stickK - did it work for you?
October 9, 2011 4:20 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone use stickK? Has it worked for you? Any tips for making it work for me? I really need to start exercising regularly but I just can't get motivated to do it lately, so I thought stickK might help. I'm interested in hearing from people who have used it for anything, though.
posted by trillian to Technology (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've read a lot about it....

There just isn't that much evidence that the long term motivation to save money translates into the short term motivation to exercise and eat right. There have been some high profile failures (also this famous success).

There are some creative competitors to StickK for weight loss: This site requires a picture of the scale to keep you from cheating, and this one requires a doctor's note (and potentially pays you more than you put in initially).
posted by miyabo at 4:41 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I used it to try to force myself to make a particular family phone call every week when guilt just wasn't doing it. I made the phone call 50% of the time. This was significantly more calls than I had made before, but not the greatest success rate.

I think the problem with it is that you can game it to a certain extent. I only put up $5/week, which I think is the lowest amount allowed. So, every week, I'd think to myself, would I pay $5 not to have to make this call? And half the time, the answer was, YES. So, then the question becomes, are you willing to put up enough money to actually hurt if you have to pay it out? I wasn't willing to do that because I wanted the out. If you don't want the out, and you risk enough, it seems like it could work better than it did for me.

I do have to add that I've made that call significantly less than 50% of the time since the stickk contract expired.
posted by Mavri at 5:12 PM on October 9, 2011

Best answer: It's been working for me for a similar goal. Here is the NYTimes article that made me decide to give it a shot.
posted by ElisaOS at 5:46 PM on October 9, 2011

Another promising alternative to StickK is an under-the-radar startup called Beeminder. It's like LoseItOrLoseIt, but it's based around a graph of your progress over time, with a sophisticated incentive model, all kinds of geeky features to see how your progress is going compared to your schedule, and so on.
posted by abcde at 10:35 PM on October 9, 2011

Best answer: I've used it and liked it. I think it depends on what motivates you. I would not be motivated by the idea of losing $5 or $10 for that matter - I have plenty of money. But to give $5 to the George W. Bush Presidential Library fund - never, never will I let that happen!
posted by treehorn+bunny at 7:00 AM on October 10, 2011

I've played with it a bit. I just can't be bothered because I don't think I need it. The problem the system is that it relies on your own honesty. If you want to game the system you can do it.

I honestly prefer a site like don't break the

Set up a no go or go criterion for yourself and set that page as your homepage. For example, whether or not you stay within your calorie range or whether or not you made it to the gym for an hour that day.
posted by chinabound at 7:21 AM on October 10, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, all, for the feedback and alternatives!
posted by trillian at 10:35 AM on October 11, 2011

Response by poster: OK, here's an update, for anyone else who might be interested in stickK. Totally NOT working for me. I started using Don't Break the Chain and SparkPeople instead, and I like both!
posted by trillian at 12:15 PM on November 9, 2011

Response by poster: And I tried it again and ... yes, didn't work again. Oops.
posted by trillian at 7:09 AM on August 31, 2012

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