We’ve talked a lot here over the years about how to hack your routine to accomplish your goals, but it’s been a while since we checked in on one of my all-time favorite techniques.
Do you remember the Bet-Switch Mechanism?
Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a series on a psychological technique I call the Bet-Switch Mechanism. It’s based on the principle that most people are more motivated by the thought of losing something than they are by the possibility of achieving a goal.
The Bet Switch Mechanism: If you add a bet to anything you don’t want to do (wake up on time, go to the gym, floss, etc), you add accountability to your goal. And you drastically increase your chances of success.
So in response, I realized that I could push myself to accomplish some of my more frustrating goals by making a high-stakes bet with my friends.
If I do what I’m supposed to, I keep the money. But if I procrastinate, or get distracted, or miss my goal for any other reason, my buddy gets the money. Or worse – I’m forced to do something painful or they get to release an embarrassing photo or video.
Below, you can see an example of the Bet Switch Mechanism I did in July in Po
Adding accountability is the first step to success
Now, I love seeing reader stories: Check out this email I got from a reader last week:
Pretty hardcore, right?
Not a lot of people would have the guts to put their job on the line.
Then again, not a lot of people make it to the gym four mornings a week, and almost all of us could do with a little more exercise in our lives. I have to admit I’m pretty impressed.
Well done, man!
But that’s not the only example I still use this process all the time in my own life, and lots of readers like you have too.
- Here’s how I used it to lose 30 pounds:
- Here’s how my friend used it to learn German in 3 months
- And here’s how I’ve used it write more words per day than ever before.
Could you do me a favor?
Now I know a lot of my readers have tried this in the past, but unfortunately, I’ve never taken the time to collect all of those stories in one place.
I’d love to hear more stories about what you guys have accomplished with this technique. If you’ve tried it out, will you let me know how it went?
Share your story in the comments below, or shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like to keep some of the details private.
Specifically, let me know 2 things:
- Have you ever made a bet to encourage yourself to make a really difficult change? If not, could you see yourself using it?
- What’s the #1 new habit you’d like to create in 2014?
I’ll highlight the best ones here on my site to help other people make changes in their life. Thanks for your help!