I'll Give You Money to Give Me Motivation
May 22, 2012 7:56 PM   Subscribe

Is there an online service that helps you stay motivated by charging you money if you fail to perform a verifiable action?

Let's say I want to wake up every day at 5 a.m. Can I give someone $50 that they'll hold for me, and if I don't click a button on their Web site every day before 5 a.m., they deduct five bucks from my account?
posted by Cool Papa Bell to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
You might be able to finagle something like this on StickK.
posted by kingfishers catch fire at 8:23 PM on May 22, 2012

stickK does this (disclaimer-- was founded by a friend). However, I believe it relies on using a third party referee. I suppose you could set up a dedicated Twitter account to log your waking time and your friend could use that as verification.
posted by acidic at 8:25 PM on May 22, 2012

Beeminder does exactly this: "Beeminder plots your progress along a path to your goal and takes your money if you go off track."

(same disclosure as acidic. probably a different friend, though)
posted by davidjmcgee at 8:31 PM on May 22, 2012

Just make sure the $5 is a sufficient negative deterrent. Otherwise, you'll sleep contentedly, with your former guilt assuaged by paying the $5 "fee".
posted by Deathalicious at 8:46 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Beeminder seems cool, but doesn't seem to have a time requirement (i.e. report by this time, or else). Or am I missing something?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:00 PM on May 22, 2012

Oh, yeah. I think it would require you being honest about your wakeup time after the fact.
posted by davidjmcgee at 9:06 PM on May 22, 2012

Response by poster: Yeah, I want the "press this button right now or we shoot this puppy" kind of thing. Kind of like a dead man's switch that I have to shut off at specified intervals.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:12 PM on May 22, 2012

GymPact does this for your fitness related goals.

I don't have friends who work for them.
posted by cashman at 9:17 PM on May 22, 2012

I'd be surprised if a predetermined negative deterrent worked as well as positive reinforcement through random reward.

1. Select a prize or prizes.
2. Each day, you have a small random chance of winning a prize.
3. As long as you exhibit Desired Behaviour X, you're in the running. Up at 5am? Spin that wheel!
4. No Desired Behaviour X? No chance to spin the wheel.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:00 AM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]

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