Who has a good commitment device?

From Fast Company, April 2009

“We worry about many things. Our kids’ grades, our parents’ health, the world at large. (Also will all those unemployed investment bankers have enough to eat?) Add to that list one really odd thing we worry about: our own future behavior. And how we can control it.

Think about a piggy bank, which is like a security system for a world where you’re the burglar. In purchasing a piggy, you’re paying $10 to protect $22 in spare change from your own hands. Life is full of piggy-bank situations, where we crave restrictions on our own behavior.

A piggy bank is an example of a “commitment device” a way to lock yourself into an option your might otherwise dodge, like saving money, because you think it’ll be good for you.” (Fast Company, April 2009)

What commitment device have you set up in some area of your life, that’s working to help you keep your commitment?

What commitment device do you wish someone would invent to help you stay committed to something you never seem to be able to commit to – beyond making the commitment statement?

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Kim – I read this article in Fast Company, as well, and found it thought-provoking.

    One of the biggest steps we can take in personal development is realizing we aren’t naturally disciplined, and then finding ways to keep us on-track.

  • Great article. I think commitment is often deserted due to instant gratification. You can’t stay committed to a diet because you want the instant gratification of looking slimmer or food! You can’t stay commited to marketing because you want the instant gratification of the big success now. The list goes on and on. I see from this article how important it is to a situation appropriate commitment device. Can’t say I have one for any situation in my life at the moment, but I sure will be looking to put some in place. Thanks for sharing.

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