The default framing for motivation on Beeminder (at least for do more goals) is “Do this thing, or else you have to pay X$”. A few days ago I was struggling to get myself to write an important email and even explicitly thinking about losing 30$ was not enough motivation, so I tried reframing the situation. First I imagined I had already paid the 30$ and I now had the chance to get paid 30$ for doing the thing. That alone was not enough, and upon reflection, I have doubts whether that framing can be useful at all, because people are generally more loss averse. Then I realized, that I would have have to write the email eventually anyways, and it became “I get paid 30$ for doing it today instead of tomorrow” and I went ahead and did it .
So we have:
- Either do the thing or pay X$
- Imagine you’ve already paid X$, get your money back for doing the thing
- Imagine you’ve already paid X$, get your money back for doing the thing now instead of at a later time
I’m interested in hearing if there are other ways of framing your commitment contract that you have had success with.
: For instance, many people will not take a bet at even odds of winning 12$ vs losing 10$.