It can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise—especially since you know you can always put it off until later.
But what if we could set up a situation where you would have to exercise?
- You purchase (1) a stationary bicycle and (2) a special type of heavy-duty safe (Figure 1).
- You then place an important object inside the safe (like your cell phone, wallet, or keys). This should be something that you’ll need soon (not like, a Ming vase).
- In order to open the safe, you have to pedal the bike at least (say) 20 miles. This is measured by a gear on the side of the safe.
Fig. 1: Even if you know the correct combination to the safe (right), the bike (left) absolutely must be pedaled a certain distance before the safe will open.
If you want to get your phone / keys / wallet, you’ll have to put in the required time on the exercise bike—there’s just no way around it!
Fig. 2: Example items that you might put into your pedaling-required-safe to motivate yourself.
The main benefit of this system is that it’s always easy for a person to say “I should exercise in the future” and lock their keys and wallet in the safe.
Then, even if their self-motivation wanes and they don’t feel like exercising later, they won’t be able to back out!
This system could be extended beyond just exercise bikes: perhaps the safe could be connected to a pull-up bar (“Do 10 pull-ups before this safe will open”), or to a page counter on a book (“Read 50 pages of this book before the safe will open.”)
Fig. 3: Schematic view of the safe. Maybe this image would be in the manual or something.
PROS: This idea will help promote exercise and increase self-discipline and civic virtue.
CONS: If there’s an emergency and you need to drive somewhere quickly, you’ll be out of luck!