Aldi was doing my head in. It was only two dollars but come hell or high water, I was getting it back. Have you even noticed the trolley bay at an Aldi supermarket? It’s chock-a-block full – trolleys always at the ready. Contrast to say, a Coles supermarket, whose trolley bay is always, you guessed it, half empty. Aldi has this system whereby you insert a $1 or $2-dollar coin in the trolley handle ‘lock and key’ mechanism to break it free from the trolley in front. The coin stays in the trolley handle bar until you return it to the bay and your money is refunded. It’s an ingenious way of ensuring the supermarket car park is not littered with random trolleys. Inevitably the trolley is always returned…why? because you want your money back…even if it is only $2 measly bucks! By investing UPFRONT you’re sufficiently motivated to carry out your part of the contract by returning the trolley…break the contract and you lose your cash. This is why a Coles trolley ends up in the local creek – there’s no upfront contract, and therefore no motivation in returning it – in fact Coles employ staff to collect your trolley and take it back for you…

When it comes to our health we can learn a lot from Aldi’s strategy. Here are some ways to ‘upfront’ your behaviour to help you follow through on your health promises:

• Upfront gym fees – pay six months in advance – better still, a year
• Tell people upfront that you’re eating healthier and that you’ve begun exercising – I guarantee you’ll think twice about backing out to save face
• Pay a photographer upfront – after six months of exercising and eating well you’ll have a nice ‘before/after’ photo portfolio
• Buy clothes a size smaller upfront – always a good motivator
• Enter a fun run, triathlon or ride upfront and then begin training – you’ll know on competition day whether you’ve done enough work

There’s many other ways, but whatever you choose feel the power of investing upfront and locking in your commitment to be healthier. I guarantee your payoff will be more than a few bucks.