Maybe the following is familiar: You read about this internet of things thing. You see these smart and good looking people talking about these new health tracking devices. You get one of these devices, and you are super excited, as with all new gadgets. You start moving, even working out, you start tracking yourself.
But after a few days, yepp, there is a new gadget on the block. Your Fitbit is not so shiny anymore. Maybe you still track your results, but guess what, you don't like the numbers you see. You don't hit your 10.000 steps. You don't loose weight. This doesn't feel good. But your subconscious has an easy solution. Don't look on the stats. Or even easier, don't recharge your Fitbit. Problem solved.
And these are my stats.
I gained several kilos over the years. Tracking alone changes obviously nothing.
A typical month. Some activity on the weekends, but no action during the work week.
I bought the Fitbit stuff for a reason two years ago. And as you see on my stats there are good reasons to change my lifestyle, my behavior.
But technology alone can't solve my problem. In the end it's me. I have to shut up, and move. Simple.
The Process to Behavior Change
I have to change my behavior. I have to find the reason why I am failing for such a long time. BJ Fogg, professor at the Stanford University, developed this simple Behavior Model : Behavior = Motivation + Ability + Trigger
"The Model shows that three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur: Motivation, Ability, and Trigger. When a behavior does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing."
The ability is basically there. I am quite healthy, I could run, or do any other sports. Time shouldn't be an issue. Everybody, even the President of the United States, has enough time to do a daily workout.
The motivation seems to be obvious, if you look on my weight. But we all know this fight with your own "willpower". If unplanned things happen in your life, if you have stress at work, it's easy to use it as excuse to not do your workout. So I have to anticipate this moments, keep my motivation high.
The trigger will be before and/or after work. A little bit harder and more complicated will be changing my nutrition habits and finding therefore the right triggers. Starting with a complex diet parallel with starting a workout habit could be too much. I keep it simple and do one thing: No sweets. Means no sugar drinks, afternoon cake, chocolate or desserts. I will compensate these moments with a sugar free tea or coffee.
My Fitbit could be a great trigger and help with my motivation, but only if there is progress. If not, it could demotivate me. So I have to be prepared, that I won't reach my goals every day and realize that it is much more important to keep going. Think long term and never stop!
The biggest challenge for me is keeping the motivation. I prioritize my short term "urgent" to dos over my longterm goals and my health. That's why I do this kind of "public project". Committing myself in the public. To be honest, I am a chicken. I am not writing here under my real name, but even if some readers like you, which I personally don't know, think that I am a looser, it would hurt. The game is on!
So here is the plan: Longterm: I want to get to 85kg. My body height is 1.84m so that's the level of my ideal weight. Shortterm: Get to 10.000 steps everyday! Do a workout 6 days a week.
Timeframe: This year!
Doing a quick calculation: About 40 weeks to go. About 20kg to loose, means 0,5kg a week. That's a realistic goal.
In the next days I will publish some research for my training plans as well as my activity and weight stats. Hopefully I can write about some lessons learned. Feel free to follow my fake account on Twitter and kick my ass. Thank you for encouraging my behavior!
A project by:
Hal Incandenza (6)
Bio: Fighting the Fitbit Stats
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