The Fit Bit Motivation Strategy – Make Data Meaningful

It’s no surprise that exercise monitor wristbands (Fit Bits) have become so popular; they encourage us to get moving, and we all know that exercising is good for our health.  But using the device demonstrates a principle of behavior change that is relevant to many other areas of success in life.  The key to creating motivation to change any behavior is real time feedback on performance.

That’s where data comes in.  My new device tracks all sorts of processes:  current pulse rate, average resting heart rate, sleep patterns, etc.  All this data could be demotivating – too confusing, complicated, and overwhelming – but it isn’t!

Here’s how my Fit Bit makes the data motivating:  It creates meaningful categories of information, which come to me as “just-in-time” feedback.

So I’m chugging along and my heart rate is 131, which means nothing to me. But then I see that the little blue-heart-smiley-1F499 on my wrist changes when I hit 132, indicating that I have “graduated” to the all-important Cardio Zone, the highest fitness level.  And I instantly start moving faster than I had a moment before I got the meaningful feedback.  No internal debate, just adrenaline and action.

So if you are in the business of providing performance feedback to your staff or others, ask yourself if you have found ways to create “just-in-time,” meaningful information that your colleague can use.

With respect and a positive attitude, you could be the  blue-heart-smiley-1F499 in the Cardio Zone for them, so they see their progress and get a boost of energy.