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Your Accountability Problems Solved For Only $100!

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GoodluckChuck

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It's 9:30pm.

Teeth are brushed, toenails clipped, and you're going to bed early so you can wake up early.

It's going to be a productive day! You are jacked about all the things you're going to accomplish. You're finally going to get to work and take some action!

First, you'll hit the gym to lift weights for an hour.
Then, a quick shower and it'll be time to cold call 30 potential customers.
Then, you'll read 25 pages out of your newest sales book before eating a healthy lunch. No junk food!
Finally, you'll finish that project you started two months ago but haven't quite got around to finishing.

Tomorrow is the day. You're going to accomplish more than you have in the last 7 days combined. You can feel it in your bones!

You fall asleep dreaming of the big houses and fancy cars you'll have some day and life is good.

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

Time to wake up! There's so much work to....

wait...

Where's that motivation you had last night?

You know exactly what you need to do, but... maybe it's ok just play a little bit of video games first. Or maybe just lay down and read for a while. That's productive, right?
The day begins with you wondering where all that momentum and energy went that you had last night...

If this sounds like you, you're not alone.

Many people spend their nights with big hopes for what they will accomplish the next day only to find their mind in a completely different place when morning comes. What gives?

This common phenomenon can be explained with the Ainslie-Rachlin model of self control.

Basically, at night time before you go to bed, any reward you think of obtaining is at least 8 hours away.

It's human nature that a reward increases in value the closer you are to receiving it.
(Think instant gratification)

So, at night time when you're thinking about whether you would prefer to lay on the couch or go to the gym, the gym seems like the obvious choice. Having the body of your dreams and having more energy is much more rewarding than laying on the couch, right? You're able to see this clearly because both rewards are a long ways away.

Unfortunately, in the morning, when it's time to hit the gym, laying on the couch seems more valuable because you can experience the reward of comfort immediately when obtaining the body of your dreams is a long ways off. Make sense?

Here's a diagram to help explain this model:
Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 6.10.04 PM.png
As you can see the man with the cane is weighing the value of eating a tasty treat vs having a healthy body. The treat seems more valuable because he's able to obtain it much sooner than the healthy body, even though overall being healthy is much more valuable.

So, how does one overcome this? I already told you. It will only take $100!

You can send the money to 6571 NE Cherry Dr....

Just kidding!

Give the $100 to someone who is close to you. The closer the better.

Tell this person, "I want to go to the gym first thing in the morning, but I'm afraid I won't follow through, so here is $100. If I don't go to the gym first thing in the morning, you get to keep it. If I do go, you give it back to me."

Do you think you would go?

Makes perfect sense right?

Think about the man with the cupcake. If that cupcake was going to cost him $100, do you think it would be of much value to him?

Of course it wouldn't. He would skip right past the cupcake and be on his way to achieving his goal of being more healthy. The same goes for you getting to the gym, or whatever thing you're struggling to follow through on.

That's it! It's simple. It's almost like flipping a switch in your head. You won't have to try and decide if you're going to follow through or not because you will have completely skewed the value in favor of the direction you choose.

If you wake up knowing that not following through is going to cost you $100, it will be really easy to follow through. If that's not enough, make it $500. Or, $1000. The amount doesn't matter. What matters is that you will have created leverage on yourself to follow through with what you said you wanted to do.

This works for anything. Just make sure the person holding your money doesn't run off with it!

Experiment with this if you're having trouble staying accountable. Pay attention to how your mind weighs the value of everything. Do this for a few weeks and you will have created a habit ,and you won't have to manipulate your internal value scale anymore.

If you do it right, it won't cost you a penny...

Cheers!
 

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MJ DeMarco

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TonyStark

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I don't think this would work.

After a while, you would just stop caring about those $100, hell, you would just abandon the program all together because LOSING money isn't enough of a motivator to keep you going.

It's sort of like the experiment they did on parents to see that if they imposed a fine on them for picking up their kids late from day-care, would they stop being late? The answer: they didn't. Now, because of the fine, they took LONGER to pick their kids up because they could just pay it off.

So in essence, it might work a few times, maybe a few weeks, but after that, you have to actually enjoy working out, or else you're just doing it to not lose the $100.

Edit:
And what happens if you miss a few times and LOSE those $100? Can you not play the game anymore?
 
