My experience with Global Corporate Challenge and #100happydays

I want to share my experience with Global Corporate Challenge and #100happydays,

two social initiatives used to help modify habits.

I´m on day 98 of the Global Corporate Challenge and day 100 of my #100happydays and both have been a lot of fun to participate in and have left me with some thoughts I´d like to share. What made me want to share these thoughts was an article I read about an app that pays you to get healthier.  The app is called Pact and it´s supposed to help you achieve your goals of a healthier life by giving you cash if you do what you commit too. This got me thinking about the two challenges I am taking and if I would be doing any better if I was receiving financial stimuli. In my personal opinion financial incentives only work for a short period. You need an intrinsic motivation to keep your commitments.

From my experience with the Global Corporate ChallengeI´ve seen that it was fun for me because I already exercise global corporate challengeas part of my daily activities and not that I have acquired the habit because of the GCC. I´m a runner so counting the number of steps I take daily was fun and it helped to get me going to my training sessions when the alarm clock rang at 4.50 am. The truth is that counting steps and competing with others in the Global Corporate Challenge was fun and made me start using stairs instead of the elevator to my house which is 7 stories up and down every day. But I admit I´m not going to use the stairs everyday now that the GCC is over, especially because I already exercise. My intrinsic motivation has to do with how I feel when I run and when I don´t. I run because it drives the crazy out of me, it helps me reach a mental state I don´t know how to reach any other way. Running is part of who I am.

From my personal experience I think that people who do not exercise regularly can find challenges like the GCC fun for a while but they end up getting tired and quitting. I saw this happening to several of the members of the GCC.  When you see the results of steps in many groups you see they started moving a little, and after the first month they remained the same. People got tired; many groups stopped registering their daily steps. I have a friend from a different company who told me he got tired after the first three weeks. He even stopped carrying the Pulse.

My conclusion is that unless you already have the habit and discipline, a game is not going to change the way you feel towards exercise. You need something stronger than just an extrinsic motivation. You need to really have the desire to have a healthier life and not just knowing that you should have a healthier life.

The #100happydays was different. It doesn´t give you any rewards and nothing happens if you don´t 100happydayspost a happy day but it made me conscientiousof little things in my daily life that are constantly making me happy. Going through my pictures of #100happydays I can easily see that my family and my cats are big of my happiness. Waking up next to my cats, seeing them when I get home after work or just spending my weekend with them makes me happy and these little things are the ones that count and sometimes we take for granted. I was also able to notice that running is one of my happiest moments of the day. Probably I already knew about these, but having to remember to take a picture for my #100happydays made me more aware of small things that surround me.

On the website it says that 71% of the people who tried to complete the challenge failed. I think even though they claim a lack of time as the reason not to continue, the real reason is they are not happy therefore finding something each day that makes them happy is time consuming and hard work. So like for exercise, unless there is something deep in your soul that makes you want to do something you are not going to achieve it moved by extrinsic stimulation. Maybe money is a strong motivator but in my opinion it only lasts for a while. At the end either you find that within you had a real reason to commit or you end up quitting.

Since today is #day100 of my #100happyday project I want to find the real happy moment of the day. All my attention is out there looking for little things that make me happy. Since I woke up until now I already had several happy moments but I´ll wait till the end of the day to decide which one is the one I want to share. You can check my profile on instagram to see what my #day100 picture is 🙂

What I´m going to do after these two challenges are over is pay close attention to my behavior to see if I´m taking more steps that I used to before starting the GCC (like keep using the stairs even though I think I´m not) and keep my eyes open for all those happy moments to see which other small things I find that make my life happy.

What about you? Do you think money can change habits?

Social media and patient empowerment

Social media and patient empowerment


Social media has become an extraordinary tool for patient empowerment. By now patients know they can use the internet and social media to get involved with their health and they are getting more benefits out of it every day.

Social media and patient empowerment is not something from the future, it is the present! Physicians and patient care givers who don´t see it are missing a big opportunity. The time has come for all stakeholders in the health sector to adapt. This does not mean just open Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts that give out information without interacting with patients and their loved ones. It means engaging with patients, families, other physicians and care givers. It means offering helpful information that promotes patient empowerment. It means giving patients the necessary tools so they can take their health in their own hands and feel part of a team who´s caring for them.

Although everyday more physicians, clinics, hospitals and other care givers are entering the social web so they can share with their patients, there are a lot that are still falling behind. Change takes time, and we need to keep that in mind, but it is important that it doesn´t take forever. Specially because technology advances so fast that who ever doesn´t take the leap now is probably going to be left behind to what the future in health care is promising.

The future in health care is pointing to a world were we know our selves in such a conscious way thanks to different apps, wearable devices, and monitors that the role of physicians needs to be redesigned. The quantified self movement is growing everyday, bringing new devices to help with self tracking and also sharing new experiences and results of how empowering your own health can change your doctors visits. Social media lets regular people find this results and experiences and gives them a chance to share this information with their care givers thus changing attitudes from passive patients to empowered ones. This is a clear example of social media and patient empowerment.

We still have a long way to go before we can enjoy all the advantages of patient empowerment but we are on the right track with social media. We need to remember that it is easy to get lost in the immense world that the web has to offer. This is why physicians, care givers and patients need to work together so as to remind each other that an excellent health and well being is where we are all headed thanks to social media and patient empowerment.