The Iron Blogger Freiburg initiative made me realize how much an incentive the threat of losing money can be. Basically, it’s a bet against myself that I can write at least one blog post a week. Which I do at this precise moment, once again only a few hours before the deadline.
So, recently I had the idea of betting against myself in another area I’ve made much less progress than I’d like to admit: losing weight. Of course, I know all the benefits of not being overweight by heart and I appreciate them. So I tried time and time again, but eventually I always lost my discipline and gained back the little I had been able to shed.
This changed a few weeks ago when I decided to literally put my money where my mouth is: Yes, I want to lose at least 10kg, and yes, I’m going to pay cash if I fail. It works like this: I set a new weight goal at the beginning of the month and for every kilo I’m off at its end, I pay 20€ to my partner. Since the difference is always rounded up to the next full kilo, missing my goal by only 100g means handing over 20€.
Lo and behold: Suddenly, I’m steadily losing weight (4kg so far)! Between losing money and missing a few sugary pleasures, I choose the latter. And since I’m setting realistic goals (2kg per month at the moment), I still have fun eating.
Looks like if the motivational carrot just isn’t enough, I need to find the right stick.