As anyone who has made New Year’s resolutions knows, making them is easy but sticking to them is difficult. One method to keep resolutions is to offer yourself a reward if you stick to them. However, that does not seem to work either. Dean Karlan an economist at Yale came up with a method that works for him, if he did not meet his goal of losing a pound of weight a week he paid his friend $1,000 (link). He lost the weight and kept the cash. While, Tim Harford the, Undercover Economist, continue his regiment of 200 sit-ups and pushups under threat of the $1,000 loss.
Let me know if you need me to hold any $1,000 checks. Or you could sign up with stickK.com Karlan’s new company to enforce these types of goals.
hat tip and further discussion on marginalrevolution.