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Motivate yourself with "loss aversion"

NPR: Put Your Money Where Your Girth Is

I really enjoyed this Morning Edition story on "Prospect Theory," or the idea that loss aversion can be an effective motivator in goals related to health improvement like weight loss and smoking cessation:

"What we know about incentives is that people work a lot harder to avoid losing $10 than they will work to gain $10," explains Ayres. "So something that's framed as a loss is really effective at changing behavior."

Related to that question I was asked at Macworld: I wonder if a gym membership might be even more motivating if you received a daily email updating you on the wasted dollars you'd spent by not working out in the last n days.

When I started paying most of my own college tuition, I remember realizing that every class I skipped was equivalent to throwing away about a day and a half of the money I'd earned from waiting on tables. It was very motivating for me, and I started missing a lot fewer classes as a result.

TechTalkWRLR's picture

gyms make money by not doing this

@mattlatmatt ... i totally agree, it would be great if the gym would do this kind of thing, but gyms make money by having enormous membership bases without having to support anywhere near that number of actual users. I would guess that your typical Bally's only has to worry about maybe 5% of their paid members actually using the facilities in a given month. That may get up to 10 or even 15% come Jan/Feb with the new years resolutioners (resolvers? ahh u know what i mean) but still far below total base paid memberships.

Gyms are not incented to have you use your membership, only for you to keep paying your dues!

So in this case, I guess what I'm saying is you've got to make up your own loss aversion program.




An Oblique Strategy:
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