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rogainer

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I don't think this would work.

After a while, you would just stop caring about those $100, hell, you would just abandon the program all together because LOSING money isn't enough of a motivator to keep you going.

It's sort of like the experiment they did on parents to see that if they imposed a fine on them for picking up their kids late from day-care, would they stop being late? The answer: they didn't. Now, because of the fine, they took LONGER to pick their kids up because they could just pay it off.

So in essence, it might work a few times, maybe a few weeks, but after that, you have to actually enjoy working out, or else you're just doing it to not lose the $100.

Edit:
And what happens if you miss a few times and LOSE those $100? Can you not play the game anymore?
Up it to $1000? lol

Things like the gym get more enjoyable with time so maybe it would be enough to help u get over the initial "wanna kill myself" hump then you don't need it later
 

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Personal motivation is an evolving, ever changing course that you must put conscience effort into...... keep pushing, challenging, and moving the finish line.

For some, the $100 plan might work. For others, the I'll buy myself some golf clubs plan. Or the I'll sleep when this is done plan.

Here is a simple one I do that has helped a lot...... no non project related internet until I have accomplished the first item on my list each day.
 

ChrisJHarrington

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Research has shown this is actually a really poor strategy to motivate people.

The real way to do this is to reward yourself for having done the tasks, not take something away from yourself for having not done the tasks.
 
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GoodluckChuck

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What research @ChrisJHarrington ?

This isn't a motivation strategy. It's a self-control hack.

If you are needing to hold yourself accountable to follow through on something you must already be motivated to do it.

Completing a task will bring it's own rewards. The issue is a lot of people never make it to completing the tasks because they choose the instant gratification every time.


I don't think this would work.

After a while, you would just stop caring about those $100, hell, you would just abandon the program all together because LOSING money isn't enough of a motivator to keep you going.

It's sort of like the experiment they did on parents to see that if they imposed a fine on them for picking up their kids late from day-care, would they stop being late? The answer: they didn't. Now, because of the fine, they took LONGER to pick their kids up because they could just pay it off.

So in essence, it might work a few times, maybe a few weeks, but after that, you have to actually enjoy working out, or else you're just doing it to not lose the $100.

Edit:
And what happens if you miss a few times and LOSE those $100? Can you not play the game anymore?
It's not about the $100 dollars. It's about creating leverage on YOURSELF. If you don't care about $100 then make it $1000. OR maybe money is not the right thing. Put your wedding ring on the line. Would you follow through then?
 

TonyStark

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What research @ChrisJHarrington ?

This isn't a motivation strategy. It's a self-control hack.

If you are needing to hold yourself accountable to follow through on something you must already be motivated to do it.

Completing a task will bring it's own rewards. The issue is a lot of people never make it to completing the tasks because they choose the instant gratification every time.




It's not about the $100 dollars. It's about creating leverage on YOURSELF. If you don't care about $100 then make it $1000. OR maybe money is not the right thing. Put your wedding ring on the line. Would you follow through then?
I’m sensing some anger.
 
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GoodluckChuck

GoodluckChuck

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I’m sensing some anger.
No anger. Just trying to clarify.

Someone may have this exact issue sometime and I want them to find this thread.
Would prefer they didn't get discouraged by people discounting it because it's not a fix all solution.

This little trick works great if you have trouble following through with little things.

I know because I did it!

Cheers
 

TonyStark

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No anger. Just trying to clarify.

Someone may have this exact issue sometime and I want them to find this thread.
Would prefer they didn't get discouraged by people discounting it because it's not a fix all solution.

This little trick works great if you have trouble following through with little things.

I know because I did it!

Cheers
I’m sure it’s a great idea, and will work the first few times.
 

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ChrisJHarrington

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There's research out there that supports what I said. Look into it, I can't find the article but I'd suggest digging around PubMed - there are studies that have been done that show this strategy is not useful. It's been done through applications for overall health/wellness improvements where, for instance, if you don't exercise, you lose money that goes into a pool for people who do exercise and they get the money.

The better approach is to reward people for doing good things, not take away from them if they don't.
 

Maxboost

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Everyone should follow the 5 second rule by Mel Robbins in order to become more productive. I've accomplished more in the past 2 weeks than I did in the past few months action faking.

