As a way of motivating myself to stick to my run streak, I have bet $99 on me. If I don't run every day, $11 each week that I miss that goal will go to Maggie Gallagher's group, iMAPP. This is an awful thought. Not only would I be out the money, but that money would go to someone who actively hates me. This is a modern way of using a stick as motivation.
I have a carrot already. Everyone has a carrot for motivation to work out. We all know it will make us feel better, lower our health care costs, increase longevity and many other positive outcomes. It's a bit harder to find a stick for working out, though. Most negatives for being lazy are not experienced immediately. No one wants to hire someone to physically threaten them for laziness, either. Luckily. StickK has come along to fix this.
It works on a simple concept. People set goals and can set financial penalties for not hitting those goals. The money can be sent to a random charity, a friend, a foe, or to a charity that makes your skin crawl. I don't have any foes, wouldn't mind donating to a friend or random charity, so I picked the stomach-turning charity option. The idea of Maggie Gallagher having any of my money makes me physically ill. That should motivate me to keep my run streak up.
This site lets you have a friend ref your commitment, so you could easily set it up as a bet on who will work out according to an agreement. It really looks like a good site. Not sure how they make money, though. Unless it's all still just a continuation of their acedemic study. Regardless, I now have a stick to help keep me motivated. The carrot is trying to get my running speed to improve so I can finish the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon in under 4 hours.