New Site Holds Your Credit Card Hostage Until You Meet Your Goals (How's That for Motivation?)

Amy Kuras

sticksI've written before about hitting a workout slump over the summer. Now, the kids are back in school, the weather's cool ... and I have nothing to blame but my own laziness for my lack of working out.

But I've got a not-so-secret weapon: StickK. This website lets you choose a goal and commit to a certain time frame to reach it. The goals can be anything ... lose a certain amount of weight, recycle, quit smoking ... whatever you want.

Big deal, right? We all know how to set goals. StickK, though, hits you right in the pocketbook if you don't make it (and by the way, that extra "K" comes from the legal abbreviation for "contract.")

Here's how it works: you choose a charity, "anti-charity," friend or foe to get a certain amount of money if you don't reach your goal during a particular week. The list of "anti-charities" is a little limited: you can choose organizations for and against abortion, gay marriage, or environmental causes, or donate to the George W. Bush or William Jefferson Clinton presidential libraries (although British users can choose the fan clubs of several rival soccer teams). To avoid your "forgetting" to pay up, you have to enter credit card info when you choose your goal.

If you're more evolved than I am and choose a charity versus a cause you hate, StickK doesn't tell you where your money goes, because you then might miss your goal on purpose; they randomly select from a list of nice noncontroversial groups. If you don't trust your own honor, you can choose a referee to report on your progress.

There's a social networking component too: you can find friends who are also using StickK and follow their challenges. If you want to find me and see how I'm doing, search by my name or AmyinMotown (my screen name both here and there). I chose an anti-charity, and oooooooh I do not want those people to get my money. My commitment starts next week on Tuesday ... so I guess I'll see you at the gym!

Have you used anything like StickK to help you reach your goals?

Image via HowCanIRecycleThis/Flickr

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