challenges

Stay Motivated with a Streak Challenge

EmiliaNov 5, 2020

What is the Streak challenge mode?

In a Streak challenge, you'll set a daily steps or active minutes goal to achieve as many days in a row as possible up to the length of your challenge. The longer you keep your streak alive, the better, so consistency is key! We suggest choosing this mode if you want to challenge your group to aim to meet a consistent step or active minutes habit each day in a row.

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The psychology behind streaks

As your streak grows, you'll want to keep that streak alive, even if that means taking an extra walk in the evening instead of your normal Netflix-on-the-couch routine. And as it grows from 2 days to 10, and from 10 to 20, you'll likely feel even more compelled to keep it going. After all, you worked hard for your streak, and you don't want to lose it and have to start all over!

This feeling is actually due to what psychologists call the endowment effect (1). When you own something, you're more likely to be attached to it, even if that if object doesn't have objective material value. In the case of a streak challenge, you've worked hard to meet your step or minutes goal each day and feel an emotional attachment that makes you want to keep that streak alive. The streak challenge mode uses this psychological effect to help you start a habit that you don't want to break.

Use social motivation to push yourself further

In addition to using the power of the endowment effect to motivate you to reach your activity goals, you can also view the progress of your fellow challenge participants to help you stay motivated! After all, a little healthy competition can be a great motivator (2).

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When you view your challenge, you'll be able to see the length of all fellow participant's streaks from the "Group Stats" view, as well as daily stats showing you who met the goal on a specific day and streak trends indicating the length that most streaks in your challenge have lasted to see how you stack up.

Set a realistic goal

When setting a streak goal, it's important to remember to set a realistic, maintainable goal. You should consider your group's average activity per day and set your streak goal only slightly higher than typical, such as an extra 1,000-2,000 steps per day or an extra 10 active minutes per day, especially if you're setting the challenge duration for a week or longer.

This is because the goal you choose is something you'll need to keep up each day in a row in order to maintain your streak. If you do chose to set a higher goal for your group, make sure to select a shorter challenge length so that everyone can keep up.

Breaking a streak

Breaking a streak happens to the best of us. If you break your streak, don't give up. Instead, allow yourself a fresh start to make an even stronger comeback. You can stay motivated by thinking positive thoughts, defining your long term goals, and rewarding yourself for a job well done (3).

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Ultimately, you're working towards a healthier lifestyle, and that doesn't happen overnight. Give yourself a pat on the back for how far you've come and persevere to meet your goals.

Sources

  1. https://www.behavioraleconomics.com/resources/mini-encyclopedia-of-be/endowment-effect/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4554955/
  3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/understand-other-people/201603/5-foolproof-ways-stay-motivated

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