Ok, this part is more or less self-explanatory. Just click on one of the
popular commitments on our list, or custom-design your very own personal
goal. (e.g. “Learn to be a contortionist so that I can have a crack
at stardom with the Cirque de Soleil.”) Next, select one of these
two commitment categories, which will determine the contract structure:
(1) The one-shot commitment
(available for smoking and custom goals only)
For example, you commit to finishing your Master’s thesis by March
1st. Between the time of contract signing and March 1st, you can work
on the thesis at any pace you like. At deadline time, you file a report.
If you completed the thesis on time, you report that you succeeded. If
you didn’t finish, you report that you failed.
(2) The ongoing commitment
(available for all goals)
For example, you commit to writing five pages of your Master’s thesis
every week, for a period of 20 weeks. At the end of each week, you file
a report. If you wrote the five pages, you report success. If you didn’t
, you report failure. For an ongoing commitment, you select the time frame
of your choice, to a maximum contract duration of 52 weeks.
Often, the nature of your goal automatically dictates the commitment category,
because the goal can be accomplished only one way. Other goals can be
pursued either way, so choose whichever method you think will work best
for you. (If you’re a procrastinator, opt for ongoing!) Please note
that you cannot choose the one-shot category if your goal is weight loss.
(So forget crash-dieting right before the deadline!) This goal is an ongoing
commitment only, because the slow and gradual approach is the safest way
to lose weight.
Your stakes are what you’re willing to wager on your impending success
or failure: your valuable reputation….or that, PLUS the valuable
contents of your wallet. If you choose to put money on the line, then
this is where you decide how much, and who will get the money if you fail
to keep your commitment.
Financial stakes work two ways, depending on whether your goal is one-shot
(1) The one-shot commitment
Let’s say when you create the contract, you decide to risk $500,
choosing your roommate as the recipient of the money, should you fail.
If you succeed, we mail you a $500 check. If you fail, we mail a $500
check to your delighted roommate, who is already online, spending her
unexpected – but very much appreciated -- windfall.
(2) The ongoing commitment
Let’s say you commit to exercising four times a week, for a period
of 8 weeks. When you create the contract, you decide to put $25 at stake
each week, with the money going to charity if you fail. You pay stickK
the 8-week total of $200 up front. Then each week that you don’t
exercise four times, we deduct $25 from your account balance to send to
charity. Whatever balance is left in your account at the end of the 8
weeks goes back to you. If you’ve managed to stickK with the program,
you’ve regained a tidy sum which you can now use to reward yourself
with new clothes for that now svelte body of yours!
You have three recipient options:
to see the list of charity beneficiaries
We do not give you the satisfaction of telling you to which particular
charity your money went because it is a disincentive in achieving your
goal. To minimize our overhead costs, we pool all failed commitment money
and send it to a number of charities at the end of each quarter.
stickK currently sends Charity Stakes to the following charities:
result, we do not provide charitable donation tax receipts (we do not
claim the tax deduction in your place). TrackKing everyone’s dollar
would send our accounting costs skyrocketing!
PLEASE NOTE: We want to be clear on this issue. 100% of the failed money,
minus all Paypal fees, goes to the charities (or anti-charities). stickK
does not take any cut whatsoever (although if we need more money to keep
the site going we may have to change this policy at some point!). And
because our goal is full transparency, we are audited quarterly by an
independent auditor and post each quarter’s donations on the site
for you to see.
You select a cause you don’t believe in from the list we provide.
Are you a proponent of gun control? Then make the National Rifle Association Foundation
your recipient, and know that your failure is serving to defend the right
to bear arms! The less you believe in the cause, the harder you’ll
work to succeed at your goal! In this case, you know exactly to which
cause your money went.
We currently offer the following organizations as Anti-charities:
(3) Friend or Foe
You designate someone you like or dislike to receive the money, should
you fail (choosing someone you despise…perhaps an in-law…provides
the best incentive for success). We then notify the person via email and
request their mailing address, so that we can send them a check. If the
recipient declines the money or doesn’t respond to repeated emails
within a week, we send the money to charity instead.
PLEASE NOTE: In the case of friend or foe, 100% of the failed money, goes
to the friend or foe.
And in ALL cases, you get 100% of the success money you are owed.
Your Referee is the person you designate to hold you accountable to your
goals. You can choose a friend, family member or colleague. It helps if
your ref is someone you hate to disappoint; someone who’ll stickK
it to you if you start slacking! Being accountable to someone other than
yourself gives you that extra push and is a proven tool for success.
When you report success, your ref’s job is to confirm the accuracy
of the report. (If you report failure, there’s no need for the ref
to confirm it.) If you report success when you actually failed, and your
ref blows the whistle on you and reports failure, then we count the week
as a failure. And if you neglect to file your weekly report, you get an
automatic failure for that week.
If you report success and your referee neglects to file a report, it is
considered a success.
If you trust yourself implicitly and absolutely insist on going at it
alone, under the alternate honor system, we do accept success reports
without Referee confirmation. We just don’t encourage it.
These are friends, family members and colleagues who you designate to
support and encourage you in your goal. They receive updates on your progress
as you make your weekly reports and journal updates. They can respond
by sending you messages of encouragement. Never underestimate the guilt
factor: the more people to whom you are accountable, the greater the chance
you’ll succeed. So surround yourself with Supporters who you won’t
want to let down!