I've been trying to work out more, eat healthier and get in shape as part of my New Year's resolutions. It can be hard to find the motivation to get to the gym, especially after a long day at the office. Tracking what I eat helps me to stay on track but it can be tedious. And I have to remember to eat more fruits and veggies at every meal.
It can be really easy to get frustrated and let yourself off the hook when you’re trying to make healthy habits stick, so we all need some accountability. Having an accountability buddy that you talk about your healthy goals with is incredibly helpful. For those of us frugally inclined, a financial incentive can help boost our motivation, whether that’s money into a savings jar for a vacation or a new pair of shoes.
Pact is a cool smartphone app that pairs both personal and financial incentives to help you meet your healthy goals. First, set your pact and say how many days a week you’ll go to the gym, how many days you’ll log your food, and/or how many fruits and veggies you’ll eat this week. Then you assign each goal a dollar value per day, say $10 a day for each day you’ll go to the gym.
Throughout the week, check into the gym with the app’s GPS locator or sync with Runkeeper when you go running, walking or biking. When you eat veggies and fruit, snap a picture and upload it to the app. Log your food directly into the app each day then share your accomplishments with the Pact community and with your social media networks so your friends can cheer you on.
Get paid or pay up
When you meet your pact and complete the goal you set for the number of workouts, veggies and food logs you would do each week, you get paid! And if you don't meet your goals? Well, then you get charged the amount you bet for each goal. For instance, if you said you would go to the gym 3 days a week at $10 a pop and only go twice, then you get charged $10. The money that you pay when you miss your Pact gets paid out in parts to the people who completed their Pact.
I’ve been using Pact for about a year now and I love it. I’m very incentivized by the idea that if I miss a workout I’ll have to pay a penalty—so I get to the gym! It’s especially helpful on those days when you feel sluggish and would rather slack off, but I get moving anyway so I won’t have to pay. I also love sharing my workouts on Facebook and having my friends “like” them and cheer me on, too. I meet my Pact every week (most Pact users do!) and earn around $1.00- $1.40 each week, depending on how many Pacts I made and completed that week. Yes, the amount you earn is small, but it adds up and I’ve made over $30 from the app. The main reason I use it isn’t to make money, but to keep myself healthy and to keep meeting my goals. Here's to letting my inner cheapskate further my healthy lifestyle!
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