Some of us do better pursuing goals when we make a public vow, backed up with cash, to our coworkers to lose 10 pounds, to our spouse that the garage will be cleaned out by the end of the month. Those who are inspired by putting their money where their mouth is might be interested in stickK.com.
The site, started by three Yale economists, offers an online equivalent to a bar bet. You sign up, register your vow, and place money on the reaching of that goal. You also name a person as your referee, who must acknowledge the completion of your vow.
stickK.com takes the amount of your commitment from your credit card immediately. From there, only two things can happen to your cash; you reach your goal, and the money is returned to you, or you fail. If you fail, the money will go to either a recipient you've chosen beforehand or a charity on the site's list of worthy charities.