Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Workout Pledge

Anyone who reads this, or even speaks to me, knows how distasteful I find politicians. I dislike the Republican party, I dislike the Democratic party, I dislike the current president (Obama), I dislike the former president (Bush II), I dislike my current governor (Patrick), I dislike the speaker of the house (Pelosi) and the Senate Majority Leader (Reid), I dislike the senior members of both parties... generally, the only people I like (using the term loosely) are the fiscal-conservative, socially-liberal centrists (Lieberman, sometimes Wyden, Bayh, Collins, Snowe, Brown), many of whom are retiring or getting crushed in polls right now.

In this complete disdain, there is opportunity.

You see, while I'm very careful with what I eat, and I'm excellent at NOT doing destructive behaviors, I am very inconsistent in my exercise. I don't like setting the time aside for it because I get tired and I can think of a million things I'd rather do. However, I'm as much a victim of hyperbolic discounting as the rest of America - today, I'd prefer that I work out tomorrow, but when tomorrow comes, I'd prefer to wait to start til the next day. Thus, I need a commitment strategy to ensure that when tomorrow comes, I don't engage in this behavior.

Thus, I hereby pledge:

For any week in which I exercise on 4 or more days, I don't have to do anything.

If I only exercise on 3 days, I have to donate $2 to the Democratic National Convention and $2 to the Republican National Convention

If I only exercise on 2 days, I have to donate $3 to the DNC and $3 to the RNC

If I only exercise on 1 day, I have to donate $4 to the DNC and $4 to the RNC

If I don't exercise, I have to donate $5 to the DNC and $5 to the RNC

Exceptions for when I'm sick (in which case, I have to exercise on over 50% of the days I'm healthy). I am able to self-monitor on what qualifies as exercise, I've never had trouble with that - it's the act of starting that I am bad at.

This will be administered by my brother at a reasonable interval - once a month or once a quarter or something like that. I hope you will all help hold me accountable.

EDIT: I noticed a small incentive issue - there's no incentive to work out more than 4 times a week! So here's the tweak, approved by others: If I work out more than 4 times a week, each additional time beyond 4 I get to "bank". In any week I don't work out 4 times, I can burn a single "banked" day to reduce my obligation by half the difference between the punishment I deserve and the punishment I'd deserve if I had done one more day of exercise. I can burn 1 banked day a week.

That way,
-It's impossible for me to ever get away with less than 4 days a week without some penalty that will really annoy me because of who's receiving it.
-I have an incentive to go beyond 4 days.
-No banked day counts enough to offset a full day later on.