Humans are tenacious beings. We’re flawed and we know it and we strive to be better. Then we fail and try again.
In the broader scope, the aspects about ourselves we strive to improve often include the usual stuff -- waking up earlier to squeeze more productivity out of our days, exercising more often to stay fit and live longer and saving money to live comfortably after retirement. Nothing too out there.
Then there’s the just plain weird. For example, when people pledge to try not to watch porn at work, not to bang their head when raging out and not speaking excessively slowly to foreigners. You can’t make this stuff up. We’re certainly not. These truly are some of the more bizarre commitments people have made when using StickK, a motivational goal-tracking app designed by behavioral economists at Yale University.
Similar to betting, StickK users put money down toward a personal-improvement commitment. If they don’t keep their commitment, they give the money away to a person of their choosing (friend or foe), or to charity. If they stick to it and succeed, the money is theirs to keep, along with their pride.
“Attaching a financial incentive to your personal goals reinforces your resolve and willpower and increases your likelihood of success,” StickK co-founder and CEO Jordan Goldberg tells Entrepreneur. He claims people who use StickK are three times more likely to succeed in achieving their goals than those who don’t. (Full disclosure, it worked for one Entrepreneur reporter.)
But let’s get back to the bizarre stuff users pledge to do with the app, shall we? Courtesy of StickK, here are 17 quirky and/or disturbing goals people have committed to. They were shared with us anonymously.
1. “Don't masturbate for 40 days.”
2. “Don’t cheat on my wife.”
3. “Find a money-free wife.”
4. “McVomits -- I commit to not eating McDonald’s, Burger King or Jack in the Box for one month.”
5. “Stop head-banging out of anger -- and stop using music to assert my anger.”
6. “Speak slowly to foreigners.”
7. “Do NOT cut hair without his permission.”
8. “No porn at work or deleting my web history.”
9. “Social skydiving for 30 days: Talking to and initiating a conversation with one stranger a day for 30 days.”
10. “Learn to climb a rope.”
11. “Dunk a basketball in a game.”
12. “Have more sex: Initiating sex with my wife at least 2 times each week.”
13. “30 dates by 30: I commit to going on 30 dates by the time I turn 30.”
14. “Ask a random attractive girl to coffee.”
15. “Skin: Stop picking at and destroying the skin on my face, back and chest.”
16. “Play Chopin's Etude Opus 10 Number 5: I will play the piece at full tempo with the correct notes and the right fingerings.”17. “Fight!: Stepping into the ring/mat/cage in 2011 at least once to hurt or be hurt in the process.”