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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

stickk to this year's resolutions



So here I am. On the eve of another new year, contemplating another list of shaky resolutions. And thinking, another year of being disappointed in failing to meet my weight loss goals.

I've been successful all my life in the weight management department. If you consider limiting my weight gain to 10lbs per decade a success.

Which is to say, I've been trying to lose 20lbs my entire adult life, without ever getting there. Argh. A lousy feeling. It's now getting to the point where the added weight is affecting my health -- little or big aches and pains that are slowing me down further. Weight loss isn't feeling so much like a choice as a necessity.
Back in the spring I heard a story on NPR radio talking about a website that helps you stickk to your goals. Wimp that I am, I'm now at the point where I'm seriously considering giving it a try. Based on the theory that most people will work harder to avoid losing money than they will to earn it (called Prospect Theory by behavioral economists), stickk.com lets you set all sorts of goals for yourself, weight loss being just one, while betting your money that you'll achieve those goals.

Want to quit smoking? Stickk it. Commit to a regular work out schedule? Make new friends? Set career goals? Follow through on stress management exercises? Stickk can help.

The gist is this: You put up a sum of money, your choice how much. You check in at pre-set intervals or you might opt for a one-day deadline. If you make your goal? You keep the money. If you fail? Someone else gets your money -- you choose a charity organization. Stickk recommends you choose a charity that you despise.
I'm such a tightwad who goes to annoying and ridiculous lengths to avoid wasting money, that this just might work for me.

As I said, I'm thinking seriously about signing up. Both SAM and I want to lose weight but we can't seem to get there. So I want to enlist his support and try this together. Put an end to our cycle of mismatched motivation. You know, where he's motivated one week and unknowingly I tempt him away by baking his favorite dessert. Or I'm determined to stick to my diet but he brings home a bag full of my favorite chocolates. Those inadvertent but reliable sabotage behaviors.

If and when I sign up, I'll keep you posted. But until I decide, I thought I'd pass along what looks to be a very helpful tool.
In the meantime.....


20 comments:

Heather said...

I read that the average American woman gains 1 lb a year through her adulthood. So, 10 lbs every 10 years makes you the average American woman. If you were able to merely maintain your weight, you'd be beating the odds.

I want to hear the follow up to stickk.com -- donating money to a charity you detest? Brilliant.

Madge said...

i have got to got to go to lose those twenty pounds..... why can't blogging equal weight loss?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That's why I'm resolving to put down the computer more in 2009--as hard as that may be!

I hope we both lose weight in 2009-Happy New Year!

Eudea-Mamia said...

Get yourself a Wii fit - I have found no better motivator than seeing a bloated "Mii" up on that 52 inch plasma.

I've dropped 12 pounds, and my "Mii" is looking pretty darn cute.

I'm dead serious.

That web site is brilliant by the way.

blognut said...

As I mentioned in my obligatory resolution post yesterday, I'd be happy to take on people's resolutions and then bitch at them all year if they slip up because I'm really nice like that. ;0)

Mental P Mama said...

40 pounds here. And it is coming off this Winter. Happiest of Year's to you and yours....

Melissa said...

Well, I decided to get professional help to get rid of my extra poundage. So far so good. But I'll have to check out that website. I have so many things that I want to finish and I never do any of it and it's really starting to piss me off.

Maybe I could send my money to the RNC? Or Perry's re-election fund? Or the Palin '12 PAC? THAT would be some serious inspiration...

phd in yogurtry said...

heather -- thanks, that helps. I'll now be replacing the loser messages with the consolation that I'm average.

madge -- I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to turn blogging into weight loss. It would involve an expensive contraption and annoying my family with verbal commands while astride an elliptical, but I hope, worth it? I'm just not sure it's attainable in the near future.

jenn -- it's a deal!

eudea -- really? I don't know Wii fit .. didn't know your image is projected onto the scream. brave soul you are. congrats on the 12 lbs drop!

blognut -- might have to take you up on that. professional nagging at bloggers might translate into less nagging at home, too? all good.

mental p -- 40 lbs would be awesome. I'd need to get on a serious roll and drastically change my eating habits.

melissa -- yes! I read your blog. excellent! I hope you will keep us posted.

katydidnot said...

that's completely cool. charities benefitting from people's personal failures. seriously. i like it. i work for a nonprofit, i'm going to check this out and see how we might benefit.

Vodka Mom said...

If I could love 20, it would be a great start. god dammit.

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

Stikk sounds brilliant, and daunting.

But I have to lose weight this year. I hate to even think about it, but it's true.

dkuroiwa said...

I'm all for people doing what they have to do to get something accomplished...go for it!! And....I'm here for support if ever you need it!!!
Last July, being totally and completely fed up with looking and feeling the way I did, I found myself 100% ready to lose weight (for the first time ever!!). I started the Herbal Life program and did not cheat AT ALL for the first 2 1/2 months! It was such a wonderful feeling to do that...and I've lost about 26 pounds!! I have about 10more to go and after the holidays and things get back on schedule, I am back on the "lifestyle adjustment", too!! (I hate the word "diet"!!)
May 2009 be a healthier and thinner year for ALL of us!!!

Coffee with Cathy said...

So glad I found your blog. Looking forward to being a regular visitor in 2009. And good luck with the weight loss!

Margo said...

What a great idea, but I bet while grazing my way through the pantry one night I would make the snap decision that I would be a "better person" just to fail so I could give the money to charity. Trying to lose the same pounds every year does get old, doesn't in?

phd in yogurtry said...

margo -- which is why the site recommends donating to a charity you despise. I'd have a LOT of trouble with that one, it gives me anxiety thinking about committing, which makes me think all the more about going for it.

WA said...

Best of luck. And also take a look at Weight Watchers online. I did it this summer before our vacation & lost a few pounds. (But I think I just found them again.)

Agent X said...

I put up some commitments but couldn't bring myself to wager money on it...mostly because one of my resolutions this year is to be better with my money and I don't think betting counts.

Margo said...

Despise! Ah, heck,I wouldn't even sign up for it then. It might work though if one despised the charity more than they wanted to lose a few pounds. I think a person must not just Want to Want to lose weight, quit smoking, etc.. but really want it. Does that make any sense? It's like if you don't completely make your mind up to change something, nothing is going to be able to do it for you.

JCK said...

I made two firm resolutions this year. It will be a challenge to keep to them.

I'll be following to see how you do, too.

Here's to STIKKing...

cannonballjones said...

Going to have to check that site out, set myself some tough resolutions this year and I'm going to need some help. Not smoking is going fine (9 days down now), not biting the nails is also fine but I still have to stop on the finger-chewing. Pretty sure I'll manage my running goals (at least one each of 5k, 10k and half marathon).

However there are many more (it's a year of re-invention for me) so I'll take any help I can get...