I realized from last week’s project that I needed to get my idea to be even simpler. I went from trying to get my mother to take Omega 3’s and walk and meditate, to get a few friends just tracking their exercise. I added myself to this as it’s something I’ve been tracking the last few weeks. At first I just started with 1 friend. I didn’t mention that this was for class, but instead it just became something that we decided to do together to motivate each other. In the beginning, it was much more complex. I made a spreadsheet where we were supposed to write whether we had exercised that day, what we had eaten, how many glasses of water we drank. The motivation was high for her, mainly because she was ready to make the change, but also because I was part of it too. I thought the ability was low; she checked her emails everyday and Google spreadsheets was only a click away. Or so I thought. After a few days, she was not tracking as regularly, even as I gave her sms triggers. When I asked her why, she said that although it probably didn’t take that long to fill it out, it still felt like a lot of work. She was right. I remembered from my own experiences the number of times I’ve got on to livestrong/daily plate and other food tracking services only to stop because it was so cumbersome to keep entering everything I ate, no matter how much they tried to keep simplifying it.
I’ve now changed it to just exercise tracking. I also added 3 more friends to it. Although the sms trigger seems to work well, I’m counting on people to be on their computers or have google spreadsheet access on their mobiles when I send that trigger. I feel that this is still not as low ability as it can be.
I also realize that I need some positive reinforcements. I feel like the spreadsheet system where people can see others’ entry acts as a positive and negative reinforcement automatically (for eg, realizing that others are tracking regularly while im not, or even that others are exercising regularly and I’m only doing so sporadically has been very powerful)