatment is awareness and acceptance that every body is varied and Fordyce angiokeratoma is just another appearance. Thanks everyone for your guesses and great diagnostic a