The first step in creating healthier habits is to know your baseline, where you are starting and what areas need the most improvement. “I need to eat healthier” is very vague and does not tell you what to do. When you do know which direction to go, it is important to know the first step and not bite off more than you can chew. Another important step to making a change in your behavior is to track your progress and recognize incremental improvements. If we do not allow ourselves to feel good about the small steps toward improvement that we make, the process can seem overwhelming, and we can be tempted to give up on our goals.
While there are many smartphone apps that can aid in tracking and even some that can make suggestions for improvements, perfect for busy days where taking the time to write down what you are doing and eating is likely to fall to the bottom of your to-do list. While you can start again the next day, many people stop using an app once they have missed a day or two. I am hopeful the new UP bracelet from Jawbone may make the entire process of creating healthier habits easier.
The Jawbone UP is a waterproof wristband, similar in size to a Livestrong band, with embedded sensors that connect to your smartphone to track behaviors such as eating, sleep, and physical activity. It is expected to be released by the end of this year. The free app will track your data and make suggestions for improvement. It sounds like suggestions will be made using the kaizen theory. It sounds really cool that you can input your daily diet by snapping photos of your food, but I wonder how much people will follow through with this. I am also interested to see just how the app works and if it includes push notifications.
Techcrunch interviewed the CEO of Jawbone, Hosain Rahman, about this new product in which he explains the UP and how it was designed. “We get into things like making it tiny, having a long battery life, making it fashionable, making it waterproof, working with smart phones, having a rich, visual experience on your smart phone and making it social. This is all stuff we do anyway. It comes back around to the mission of your mobile lifestyle,” Rahman said. Read the entire interview here.
The Jawbone UP is a product about which I am looking forward to learning more. I see a lot of potential in the wristband that can easily be worn constantly or put on as habitually as a watch. There are very few days that I forget to wear my watch, so I think it would be easy for me to put this on every day. From what I have seen about the thoughtfulness that goes into the design at Jawbone, I believe there could be a lot of potential usefulness in the UP for helping consumers make lasting habit changes.