Friday, September 24, 2010

Motivated by Music

It became apparent to me when I began to exercise again that I needed something to kick start my energy.  The answer for me was music.  Overtime I figured out what rhythms really motivate me and which don't. The impact has been amazing.  For better or for worse, I don't like to run these days without my iPod plugged into my ears.  I listen to two DJ's, both who podcast shows weekly on iTunes so each week I get new energy on a consistent basis.  Some weeks their sets are good, other times just ok, but occasionally there will be a set which is mind blowingly motivating, and I end up going back to it for several weeks.  So who are the kings of my motivation, DJ Eros and Tiesto.  DJ Eros lives in Puerto Rico and plays a four hour set. Tiesto lives everywhere plays an hour long jam.  I highly recommend these DJs if you are looking for a new power source.  It might take some time, but they'll grow into you.  Here is a bit of Tiesto!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Motivating for My First Run

When I first started to get into shape almost 5 years ago, it was those first steps that were the most challenging and rewarding. I just had to keep reminding myself that all good things start small.  I also knew myself well enough to admit that if I set myself up right, I would be more likely to succeed.  So I went out and bought a pair of nice running shoes. Probably spent a little more than I needed to, but it was a bit of a reward for already making the decision to change.

Then I did it. I chose a time of day when most people weren't on the streets and then I got on those running shoes and ran and ran.... 2 1/2 blocks. Yes, ha, that's right. But this was okay. I was tired but I had started. Three days later, 3 blocks. Within a few weeks I was up to 10 blocks at a light jog. My wife then rewarded me with a heart monitor and a watch.  That helped me not burn out so fast. In time, I went to the high school tracks around our home and reached a mile, then 2, then 3.  I bought some running shorts.

A few weeks ago in Tahoe, I ran from Tahoe city to the base of Squaw Valley, 7.3 miles at 6200 feet in an 1 hour and 7 minutes. Sometimes, I think back to those early days and realize that a lot of it was a change in my mind, but most of all it was about me telling myself, and accepting, that 2 1/2 blocks was not just okay, but perfectly good from where I was coming from. One step at a time, it happens.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Searching for Social Health

Facebook has passed Google. For the first time Americans spent more time last month soaking in social updates than searching for information. Facebook's capacity to enable individuals to share their perspective on nearly everything binds people together in a way that search is unable to do.  This is why we haven't seen social health applications emerge before now. The necessary infrastructure for social sharing, caring and supporting were non existent, small and radically fragmented. With Facebook's rise as the super gorilla of social networks, new types of applications that leverage one's now connected vast network of personal relationships can emerge.  First we saw social sharing, then social gaming, and what we are beginning to see now is the rise of social health.  In the Google era people were stuck searching for health-related information, now they can find that information, share it, and act on it together. That makes all the difference.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Neuro Revolution Published in Japan

My book, The Neuro Revolution, was recently published in Japan! Here is the cover. They chose a slightly different title for this translation, Neuro Wars (ala Star Wars).  Buy in Japan here.  Looking forward to China, Korea and Brazil next!

It was while researching and writing this book over the past decade that many of my ideas around how develop social motivations systems that engender successful behavior change were formed.  I look forward to the day when we can leverage cutting edge behavioral neuroscience techniques on a real-time basis in Japan and throughout the world to help people live happier, healthier lives.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Rejuvenating in Tahoe with my Family

Just spent a rejuvenating week up in Tahoe with my family and wanted to share some recommendations on activities that were fun to do with an 3 3/4 year old and an 8 month old.

Best all around is to head to Squaw Valley for the day. Take the cable car to High Camp at 8200 feet and spend the day swimming, ice skating, and just hanging out enjoying the view. Easy to spend a good 8 hours there. You can also enjoy the bottom of the mountain. The Village is beautiful to walk around and our 3 year old loved bungee jumping and might have enjoyed the 18 hole mini golf course laid out around the entire area if we had more time.  If you are a runner, the 7.3 mile run from Tahoe City to the base of Squaw is an awesome to do in the morning.  I alpha tested HealthRally on this run and achieved my goal of 1 hour and 7 minutes.  Lots of cool support from family and friends!

Kings Beach. Just on the California side of the Nevada border, this beach has wonderful sandbars reaching far into Lake Tahoe.  Ice cream across the street.  Bring some sort of shade shelter. Tons of fun stuff in Tahoe City. Load up at the library at the beginning of the trip. Commons beach and playground is fun and easy any day. They have a farmers market on Thursdays. Fishing at Donner Lake. You can do the public piers around the east side of the lake or go into the state park (also a fun place to explore for the day) and walk to the north side of the China Cove swimming area. Use yellow or rainbow powerbait. The UC Davis Research center is good for about an hour. Kids liked the talking fish video game. Try to get there on a day there's a docent to talk you through everything. Catch crawdads off any pier with bacon. Aim for the big rocks!  Have fun!