I decided two months ago to participate in a street run only to put myself into action mode again. The last time I participated in one of such runs was about 9 years ago.
The trick worked: it broke the strong inertia that used to overcome my best intentions every time I thought of exercising again. I was worried about not finishing the run. Two months later I am on full exercise mode and have shed half of the pounds I wanted to. But the day came for the street run (today)… And it was cold and to add insult to injury I had a very bad night of sleep.
Remembering the sunk cost fallacy (thank you, behavioral economics!) I skipped the run. The sunk cost fallacy is the tendency to stick to previous commitments of time or money independently of current prospects of costs and benefits. Rationally, no one should stick to those commitment if, under current conditions, one would not decide in favor of performing the action (think with me: would you run in my conditions if you had not payed before for it?) .
However, what is important is this single point: The decoy worked.