How do you keep a resolution, a commitment to yourself? Something that you want to do like lose weight or exercise more but you know that the gluttony and sloth may get the better of you. Do you have any tricks to force yourself to keep the commitment?
According to Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt at Freakonomics, economists call a trick like this a commitment device — a means with which to lock yourself into a course of action that you might not otherwise choose but that produces a desired result.
They give the example of a Los Angeles businesswoman who tries to watch her weight. So she bought two lifelike plastic models of human body fat from a medical-supply company, a one-pound blob and a five-pound blob, and put them on display in her kitchen.
Yuk. Be grateful I didn't post a picture of this lady's fat blobs!
Another suggestion from Levitt for those who want to lose weight is to write a check for a substantial amount of money to the American Nazi Party, seal it up in a stamped envelope, and vow to drop it in the mail if you break your diet.
Wow. That's pretty serious too.
If you don't want to go to the extremes of writing a check to an organization whose goals you abhor, then you could go to StickK.com and sign a contract with them to give a certain amount to some wholesome charity if you fail to meet your commitment to yourself.
Hmmm. So what device am I going to use to make myself stick to the commitment to sail my Laser 100 days this year come hell or high water? Well, basically by telling the world (a.k.a. as the three regular readers of this blog) about it I am exposing myself to huge personal embarrassment and humiliation if I fail.
To make sure you can keep track of whether I am backsliding I am posting the number of days sailed year-to-date in the sidebar over there >>>>>>>
And I have created a post 100 Days at Sea which will be a list of links to posts about each of the 100 days of Lasering (so I don't lose count).
So what about you? Do you have any neat tricks to force yourself to keep commitments like this?