Data and the Development of Motivational Environments

Do you consider your time valuable? If you could be more effective in less time, would you do it?

As a health coach, working with clients can be very rewarding, but at times it can also be frustrating. It doesn’t matter how good your advice might be, if a client is not in a motivational state the chance for success is significantly depleted.

So what is a health professional to do? Spend more time, more money?  Continue with the “same-old-same-old”? Be tough and blame the lack of success on the client? Well, if you truly want to have an impact on those with whom you work, it is essential that you efficiently maximize your time and effectively foster a motivational environment for your clients. 

Creating Motivational Environments

So what is a motivational environment and how is it set up?  Basically, a motivational environment is any set of circumstances in which an individual becomes motivated to take action. How you create this atmosphere varies, but the key to success is individualization.

This sounds very time consuming and unrealistic, right? On the contrary, with the use of well-designed technology, health professionals can easily develop motivational environments on an individual basis with much less time and much more success.

Central to this success is the ease of use of any technology platform, both for the client, as well as for the health professional or health coach.

Leverage Consumer Health Tracking Technology

For example, adoption of health related apps and wearable technologies are growing significantly. Monitors that track heart rate, activity, intensity of activity, sleep, calories, etc. offer a passive collection of information that can be utilized in formulating a motivational environment.

Additionally, dietary information can be also included as long as the interface is intuitive and easy to use.

So how does this help? It helps through the use of data.  Specifically, patients and clients are able to get real-time data that provide a personal, health-related look at their current status. These data points let individuals know where they currently stand on parameters that are key to a healthy lifestyle.

Wearable monitors such as Fitbit Flex, Garmin Vivofit, Jawbone UP24, or Polar Loop are great sources of valuable information. The Nudge App uses data from passive monitors like these, and provides an easy-to-use platform for clients to input key additional lifestyle behaviors in just 30 seconds per day.

All of this information is utilized in a daily algorithm to calculate a 30-day composite lifestyle balance score to help clients stay consistently accountable over time.

This type of information develops a strong motivational environment that is very effective for instilling positive lifestyle habits.

Personalized Communication

And finally, adding a direct communication tool that lets a health coach provide timely feedback to clients gives us the last missing piece of the motivational puzzle.

Very few truly user-friendly internet-based platforms are available to allow quick review of individuals, as well as allow for immediate feedback to further strengthen the motivational setting (see more about the importance of communication here).

Nudge Coach is one such platform that is highly effective and efficient. It is a HIPAA-compliant, intuitively designed, simple platform that affords all the necessary tools to develop individualized motivational environments for each and every client in less time and with more efficiency.