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Mental Mastery Mondays

Helping you win the war within so you can find success in business, relationships, well-being, and life.

Jun 19, 2015

If you listened to this past Tuesday’s episode, I shared with you some ways you can help yourself become more productive, as I do every Tuesday.  

One of those ways I suggested was to create deadlines with very real consequences.  The kind of consequences you’re going to do whatever you can to avoid. 

Today I’m sharing with you and app that will help you do exactly that.  

Stickk - 

This is an app that comes out of Yale University.  It’s legit.  It’s got a lot of science behind it and it works!  

Professor Dean Karlan teaches Economics and Professor Ian Ayers teaches law, both at Yale University.  They partnered with one of their students, Jordan Goldberg, to create a tool they knew would help people achieve their goals, and it works. Here’s why… 

Stickk gives you a platform where you can create what the founders call Commitment Contracts.

This is a contract you create with YOURSELF, but… there’s more to it than that.  We’ve all tried that and seen it fail time and time again. 

A Commitment Contract involves accountability and the power of “loss aversion."

You know what accountability is, but what about LOSS AVERSION?

You can figure out from the name, it’s about avoiding loss.  But why?  Why not just be motivated by gain?

Scientific studies suggest people are TWICE as motivated by avoiding loss than achieving a gain. People who lose $100 will be emotionally impacted more than someone who gains $100.  

It’s because we don’t value what we don’t have.  The potential to gain $100 will not motivate you as much as the real potential to lose $100.  That’s the science, in a nutshell, of “Loss Aversion."

Here’s how it works:

Stickk has some predefined goals which you can use or even customize them to meet your needs. If those don’t work, you have the ability to build your own goal from scratch. 

So, you start by creating a goal and then laying out the parameters of that goal.  What will it take to achieve that goal and what are the specific things you have to do to get there?

Now, here’s where Stickk kicks in with some very real and powerful features. 

Losing Money and Having an Honest Referee. 

The creators of Stickk state that their data shows, people who have a referee to whom they’re accountable, are TWICE as likely to reach their goal.  People who have something financially significant at stake are up to THREE times as likely to achieve their goal.

Put the power of both of those items together and you have Stickk.

When you sign in, you’ll have the opportunity to create a Commitment Contract where you can put something financial on the line.  They don’t charge you ANYTHING unless you tell them you want to make the financial commitment and then only after you don’t achieve your goal. 

So, what keeps us from cheating and just saying we did it?  A referee who will look at your Commitment Journal to determine if you’re reaching your goal. 

This journal is where you can post screenshots or pictures of you doing what you said you would do.

Now, it’s not just about having someone lord over you, it’s also about support.  You can add in supporters who can see your commitment and progress and then cheer you along.  It’s the perfect combination to getting where you want to be in life. 

Your referee can be anybody you’d like.

Each time you take action toward your goal, you submit that information to Stickk and your referee will get an email saying you submitted something to your Stickk account.  If they’d like, they can ask you for additional proof that you did what you said you did, or be satisfied with what you submitted.  

You’re really empowering your referee.  So, choose someone you trust but also make sure it’s someone you know will hold you accountable. 

Here’s how you miss a goal:

You admit you missed it.

Your referee reports that you missed it

You don’t submit a commitment report in the time window you specified.

When you miss, if you have a financial stake included, your credit or debit card will be charged for the amount you set at the beginning.

As of this podcast, there is $21 million on the line for commitments.  

There are just under 300,000 commitments. 

That’s an average of about $72 on the line for each commitment.  Make sure you choose an amount that’s going to HURT if you lose it.

Where does the money go?

You decide that.  You can have it go to someone you want, or even have it go to a charity.  Stickk holds the money for the charities and sends them all the stake money at one time at the end of the year.  Some of the organizations they support are:

  • Feed the Children
  • Doctors without Borders
  • United Way

and several others. 

Here’s a fun twist.   You can create an Anti-Charity as a recipient of your stake.

This is a group or organization you would NEVER want to support financially.  That adds a HUGE motivator for some people. 

How’s this for some controversial groups?


  • American’s United for Life
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation

Gun Rights

  • Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence
  • NRA Foundation

Political Groups

  • A PAC supporting Republicans
  • A PAC supporting Democrats

Or if you’re in the UK:

  • A Liberal Democrat group
  • A Conservative group
  • A Labour group

Various football (or soccer) fan clubs such as 

  • Arsenal
  • Chelsea
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester United

So, I’m sure you can see how this could be VERY motivating if you choose to put enough on the line.  For some of these more issues, any amount would be agonizing… for a Chelsea fan to give a penny to the Man U fan club is traumatizing.

Create some of your own… maybe your ex-husband or ex-wife.  Maybe your brother who’s living in your basement supposedly unable to get a job.  I’m sure you can think of some people to whom you don’t want to send ANY money.

Call to Action

Sign up and make a commitment contract for yourself.  If you’d like me to referee, I’d love to help out.  You’ll find me in the system as “PDesmond.”