Less Talk, More Do: How Personal Growth and Technology Can Play Together

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, Mykl Roventine

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, Mykl Roventine

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MacLain Christie, COO of Self Spark

This is a contributed blog post from MacLain Christie, COO of Self Spark. Self Spark is a lifehacking lab on a mission to create a healthier, happier, and more effective world.

Christie is a strategist and builder for high-impact projects. You can learn more about MacLain at http://www.maclainchristie.com/, and more about Self Spark and Spark Weekend San Francisco at sparkweekend.com


Stop for a second and think about the areas of your life you want to improve but haven’t. Maybe you’re still not getting enough sleep, your social life could use a boost, or you just can’t stick to the optimized lifestyle you want. Why is this?

Behavior change is really hard, especially when braving it alone. As humans, we’ve evolved to like shiny objects and caramel macchiatos. Even though we know what is good for us, our inner animal is a hard beast to tame. Fortunately, we can look to the blossoming world of behavior change technologies to make life changes a little (or a lot) easier.

Let’s take a look at some examples.

5 Examples of How Personal Growth and Technology Can Play Together

1. Eat healthy or lose money

Mary has a thing for dark chocolate. Personally, I have nothing against dark chocolate, (especially 80% and up), but in Mary’s case, she was eating chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plagued by chronic stomach aches, Mary pledges to add at least 3 daily servings of vegetables to her chocolate diet. She needs a way to increase her chance of success.

Technology to check out: Beeminder – a service that takes your money if you don’t hit your goals.

2. Fix your posture at work

Nick is a computer programmer who spends over 8 hours a day sitting in front of a computer. He has yet to catch on to the standing desk movement and unfortunately suffers from lower back pain. He needs something to help him maintain better posture. Lumo Lift is a wearable device that will detect when Nick is slouching and give him a gentle buzz to remind him to straighten up.

Technology to check out: Lumo Lift – a wearable device that helps you maintain good posture throughout the day.

3. Track calories with ease by using Meal Snap

James just started a new strength building program to prepare for a race at the end of the year. To build muscle as quickly as possible, he needs to increase the calories in his daily diet. In the past, James has tried and failed to consistently track his calories. Logging the data manually for every meal is time consuming and a hassle. Instead, James uses Meal Snap to estimate his calorie intake with the snap of a photo.

Technology to check out: Meal Snap – an app that let’s you take a picture of your meal, and then automagically estimates the calories.

4. Reach goals with instant coaching

Annie is sleeping well and exercising each day. But she finds herself unable to stick to the 30 day nutritional plan she’s experimenting with. She needs someone to keep her accountable and help her get past the behavior change blocks she’s faced when it comes to food. After scheduling a before and after blood panel from WellnessFX to track changes, Annie signs up for 30 days of instant nutrition coaching from Coach.me.

Technology to check out: Coach.me – Instant coaching for any goal.

5. Take a fitness class wherever you are

One of the biggest behavior change hacks is to remove the barriers to performing the behavior. Think about the common barriers to hitting the gym. You have to schedule a time in your day, change clothes, motivate yourself to travel the distance, shower, then travel home. For Jodie, just the thought of changing into her gym shoes is enough of a block to prevent her from consistently hitting the gym. FitStar dramatically diminishes these barriers by allowing Jodie to take a fitness class wherever she is. As a bonus, it’s smart enough to evolve the workouts to match her goals.

Technology: Fitstar – Yoga and personal training apps for a workout wherever you are.

These technology considerations come from the mind of MacLain and are not official Self Spark recommendations. Remember that with any personal growth technology, it’s suggested that you experiment on your own and determine what solutions work best for you.

sparkAre you in the Bay Area and want to upgrade your life? Join 200 like-minded people at Spark Weekend, the only event that pays you to reach your goals. At Spark Weekend you’ll integrate effective tools and technologies toward greater productivity, better rest, less stress, healthier bodies, and stronger, more focused minds. Stick to your goals for 30, 60, and 90 days following the event and you can earn up to 100% of your ticket back.

Reserve your spot today.

How WellnessFX Can Help

Informed decisions start with being informed. WellnessFX helps you visualize your biological health so you can easily make improvements through diet and lifestyle tweaks – perfect for

Spark Weekend participants looking to make some change and improvements in their life.

If you’re planning to attend Spark Weekend San Francisco, we’re excited to offer attendees a 15% off your initial blood draw, to help you on your journey. You’ll receive the code on the day of – so be on the lookout!

Grab your tickets, see what it’s all about. WellnessFX’s Courtney Pong will be attending as well, tweet her if you want to sync up while you’re there!

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.