Yesterday I mentioned a new watch if I loose 20 lbs. I am currently rocking an Apple Watch 1st gen. That is right I went out and bought the Apple watch the minute it hit the market. I am a huge Apple fanboy and I feel like wearable technology is certianly our future here on earth and beyond so I have loved this watch since the day I first put it on my wrist however I can no longer get the IOS updates for the watch and any apps I create for it I cannot push to it because it is so old.
Right before the new year I did three things, I priced a new Apple watch, placed it in my cart to buy later, and I stepped on a scale. I enjoy running but I had not ran since November of 2021 and I also ate my way through the holidays and the scale told on me. The number on my scale made me forget all about the contents of my cart in the Apple store.
I had gained way to much weight. My wife helped me make a weight loss journal and I have a goal to get down to my proper weight now I needed some kind of commitment device to help get me there. I know what I have to do, exercise in the morning and afternoon and eat properly knowledge is not the issue. I am unhappy with the current weight so motivation doesn’t seem to be the issue. What is the issue? Honestly sleep is the issue. I enjoy sleeping in and not going to the gym, good food is the issue I enjoy eating a meal that is filling and delicious.
A commitment device is sometimes referred to as a Ulysses Pact or contract. In the book The Odyssey by Homer the protagonist Ulysses has to sail his ship by the sirens. The sirens are beautiful creatures that sing to the sailors as they pass by the island that the sirens live near. The siren song is the most beautiful thing ever heard supposedly however, no sailor who has heard it has lived to tell anyone about it. The siren tempts the sailors with their songs and they sail towards the sirens. Then they crash their ships on the reef and die.
Ulysses wanted to hear the song and live so he made a pact with his sailors and they tied him to the mast and plugged their ears with beeswax and no matter what he did they did not untie him till they sailed past the island.
This pact looked to the future.. Ulysses would be untied when he and the crew were safely beyond the island and the pact dealt with the present he was tied up and the crew had ears full of beeswax.
I decided to use the Ulysses contract or pact to reach my weight loss goals and my new Apple watch is currently inaccessible to me in the Apple store cart. When I reach my target weight the watch will be accessible. If I reach my stretch goal this year 2022 I will also receive a new Mac book! I feel pretty confident so far (January is not even over yet though eek!) I have already shed four lbs. and I haven’t missed a work out day yet.
You probably know what you want and how to get it but you may find yourself a victim of procrastination, sleeping in, watching tv or some really fun awesome time waster. I have nothing against sleeping in, watching tv, playing golf and wasting time however when you have a long term goal sometimes those really cool things can get in the way and a commitment device is exactly what you need to get focused and on the right track.
The device doesn’t need to be a reward it could be an actual commitment. If you find someone who also wants to accomplish the goals you do and make a commitment to them that you will be there every day to workout or attend classes chances are high you will be there. The device can also be a reward/punishment scenario. Imagine that you cannot wake up on time and you need to wake up on time. What if you placed a 100 dollar bill in an alarm clock. If you do not wake up and stop the clock the bill is shredded. I imagine that the problem of not waking up would end quickly.
Whatever you choose to do I wish you luck and I would remind you that it will always (even with a commitment device) take some discipline and trust. The sailors had to ensure that they did not take out the beeswax. I am sure they wanted to hear that song as well but they were disciplined and trusted Ulysses. You have to be disciplined and trust yourself. Make the commitment device as real as you can so that you are not lying to yourself. If it is a reward purchase the reward and then give it to someone to give to you only when you reach your goal. If it is a commitment to another person make sure that person can be a a$# when you do not honor your commitment.
Good luck with whatever your goals are (I know you don’t need luck). and peace