• Thanks, Amy! Very helpful and interesting.

    From Wanda Naranjo
    December 3, 2011

Friday Fitness: Making it StickK during the holidays

One of the lectures that I teach here at Hilton Head Health is called Health Tech 101. It provides an overview of technological gadgets, websites and applications for smartphones that can assist you in achieving your health and wellness goals.  There are an amazing amount of resources out there and many of them offer a unique way of motivating you into action. One of my favorite websites is StickK.com. They use principals from the growing field of behavioral economics to encourage people to set goals and stick with them.

One of the main principles utilized is: people will work harder to avoid a negative outcome then they would to achieve a positive one. They use this principle as well as a “commitment contracts” to influence behavior.

You begin by stating your goal. It can be anything from getting to the gym 3 days a week for an hour, to quitting smoking. When stating your goals, make sure that they are SMART goals– Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-specific. From there, you recruit a friend to be the referee. They will monitor your behavior and progress as well as provide some added accountability.

Using your SMART goals, you will sign a “commitment contract” stating what you are going to do. You will then set stakes (this is the fun part!). This involves putting a certain amount of money on the line. You get to choose how much and where the money will go. If you do not achieve your set goals, then StickK will send the money to the appointed recipient. You have the ability to choose to send the money to a friend, family member or your favorite charity. If you really want to use the behavioral economics principal, then you can choose to have the money go to an “anti-charity” or a cause that you do not like—this can provide the extra hit of motivation to achieving the goals that you have set.  Recruit people to be in your “cheering section”. Share your goals and ask people to keep you accountable. They can send you inspiring or motivational messages to keep you going.

StickK.com offers a fun new perspective on goal setting and finding the motivation to achieve your dreams. If you find that the holidays can be a challenging time of year, take advantage of resources such as stickK.com to keep you excited about your goals.

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