Fitango: Get Skinny Because Other People Tell You To

If there’s one problem with any fitness, wellness, musical instrument training, or spiritual regimen, it’s backsliding. Not every rebirth and renewal can be like the boat repair scene in Summer Rental where John Candy and his kids help get Scully’s boat seaworthy in time for the big race against the nasty Mr. Pellet while 80s music plays in syncopation with their on-screen antics. Real life doesn’t work like a Carl Reiner picture, and that’s a problem.

To solve it, we have Fitango, a fairly unique take on the old “I’ll pay you to make me do something” transaction popular with personal trainers and the one dude who puts up fliers all over town advertising guitar lessons (there’s one in every town). Fitango allows you to buy life plans for yourself including scheduled work-outs, music lesson plans, and language training. You perform one task per day – “Play Banjo for an hour,” for example – and then rate how you felt afterwards. This feedback loop is further reinforced by reminders and the fact that you actually pay for some of these. Things you pay for, you see, you tend to use.

The services offers a number of exciting plans including a 17 day detox plan that presumably forces you to bury yourself in Utah caves for all eternity and a 52 week wine tasting plan that I feel I could potentially get behind. Some of the plans are free and some cost between $1.99 and $5.99.

The main thrust of the site is the breakdown of various difficult tasks into easily manageable sub-tasks and if you’re thinking of doing a half-marathon or planning on becoming a vegan, this could be a considerable help. The site is pretty dead right now and the focus seems to be on health, although I could definitely see this as being useful for more intellectually rigorous endeavors including programming lessons and learning to draw. The framework seems to be there, but the content is a little lacking.

The site is hitting about 50,000 users monthly and they are currently working on a mobile app that will bring your plans to your smartphone. You can check it out here.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to my 36-year “Becoming Abhorrently Lazy and Grotesquely Obese” plan.