September 2nd, 2006 by Brent Johnson
A year ago, a group of co-workers and I decided we wanted to lose a little weight, so we designed an 8-week challenge. We each put $20 into the pot, and at the end of the 8 weeks, the person who had lost the most weight (as a percentage of his or her starting weight) would get half the pot, second place would get 30%, and third place would get the remaining 20%.
The level of involvement was amazing. Most of the participants stayed engaged throughout the challenge, and by the end, the 10 of us who had participated had lost a combined 150 lbs.
Our challenge illustrates what goal studies have proven: REWARDS MOTIVATE. “Researchers have . . . found that extrinsic rewards such as bonuses can increase people’s commitment,” writes Christine Brain in Advanced Psychology: Applications, Issues & Perspectives (© 2002, p. 135).
Here are some ideas on ways to reward yourself for accomplishing a goal:
- Find a challenge that already exists that offers an award for accomplishing your goal. (For example, if you want to get in great shape, check out www.bodyforlife.com.)
- Create a challenge.Â Talk with friends and family to see if others want to accomplish a goal similar to yours, or search the LifeTango community to find individuals with similar goals, then create a challenge with a prize for the winner.
- Identify a reward for accomplishing your goal, tell a friend or family member, and then give him or her the money for the prize with a commitment that you’ll only get the money back if you accomplish your goal.
- Identify a reward and promise yourself you’ll only get the reward if you accomplish your goal. Even if you don’t give the money for the reward to another person, tell others about your goal and the reward you’ve promised yourself. That way, if you don’t accomplish your goal, and you told others you’d only get a new video iPod if you accomplished your goal, you won’t exactly be able to go buy that new video iPod without getting razzed by your friends.
August 26th, 2006 by Brent Johnson
It was a Friday evening last fall and my wife was nervous. She’d set a goal to compete in her first triathlon and had trained diligently for the first few weeks, but then “life” had gotten in the way. Too much to do, too little time, and as a result, training had taken a back seat. So there she sat, the night before the triathlon, afraid she wasn’t ready, and wondering if she should drop out and wait to compete in another one the following spring.
Fortunately, Cara had done something that is critical to achieving your goals. At the time she hadn’t realized she was following a proven success technique, but she’d done it nonetheless. And that one “thing” was perhaps more important than all of the training she’d done.
Early on, Cara had TOLD OTHERS about her goal. In doing so, Cara had created an implied commitment to herself and her friends.
So, while the fear of the unknown (after all, Cara had never competed in a triathlon before, so she didn’t know what to expect), and the fear that she wasn’t ready were tugging at her to quit, Cara’s fear of telling her friends that she’d backed out was tugging at her to push forward.
The result? Cara competed in the triathlon, accomplishing three things she’d set out to do: (1) She didn’t quit before she started. (2) She didn’t die. And (3) she didn’t come in last. In fact, she did pretty well for her first triathlon. Since then, she’s run a 10k and is training for her next triathlon–with a goal this time of placing in the top 3 for her age group. And most importantly, she’s still telling others what she plans to accomplish (plus now posting her goals on LifeTango.com).
Is there something in your life you really want to accomplish? Then set a goal (preferably using LifeTango) and TELL IT TO OTHERS.
Enjoy the journey!