I find that there are a handful of good ways to keep oneself to one's commitments. I've got a few going right now:
- I’m updating this blog every day through the month of September.
- I’m tweeting every day (@txwatson) through the month of September, now twice.
- I’m updating my comic, Bathetic, three times a week. and, now,
- I’m working on a book, every day, until the damn thing is finished.
In the past, there are three ways I've kept myself to keep up with the commitments I've made.
Personal vows: Making arbitrary commitments is easy enough when I vow to do it, like I'm doing with abstention from alcohol this month. This works mostly because I like having the ability in place, and if I ever fail to keep a vow, it degrades my ability to persuade myself to do things in the future.
Public accountability: I find it much harder to give up on a goal if there's someone holding me accountable for it. This works better for some things than others -- it's a great way to get my homework done, but it was pointedly unhelpful when I became a weekday vegetarian, because most of my peer group and family wanted me to quit. (I shall blog about that in future.)
Money: I made some new commitments tonight, and I put over five hundred dollars on my ability to keep them.
I can't afford to lose five hundred dollars. I'll be keeping these commitments.
By March 12, 2012, I will:
Have lost 25 lbs. Have a GPA of at least 3.5 Finish my novel and submit it to an agent Blog every day (3 strikes allowed)
The person I bet against also made commitments, and will have to pay if I make it and they don't. If we both make it, we throw a party for ourselves, celebrating our continued success. If we both lose, we make new, harsher commitments, and the amount of the wager is doubled.
Wish me luck.