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What if You Got Paid to Make Healthy Choices?

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What if You Got Paid to Make Healthy Choices?
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Whether it's working out, homework, eating healthy, or housework, everyone has something they have a hard time motivating themselves to do, especially when the latest episode of Hoarders is sitting in your Hulu queue. (Although that right there might be motivation enough to clean out that closet you've been meaning to get to since last winter.) There are many different ways to get inspired, but what if someone offered you cold, hard cash to knock things off your to-do list? A new website, DailyFeats.com, is doing just that.

Here's how it works: you check-in every time you accomplish a daily feat—usually something that people don't naturally want to do like "!running," "!eatyourgreens," or "!talkingtoakid" (with four chatty kids, I'm going to be a millionaire!)—and then you get points for each feat you accomplish. You can set up your list on the site and then go there or use your smartphone to mark it as completed. Feats are worth anywhere from 1 point (!hugsomeone) to 50 points (!climbamountain). To earn more points, you can sign up for challenges like GetFit, where you complete a certain list of feats including lifting weights and trying Pilates. If you complete the entire list before the month is up, you get a 75-point bonus.

And then you go shopping! You can use your points to buy real-world stuff. For instance, 3,000 points gets you a $10 gift card to Amazon, Home Depot, Starbucks, or Gaiam among others! Not bad for stuff you're supposed to be doing anyhow, right? Even better, DailyFeats gives you the option of donating your points or money to a charity or gifting them to a loved one. I get a nudge to switch my laundryand I get to do something nice for someone else? Love it.

Researchers agree that money can be an effective motivator to adopt healthy habits. "The goal is to design a reward system in a way to help people in the short term do what's in their long-term best interest," says Dr. Kevin G. Volpp, an internist and health economist, in an interview with the New York Times.

So when you're thinking about skipping the gym tonight because you're just not feeling it, consider this: By lifting those weights, you can get that new yoga mat you've been eyeing! Or those new closet organization supplies; we're not judging.

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