Machination Log Accountability Team
It's time for you to experiment with loading up a new habit. It was actually time to do this last year, but starting it up now is the best we can do. That's why we're putting this little game together.
Sign up is closed as of July 5!
In a nutshell
You may have up to three daily goals. Decide on goals at the beginning. You're going to adhere to these goals for the month, because the rest of us will be tracking your progress with you. Worse, you'll suffer the consequences if you lose.
Pick between one and three habits you'd like track, and pick a frequency between daily and weekly for each of them individually. For example, you might pick "sleep for 8 hours each day" or "go to gym on M, W, F". You're going to keep this up for the entire month.
Pick consequences to suffer if you lose. They should be meaningful. See guidelines below. Pick a reward to indulge in if you win. Dream big.
Decide on a difficulty level
- Baby: I lose if I fail on more than 7 days Baby mode is not allowed
- Normal: I lose if I fail two days in a row OR if I fail on more than 5 days
- Glorious: I lose if I fail two days in a row OR if I fail on more than 3 days
- Supreme: I lose if I fail more than once
- Insane: I lose if I fail at all
You decided to track three goals: sleep for 8 hours, write 500 words, and work out. Today is a break day from the gym, so goal #3 "work out" does not apply. The other two do.
If you sleep for 7.5 hours and write 500 words, your spreadsheet entry is [0, 1, n/a]. You have failed today because of the 0. The n/a has no effect, but it doesn't matter because you already failed on the goal "sleep for 8 hours".
If you sleep for 8 hours and write 500 words, you get: [1, 1, n/a]. Congratulations, you have succeeded. Again, the n/a has no effect.
Winning the game
You win if you make it to the end of the month without losing. The results of the other players has no effect on whether you personally win or lose.
Only use measurable goals that you can control. For example, your goal cannot be "start each day with positivity" because you don't have full control over your feelings, and this does not have a measurement defined. Alternatives include "write for 10 minutes about what I am grateful for", "meditate for 5 minutes," or "take a walk around the parking lot".
The goal "make three sales" is also ill-advised even though it is measurable. That's because you might do everything necessary to get the sales but miss them anyway. Instead, we might suggest "make 15 cold calls", or "shake 3 hands". Focus on process goals instead of result goals. If the process is right, results should follow.
Setting consequences and rewards
The bar is set relatively low when it comes to setting the habits themselves -- those should be easy. Here's where we're setting the bar up high. The consequences that you set for yourself need to be meaningful. Every time that you consider failure to be an option, you must recognize that technically this is correct, but given the consequences you've set for yourself it would be a very bad idea to fail. If you get a sinking feeling in your gut at some point when writing out the consequences, you're on the right track. If you are too afraid to set heavy consequences for yourself for failing, you might want to reconsider whether or not you are prepared to join this challenge.
We believe that consequences are most effective for helping to encourage you to make changes (that's what has worked for Corey). That said, rewards can be a powerful motivator as well. You should also pick a reward that you will get to enjoy if you win.
You need to aim relatively low when setting the bar for yourself in order to ensure success. This challenge isn't about reaching for the stars right away. Instead, it's about establishing good habits to take into the next month and continuing to build from there. It's about testing to see whether the habit you are considering engaging in is worth continuing with, and generally speaking you need at least a month of data to make that call.
You should consider a failure day to be a disaster. It is unacceptable to fail at tracking the goals that you set for yourself, especially when you consider that you narrowed it down to three or fewer. And if a single failed day is a disaster, then two in a row is intolerable. That's why we have canceled the “Baby mode” difficulty.
If you have two failed days in a row, you will suffer the consequences that you set for yourself. Inflict the consequences on yourself and record the event (by taking a picture, for example), and then share the evidence with the group. You are now out of the game and will have to rejoin the next time that we run it.