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A Round Tuit

*”[I’ll do it when I get a Round Tuit](http://etsy.me/JuXryX “Round Tuit Hand Cut Coin Jewelry by bongobeads”)”*

If it’s important to you to [exercise / practice an instrument / eat better / you name it] but you find that you never get around to it (a “round tuit”, get it?), well, we have an app for that. Think of Beeminder as your Round Tuit dispenser. The problem is common: not everything that’s important comes with a built-in deadline or squeaks or whines loud enough. “One more day” of not exercising really won’t hurt, but it’s all too easy to slide down a Slippery Slope of Sloth. “One more day won’t matter” is true every subsequent day forever!

Beeminder is a way to make the important urgent. Tell Beeminder the bare minimum number of weekly hours or workouts or servings or blog posts or whatever you’re measuring. That establishes your Yellow Brick Road. Follow it or Beeminder will yell at you. If that’s all you need — the reminders to stay on track — great! Beeminder will be free for you forever. More likely though, reminders from a bot will be too easy to ignore and you’ll derail at least once. That’s when the true urgency comes in. If you want to try again after your first derailment, you’ve got to pledge actual money to unfreeze your yellow brick road. [UPDATE: Goals no longer freeze!] Now you really have to take that road seriously, or cough up the money you pledged.

The initial pledge is $5 and, like the Beeminder reminders, that may prove too easy to ignore. But that problem is soon solved as well: If you derail and pay the $5 pledge, it takes a $10 pledge the next time. It quickly explodes after that: $30, $90, $270, and so on, tripling each time. No matter how rich or recalcitrant you are, it won’t take many initial derailments before staying on that Yellow Brick Road is as urgent as it is important.

You’ll get a round tuit when Beeminder says you will.


Image credit: Etsy