A universal struggle of student-dom is trying to get things done. One of the main deterrents of productivity is procrastination, which we’ve written a piece or two about recently, with one in the making. But at the heart of this problem is a lack of proper goal-setting. In a perfect dream world, we’d all say we want to do something and that sheer will alone would be all we need to carry us to the end. Unfortunately, only a very small number of people are wired like this.

Good intentions are not enough to make the whole process “worth it,” unless the end goal is mind-blowingly great. The average person needs incentive and stakes to rationalize the process of carrying our the goal.  The new goal-setting website stickK does just that: it turns the process into a little game, since it’s proven that people are more likely to comply if a fun incentive is involved. And who doesn’t like games? Your goal is now a Vegas gamble! In a fun way. Not in a ‘oh gosh, I’m in mad debt’ kind of way.
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StickK operates on the simple behavioral economic logic that:

1) “People don’t always do what they claim they want to do.”

2) “Incentives get people to do things.”

And they’re integrating this principle into their interactive goal-setting model designed to ease users in achieving that one pesky goal they’ve been trying to get done by making the process like a game, thus ushering them into the desirable ‘it’s not work, it’s fun’ mindset.

First, you choose a goal. It can be anything from losing weight to quitting smoking to simply hanging out with your friends more often. At each week or month, you can set micro-goals that you can measure your progress with. Next, you set the stakes, which is optional. If you haven’t reached your goal for the time increment, they charge your card the stakes you set. (They profit off of your failure? Great.)  Then, you get a referee, which is any third party member who monitors and reminds you in your goal. And finally, you can add friends who will be there for moral support and can encourage you in your private journal, which adds to the community aspect of the “game” setting. Everyone’s a player, so they’re all in it together!

If you have trouble setting goals and keeping them, we highly urge you check this out!

Mmmm, imagine if you could make the stakes candy.

Image source: Graela via Creative Commons