The honeymoon with 2017 is rapidly slipping away and as February takes a strong foothold, our health & fitness plans, ideas & goals take a more forgotten backseat.
The recent surge in electronic fitness trackers can only be classed as a fantastic thing as it has engaged a percentage of the population that would’ve otherwise remained untouched. Whether it be steps taken, calories burned, average heart rate or quality of sleep, these devices have us engaged with health & fitness in a way that has never really been seen, outside of specific athletic programming. They have given the masses power, and with that power inevitably should come results.
However, I think it is important to drill down on what these fitness trackers represent in order for us to potentially create a device that is custom-built to your goals, targeted specifically to your needs and costs you absolutely nothing.
When the typical question of “what is it you are looking to achieve” is thrown out during a pre exercise consultation the answers that come back are quite typical and range from, “I want to lose X amount of weight”, “I want to look better in my clothes”, or the classic “I just want to tone this up” whilst simultaneously grabbing, wobbling or shaking some form of floppy body part.
All of these could be classed as stereotypical ‘ motivators’ (see our post: Motivation vs Discipline – Stacking the deck to win! if you want that blowing out of the water), however clothes or wobbly body parts are things that would be conceivably impossible to quantify using a fitness tracker.
So when did the switch happen. When did the large percentage stop concerning themselves with physical appearance and become more interested in the amount of steps taken each day and their average resting heart rate.
I personally do not believe this has happened, yet I still believe there has been a phenomenal psyche shift and that shift is for the better.
Technological leaps forward and our craving for more cool gadgets has effectively driven our mindsets backwards. Backwards to a time when it was acceptable to be competitive. With political correctness and equality as it is we seldom pit ourselves against another, unless we are involved in some form of competitive sport. I don’t know many people who would challenge a friend or fellow gym member to see who could complete 2000m fastest on the rower or who could complete 100 thrusters in the quickest time. Not because they wouldn’t want to, but because it just isn’t classed as an acceptable thing to do. Quite simply “It just isn’t good sport”.
Now we have people actively taking a longer foot route or opting for stairs over elevators purely because it will see their ‘steps taken’ count rise above a friends. Many people are engaged in an online war or battle through an app which, for what is probably the first time, seen them stop obsessing on a ridiculous goal such as achieving their ‘ideal weight’, for something that is going to have at least a chunk of longevity which is COMPETITION.
I could spend hours picking apart why competition can bring out the best in us, however I want to discuss something which I feel runs parallel with competition and I would argue actually has more leverage, thus the ability to give us a much bigger ROI, and is the underlying creation of the new trackers.
What I would argue that these gadgets have given us more than anything else is Accountability. Accountability is potentially the biggest bargaining chip we have when it comes to accomplishing goals, achieving results and staying on track. For many, including myself, the difficulty of getting my arse in gear to complete a workout is far easier than saying to a friend that “I didn’t even attempt it”. The immediate humiliation of basically saying that I was just lazy comes with repercussions that I am ultimately not willing to live with.
So how do we create accountability in our lives without a space age wrist band, computer programme or knight rider watch. Below are what Rebecca & I see as the 3 key steps to guaranteeing your results.
- Create a plan that is achievable but also going to create the result you desire. For tips on this see our post on Goal Setting 101
- Announce it to the world. With the power of social media it is easy to let everybody & anybody know what you are planning. Your entire legion of Facebook friends will be a lot less forgiving when you fall off the rails than your best friend whose M O is helping you justify your failure with a banquet of wine & chocolate.
- Have a plan to back up your announcement. It’s ok telling the cyber world of your latest health & fitness assault but if you want to have some accountability you must create it. Your status update informing all of your new objective will be easily forgotten so if it’s a new nutrition plan you’re implementing, get those food pics online REGULAR. If it’s committing to certain days exercise make sure you post. You may not receive a billion likes but after a few weeks your posts will be expected. When they stop showing up people will know that you’ve fallen off.
All these are things that we do on a regular basis. On the days that I don’t feel like getting up at 4am I know that someone will enjoy saying, “sleep in this morning bro ?” For me that leaves absolutely no option but to get up and get moving. The picture on this post is our friend Ellen & myself after completing a 400 thruster tag team in under 18 mins. A workout that solo would be easy to walk away from incomplete but when you don’t want to let your pal down and you are both accountable for the outcome you push through. Plus you get to share an ice bath!
Rebecca & I would love it if you would let us help you achieve your goals. Post your plans, whether they be an upcoming 5km race or a long-term health & wellness plan on our Facebook page. Post your daily pictures and let us encourage you to stay on track.
You can find all of our social links at the bottom of this page so feel free to connect with us however you prefer. We post our habits daily and encourage you to do the same. It is a lot easier staying on track when you are playing the game with like-minded people.