Don't read the book, its a lot of fluff and I will try to summarize the few key points of what I read so far.

1-Whenever you feel like you should do something but don't have the motivation actually countdown 5-4-3-2-1, then just do it.

2-the reason why this works is because it turns off the emotional part of your brain off which is guiding your actions such as "I'll do it tomorrow", "Its too difficult", "I'm not ready". You start thinking about the pain of the process.Counting down turns on the prefrontal cortex, the logical part of your brain, and gets you to do rational things or the things that you know you should be doing.

3-Use the 5 second rule whenever you need to change a behaviour, thought or action. You basically live your life 5 seconds at a time because your decisions are based on emotion. Shut that emotional part of your brain off which is hurting you.

4-Motivation is bullshit because it is a temporary feeling. It won't allow you to push through when the going gets tough or when you face that 100th rejection cold call or email. Turn that emotional part of the brain off.

I think if you combine this with Stoicism you become an unstoppable force.
 
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GoodluckChuck

GoodluckChuck

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There's research out there that supports what I said. Look into it, I can't find the article but I'd suggest digging around PubMed - there are studies that have been done that show this strategy is not useful. It's been done through applications for overall health/wellness improvements where, for instance, if you don't exercise, you lose money that goes into a pool for people who do exercise and they get the money.

The better approach is to reward people for doing good things, not take away from them if they don't.
Usually when you present an argument based on research you should provide the research... Why should I try and prove your argument for you?

Besides, I did this technique and it worked like a charm. Sometimes it's helpful to go through an exercise like this to recognize how your brain operates. It's certainly not a magic fix. We all know those don't exist.

If you read what I wrote carefully, you'll see the $100 is not a penalty. You already gave it up, and have created an incentive (reward) for following through with your plan of action. This shifts the weighted value of possible rewards towards the long-term reward rather than the instant gratification.

Here is some research for anyone who is interested in learning more about The Ainslie-Rachlin model of self control. Pub Med is cited multiple times.

The idea laid out in the OP isn't meant to be an complete paradigm shift in behavioral science. It's a technique to help you get over the hump when you find yourself making big plans at night and not following through in the morning.
 
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GoodluckChuck

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Everyone should follow the 5 second rule by Mel Robbins in order to become more productive. I've accomplished more in the past 2 weeks than I did in the past few months action faking.

Don't read the book, its a lot of fluff and I will try to summarize the few key points of what I read so far.

1-Whenever you feel like you should do something but don't have the motivation actually countdown 5-4-3-2-1, then just do it.

2-the reason why this works is because it turns off the emotional part of your brain off which is guiding your actions such as "I'll do it tomorrow", "Its too difficult", "I'm not ready". You start thinking about the pain of the process.Counting down turns on the prefrontal cortex, the logical part of your brain, and gets you to do rational things or the things that you know you should be doing.

3-Use the 5 second rule whenever you need to change a behaviour, thought or action. You basically live your life 5 seconds at a time because your decisions are based on emotion. Shut that emotional part of your brain off which is hurting you.

4-Motivation is bullshit because it is a temporary feeling. It won't allow you to push through when the going gets tough or when you face that 100th rejection cold call or email. Turn that emotional part of the brain off.

I think if you combine this with Stoicism you become an unstoppable force.
I like that!

I've been using the Power List method laid out by Andy Frisella on the MFCEO Project podcast.

Basically you make a list of five things every day, then do them. After a week or two of doing this the momentum becomes truly amazing, just like you described.

For me it's helpful because I have developed the habit of knocking out the list no matter what is on it. When I finish a task, I immediately begin the next one. After two months of this I am amazed at what I can do in a day.

5-4-3-2-1- just do it!

Nike had it right all along!
 

Maxboost

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I like that!

I've been using the Power List method laid out by Andy Frisella on the MFCEO Project podcast.

Basically you make a list of five things every day, then do them. After a week or two of doing this the momentum becomes truly amazing, just like you described.

For me it's helpful because I have developed the habit of knocking out the list no matter what is on it. When I finish a task, I immediately begin the next one. After two months of this I am amazed at what I can do in a day.

5-4-3-2-1- just do it!

