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Stop Accidentally Making Losers

by Omar Ganai and Steven M. Ledbetter

“It is an invariable principle of all play, finite and infinite, that whoever plays, plays freely. Whoever must play, cannot play.” — James P. Carse, Finite and Infinite Games

Leaderboards have become a common behavior change design pattern. Originally included in video games, leaderboards have started to infiltrate “gamified” products such as…

  • Nike+ (by Nike Better World), a fitness wearable device, which motivates users to exercise more by competing against their friends for activity points.
  • Opower, an energy tracking platform, which motivate users to reduce their energy use by showing how much energy…


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Stop Scaring and Start Motivating

by Omar Ganai and Steven M. Ledbetter of Habitry

On March 19, 2016, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta received an alarming email that appeared to come from Google.

The email, however, wasn’t from Google. The message came from a group of hackers that security researchers — as well as the US government — believe were spies working for the Russian government. At the time, however, Podesta didn’t know any of this, and he clicked on the malicious link contained in the email, giving hackers access to his account. — Vice

Massive phishing scams, data breaches, and identify theft are…


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The Most Powerful Behavior Change Technology in History

By Omar Ganai & Steven M. Ledbetter of Habitry

And so it turned out that only a life similar to the life of those around us, merging with it without a ripple, is genuine life, and that an unshared happiness is not happiness…” — Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago

Humans evolved in small, cooperative groups. Language, reasoning, culture, morality, and everything else of what it means to be human, we create and absorb through interactions with the other humans around us. This is not optional; it’s survival. “An isolated human,” anthropologist Peter Farb notes, “is usually a dead human.”

Community is…


by Omar Ganai and Steven M. Ledbetter

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Imagine you’ve recently been to the doctor. You stepped on the scale and she told you that your health is in jeopardy. Now it’s official; you need to lose weight. You can’t afford a coach or a dietitian — plus you’re still pretty embarrassed that things have gotten this bad — but you still need help. So you download an app to help you count calories. You follow the instructions from the app and after two weeks, you’re happy with how easy counting calories has been. …


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An Introduction to Self-Determination Theory and its Practical Applications

By Omar Ganai & Steven M. Ledbetter of Habitry

“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Imagine you have a niece in second grade. She’s awesome, super-bright, but even though she loves to read, she’s falling a little behind her class. You want to help her, so you decide to motivate her to read more.

Now imagine you have a Roomba. It’s an awesome, super-cool Roomba, but it’s not learning how to clean hardwood floors. …


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By Steven M. Ledbetter & Omar Ganai of Habitry

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.” — Richard Feynman

In the 12th episode of The Simpsons 4th season, the citizens of Springfield get a cash windfall when Mr. Burns paid a $3 million fine for dumping nuclear waste in the city park. The citizens have a town meeting to decide what to do with the money. Maude Flanders suggests, “finally putting out that blaze on the East Side of Town,” but that’s rejected by the mob as, “boring.”…


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“I already know what I need to do. I just can’t make myself do it.”

Buried Treasure

Eat less. Move more. Put money aside every month for retirement. Practice the guitar. Learn a language. Do the taxes early. Make the bed. Write those thank you notes. Take the medications as prescribed. Do the physical therapy. Sign up for that Javascript class. Learn what the hell a “pivot table” is.

The world is full of the stuff we know we should do. That massive list of guilt inducing yet unappealing stuff in a modern life. Some of these things are complicated and fraught…


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Health and fitness coaching will mostly be handled by artificial intelligence in the next five years.

How is that possible when the experience of health coaching is so personal? People who need health coaching come from a variety of backgrounds and deal with a wide range of health issues.

But we posit that Artificial Intelligence, done well, means better health coaching, for both the coach and the clients, at scale.

Here’s something most people don’t know:

Health coaching today is repetitive.

The vast amount of “coaching labor” is information delivery.
Much of the work that really, really effective coaches do can be boiled down to:


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Health and fitness coaching will soon be handled by artificial intelligence, but how does health coaching scale now?

At the risk of being blunt, the old fashioned way: creating a community of collaboration and coordination of the differing skill sets among your health coaching team.

At Habitry, we have identified lots of different skill sets among health coaches. Community Managers. Masterful Motivational Interviewers. Storytellers. Rapport Builders. Feedback Conversationalists. Habit Designers.

Health coaches all do the “same job,” but even with the same education, gravitate towards different aspects of the job that they intrinsically love. Which makes sense because health coaching…


The First Motivate Summit

On a rainy Saturday in Utah, 41 people with the passion to show up got together in a circle and something happened.

“I don’t know what ‘this’ is, but it’s something amazing,” Bill recapped.

41 people, brought together from all over the USA by Facebook, a few blog posts, and word-of-mouth found out that they weren’t alone. Becky spotted it early when she said, “I didn’t know there other people out there who thought about this stuff!”

“This stuff” was a common problem that every coach has, but until now, no one had been talking about.

What about the other…

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