Recently a friend sent me a link to According to the website, StickK is a method for setting and achieving goals developed by Yale economists. You make a commitment contract (for exercise, weight loss, writing, or just about any other goal) and if you don’t meet your goal, you donate a sum of money you designate to a cause of your choice.

It got me thinking about my work-in-progress and the snail’s pace at which it is progressing. In my defense, I’ve been really trying to work for an hour every day. When I miss, it’s usually due to issues related to my disabled husband, the kids or the house. (It is NOT a good thing when you are on a first-name basis with your plumbing and heating guys.) But there are days when I’m tired and the words don’t come.

Although it sounds like StickK works for a lot of people, I’m not sure it would be right for me. I already have a tendency to beat myself up, so maybe I don’t need a program like that to do it to me.

One thing I have learned helps my productivity is seeing my progress visually. When I participated in National Novel Writing Month a few years ago, I loved logging my daily wordcount and watching the graph update. So this week, I decided to look for something similar. Here’s my progress bar from

Click to view daily statistics

Unfortunately, life intervened on Wednesday and Thursday and so I haven’t had the fun of updating my wordcount. As for today, a dear friend and I are taking a mental health day and going for what is probably our last hurrah of the season on the ski slopes.

Next week I will be productive. I promise!

How about you? What sort of motivation do you find works best?

Also, Heaven Sent is my working title, but I’m worried that it sounds too much like an inspirational romance. What do you think?