Nike had it right all along!
Wow so simple yet powerful, thanks
 

ApparentHorizon

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veryone should follow the 5 second rule by Mel Robbins in order to become more productive. I've accomplished more in the past 2 weeks than I did in the past few months action faking.
2-the reason why this works is because it turns off the emotional part of your brain off which is guiding your actions such as "I'll do it tomorrow", "Its too difficult", "I'm not ready". You start thinking about the pain of the process.Counting down turns on the prefrontal cortex, the logical part of your brain, and gets you to do rational things or the things that you know you should be doing.
Are there any peer-reviewed studies on this? Google only brought up blogs.

Look up Grounding 54321. It's a technique, which she tried to simplify, that helps people cope with anxiety.

Even if you don't suffer from traditional fight-or-flight responses, this is still useful because we make decisions based on emotion. In this sense, it's a feeling of laziness and boredom.

I was reading earlier about a neuroscientist, Dr. Antonio Damasio. He told a fascinating story about a guy who lost his ability to feel emotion.

The guy would analyze simple options like deciding which restaurant to eat at. Weighing the pros and cons of each. And after 22 minutes, he had yet to reach a conclusion.
 
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Dunkafelics

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I do think that this technique would work. You need to raise the stakes to a high enough level that each time you fail to follow through you are absolutely going to pay the price... so to speak.

Another great way of motivating yourself is to tell those people closest to you that if you fail to follow through on a task (ie. waking up at 5AM for a week) that you will donate X amount of money to your most hated cause (ie. White Supremacist Foundation).

In the long-term though, I do believe that if you cannot motivate yourself to get things done, then you have not had a true "FTE".

If the reasons are big enough and you want it bad enough, you will almost always find the motivation to carry out any task required.
 

Maxboost

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Are there any peer-reviewed studies on this? Google only brought up blogs.

Look up Grounding 54321. It's a technique, which she tried to simplify, that helps people cope with anxiety.

Even if you don't suffer from traditional fight-or-flight responses, this is still useful because we make decisions based on emotion. In this sense, it's a feeling of laziness and boredom.

I was reading earlier about a neuroscientist, Dr. Antonio Damasio. He told a fascinating story about a guy who lost his ability to feel emotion.

The guy would analyze simple options like deciding which restaurant to eat at. Weighing the pros and cons of each. And after 22 minutes, he had yet to reach a conclusion.
Yeah the science validation is in her book, which is a lot of fluff, I didn't really bother to read it as I was looking SPECIFICALLY for some help on how to solve the procastination and work ethic issues that I have been having.

IIRC, she borrowed the technique from some other TED talk from another scientist.

The whole book revolves around the 54321 countdown and how it changed peoples lives. No use in reading the whole book when you can summarize it in one sentence lol. Even if it wasn't scientifically validated, if it works for you who cares?
 

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How about doing it in a slightly different way?
So, you give US$500 to someone for accountability, and you set an end goal (e.g: make US$2K every month from Amazon sales by Dec 2019).

For every day that you did not achieve the goal, US$0.50 (or some other impactful amount) would be deducted from the US$500, starting from the day you hand over the US$500.

When it's 2023 and you still haven't reached the goal, it would be in negatives and you would continue paying that US$0.50 for all of eternity until your goal is reached.

To step it up, for each year after 2019 that the goal is not reached, the amount to be deducted goes up +1x every year thereafter.

This will put such pressure on you that there's no way other than to drive on forward like a lunatic.
Personally not a fan of it though.
 

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ApparentHorizon

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How about doing it in a slightly different way?
So, you give US$500 to someone for accountability, and you set an end goal (e.g: make US$2K every month from Amazon sales by Dec 2019).

For every day that you did not achieve the goal, US$0.50 (or some other impactful amount) would be deducted from the US$500, starting from the day you hand over the US$500.

When it's 2023 and you still haven't reached the goal, it would be in negatives and you would continue paying that US$0.50 for all of eternity until your goal is reached.

To step it up, for each year after 2019 that the goal is not reached, the amount to be deducted goes up +1x every year thereafter.

This will put such pressure on you that there's no way other than to drive on forward like a lunatic.
Personally not a fan of it though.
WAIT WAIT WAIT

Or

You pay a supplier $500 for goods. And your goal is to sell it on Amazon for $1000. And if you don't meet your goal, you don't get your money

Bwah gawd. I'm a genius. Watchout for my ebook coming soon :hilarious:
 

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