A Pay Me Resolution

Over on Leo’s uber popular Zen Habits blog I’ve read that you should let go of having goals and just live your life! That if you create good habits you don’t need to mess with (even distract yourself with) tracking everything you do – every bite you eat, every mile you run, every book you’ve read from that long daunting list of books you want to (think you should?) read before you die.

I see the merit in this point, but Isaiah and I needed some encouragement to get back into a regular exercise routine. So I came up with the Pay Me Plan. For every week we work out 5+ times for 30+ minutes a shot, we each get $5 deposited into our imaginary Pay Me account. (Which is just a simple spreadsheet although wouldn’t a chart where we could put gold stars by our names be so much neater?)

Bribing Ourselves To Exercise

This is our fun, spend-without-guilt-on-whatever-you-want-but-can’t-quite-justify money! Basically it’s like when a kid receives an allowance only after they do their chores. And by golly, it’s working! I have more energy to get to my workouts and a solid feeling of commitment. And if we ever miss a week we won’t have to beat ourselves up. We just won’t get the money and since I already have quite the wish list picked out, I know I don’t want to miss out on too many five dolla dolla bills, y’all.

Motivation to Exercise

We chose an amount that gives us motivation, but nothing that will break our budget. I think this kind of bribery works for us because Isaiah and I are frugal, especially since we traded two full-time salaries for a Peace Corps stipend. Other ideas include earning minutes for watching TV or checking Facebook or you could earn money to give a babysitter so you get some time to yourself!

Would it be better if we worked out consistently because we know it’s a non-optional part of a healthy lifestyle? Yes. For sure. And that knowledge does nudge us in the right direction. Hopefully someday exercising will be a no-brainer habit and we won’t need to do this tracking, but for now this is working and it’s fun!

What motivates you? Are you making any resolutions this new year?


6 thoughts on “A Pay Me Resolution

  1. Cute idea, but I’m not sure $2 an hour would be enough motivation for me. On the other hand, I have to admit most week’s I don’t do 5 workouts–but I should. Maybe you’re on to something ….

  2. Good for you, for getting back into the habit of working out! I’m not sure what would motivate me. The only time I worked out consistently was when I was in physical therapy for an injury. The exercises kept me from being in horrible pain all the time. But, yeah, once that got better I fell out of the habit.

    • I always feel so much better when I’m exercising so you’d think it’d be easy to stick with the routine, but it’s not for some reason. This bribery plan has kick started us again!

  3. Ok, so I just started this plan this week. I haven’t worked out in months…yes, eaten well, but not worked out! I was just coming back to let you know and I see that it is $5 per week! Darn! I was giving myself (on paper) $5 per workout! I might adjust it….but maybe after the habit has been made again. Right now, I might need that $5/workout!!!

    Maybe it helps that your cost of living is lower there?! Maybe not. 🙂

    • Yay that you’re trying it out and don’t be afraid to adjust it to whatever amount motivates you! We’re just starting to get back to it after holidays/traveling.

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