TL;DR This is yet another way to fight procrastination.
We're also going to charge you $5 every time you fail, because it works better than shame alone (but if it turns out that it doesn't work for you, we'll figure out something else together). After a bunch of completed goals your life will probably become more interesting and you'll stop needing us – or at least we hope so.
Oh, and it costs $1 per day. If after the first month you feel that your life hasn't improved enough to justify the $30 you spent, we'll give them back – plus an extra $30 to make up for the disappointment. (Yep, it's a marketing trick, but it's also a win-win marketing trick so it should be fine.)
Big goals like “learn a new programming language and find a job”, “learn to play guitar” or “finish that project I started a year ago”, because it's very easy to give up on those or make very slow progress. Hiring a tutor or going to a school usually helps, but not always.
(This said, if you have money and you really really want to pick up some particular skill, a bootcamp / tutor / something would likely be better than Nudge. On the other hand, if you've been procrastinating on finding a tutor for a year, then Nudge becomes useful again.)
Small goals like “read books more often”, “learn basics of Git” or “set up backups”. It's pretty easy to fit them into your day, but for some reason that doesn't happen (while Reddit, Facebook and Hacker News do happen). “Don't let emails sit unanswered for weeks” and “merge that darned pull request” are in the same category.
Ideally, it should be possible to break a goal into small steps that we would be able to nag you about until you do them. So, “I want to make my life better” wouldn't be a particularly good goal (though you can write anyway and we would try to help you with that).
If you want to modify the process, just say so! Maybe you want to implement a more complex rule like “I need to do at least one of A, B or C today, but if I have an emergency at work then I don't have to”, or maybe you simply need to be poked several times per day instead of once – if you think that something will work better for you, there's no reason not to try it.
(Keep in mind, though, that we can't really do life coaching or therapy for $1/day, so if – for instance – you feel demotivated and ask for advice, the most we'll be able to do is chat with you for several minutes or send you cat pictures.)
You can try Beeminder instead. It's almost completely automatic, has nice-looking progress graphs, and doesn't cost anything if you stay on track for your goals.
There is also Complice, which is closer to Nudge but there are no humans who track your progress (and no motivating penalties). It costs $12 per month.
Send an email at email@example.com, or write Artyom (but we're going to have more-official-looking messenger accounts Real Soon):