When you start to track your health behaviors using technology, its smart to keep two adages in mind:
First: It takes a village.
And: You are the company you keep.
If you are tracking your health behaviors and measurements using technology, leveraging your virtual social networks can motivate and hold you accountable to your goals. Here's how to make sure your friends and family support your health journey with technology:
1) Find your biggest fans.
Not everyone needs to be let "in" to your health tracking process. It's okay if the person you'd name your best friend isn't really the best fit to be part of your health journey. Sometimes, finding just a few close supporters to share your progress with is enough to envigorate your tracking. Who these individuals are may surprise you. Pause for a moment and think of a time you made a change to your self-care routine, even small. Who partook in that success story? Now, consider what you are working on right now. Diet? Remembering to take your medications? Once you have your current goal in mind, consider anyone who motivates you or just seems to get it when it comes to your change area. For most of us, this thought experiment immediately conjures up images of our rockstar Health Care Team and a few personal Friends & Family. Using a mobile app that includes sharing abilities to manage both of these important groups of people is a real game-changer. Here's an example of how Twine allows you to manage your personal supporters side-by-side with your health care team. Here, Barbara Smith, Fiona's daughter, just got invited into her Twine Care Team. Now Barbara gets weekly report cards to help communicate with and support her Mom as she works with her Coaches.
2) Decide which health habits could use more social support.
3) Define what kind of help you want when you're off track.
Part of learning is commiting to practice. This means that you won't be perfect - and that's okay!Before inviting your friends and family to view your progress, take a moment to let them know why you are inviting them to participate in your healthy journey, as well as what kinds of support would be meaningful to you along the way. Saying things like "Just knowing you are watching my progress is enough for me! Thanks for being part of my team that I can call on when I need help." or "When you see me making progress, it would be awesome to hear from you - a kind word of support or 'How's it going?' if I'm off track." Your Friends & Family might not yet know what feels meaningful to you. Talking about how to respond to what they see is often a welcome message.
Once you've selected the technology you'd like to use and have talked with your friends and family about how they can be supportive, we imagine you'll have lots to celebrate together. Take time to notice your progress and who knows? Maybe you will wind up inspiring the people you love to follow you in your healthy footsteps!