I saw a story on the news today about stickk.com, a new website that allows you to place a financial bet on your ability to lose weight, quit smoking, or kick any number of bad habits.
Let's say you want to lose 20 pounds. You sign up on the site, give them some money, and post your goal. If you reach your goal, you get the money back. If you fail to lose 20 pounds by the date specified, then the money goes to a person or charity designated by you. They even recommend designating the money for a charity you dislike so that the incentive is increased! You need to designate a person you know as your "referee" to confirm to the site that you have indeed accomplished your goal so you can't lie. You can also have the site send emails on your progress to your friends and family for more accountability and encouragement.
Does anyone think that this incentive would work for them? I'm seriously considering it. I'm nothing if not cheap.