Friday, February 25, 2011

HealthMonth: Good Peer Pressure

I'm up at 8:15 AM, and I'm blaming a combination of HealthMonth and Forrest.

Forrest has requested that, if I wake up before him, I should get out of bed rather than read in bed. Apparently he subconsciously notices some change when I'm reading rather than sleeping, and it eventually wakes him up. So there's that force.

Then the other force: HealthMonth. Ben introduced me to this website last month. It seemed more or less like any of the other social goal sites, nothing really special. Except that I had zero friends using any of the other sites out there, whereas Ben said he'd actually be using HealthMonth. I figured the social pressure might be helpful for motivation, so I signed up.

Now that February is almost done, I can honestly say I'm surprised by how much HealthMonth has been helpful. I've exercised more, eaten less, written more, and put more effort into studying German than I had in January.

I lose a point for each of my "rules" that I miss each day — which you wouldn't think would be a strong motivator, since those points don't mean anything except I "lose" the month if I run out of points. But just that simple gamification has made me tell myself, on more than one occasion, "c'mon, better walk today, or you'll lose a point for your exercise rule."

Strange psychology.

But anyway, the getting up early thing. Next month, I'm adding a new rule: get up before 10 AM at least 5 days a week. Forrest and I have slipped into the get-to-work-at-noon thing again, and while I love sleeping in, I do feel "lazy" for starting the day so late (even when I work the same amount as my coworkers, just on a shifted schedule). So I want to try getting up just a little earlier, more consistently, in the hopes that it has feel-good-about-myself benefits.

So when I woke up this morning and looked at my phone to check the time, I actually did think about next month's rule and decided to get up for "practice." How weird is that? Strange psychology, I tell you.