A commitment device is a way of proactively locking yourself to a particular course of action1.
It’s something you put in place now, so you will act the way you want to later.
Here are some examples:
- Cutting up your credit cards to avoid mindless spending.
- Getting a long-term gym membership to work out regularly.
- Putting your alarm clock across the room to get up on time.
- Buying unhealthy snacks in small packages to avoid binging.
- Installing a website blocker to avoid procrastinating at work.
A well-chosen commitment device can be incredibly effective.
So, whenever you’re struggling to maintain a desired behavior, think about how to lock yourself into it.