What is GetMotivatedBuddies?

GetMotivatedBuddies is a platform to help you reach your goals through four principles of behavior change:

  • Planning
  • Play
  • Partnerships
  • Positive Reinforcement

The Principles of Behavior Change Behind the GMB System

Planning

Planning is essential to sustaining a behavior over time. Most people have lofty goals, but no clear path of how to get there. A plan is one possible path to get there.  A plan represents your commitment, written down, of the behaviors you intend to do in order to reach your goal. Without a plan, you have no commitment. Without a commitment, your goal will not be achieved. Your plan is what you are accountable to.  

However a Plan is just that, a plan. And if you're trying to achieve something you've never done before, the plan you thought would work, might not. 

GetMotivatedBuddies allows you to try a plan and see if it works for you. If not, you can adjust it, delete it, or try a different one. Our goal is to help you find or create or a plan that works for you.

One thing that does work is planning specifically. By choosing a day, a time, and a location you imagine your behavior happening, if only for a few moments. This brief imagining is a form of mental rehearsal. And as described in this Stanford study, mental rehearsal prepares our minds for real world action.

Play

A sense of play brings a lightness to your commitments, and lays the foundation for a positive relationship to them. That's why GetMotivatedBuddies is structured as a game. A light, positive relationship to your commitments reflects how you relate to yourself. Having a light, playful attitude allows you to be a better partner to others and perhaps most important to yourself. 

Some people want a "hard coach" to keep them on track. This form of disciplinary motivation is simply less effective for developing intrinsic motivation, which is absolutely fundamental to developing healthy long term behaviors.

Partnerships

Partnerships help you stick to a plan through support, perspective and friendly competition. The goal of a partnership is to offer support and insight to one another, not to be scorekeepers. 

Partnerships on GetMotivatedBuddies lead to quality conversations that give you perspective on what you're doing. These partnerships are meant to be functional not permanent. So if someone isn't right for you, you can find someone else.

However without a system, partnerships tend not to last.  Within a system, working with others can lead to radical transformations.

This site integrates group dynamics from social and behavioral psychology such as group identification, the MAGI framework, and the Kohler motivation gain effect.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is at the root of behavior change. This is why other sites that use loss aversion or punishment are not as effective over the long term. Positive reinforcement is more effective than punishment for healthy long term behavior change. 

When the going gets tough, as it will for anything that is important to us, and you miss something you've committed to or fail at what you thought you would do, many of us just disappear.  Rather than own up to not doing it, recognizing that it is OK and that our plan was wrong, or something more important came up, or we became distracted and to investigate why, we ghost ourselves. We simply go quiet rather than face the pain of not living up to who we thought we were.

This is the greatest trap in changing behavior. People make a commitment and go silent on it, rather than own the choice they've made.

This is why you earn points even for checking in to something you planned at 0%.  We reward you simply for showing up and saying something.  You are positively reinforced for being accountable.

Negative Behaviors

When trying to reduce a behavior on GetMotivatedBuddies, you replace it with something else. In this way you are not defined by the behavior you are trying to reduce, but you are defined by the behavior you are trying to develop. 

For example, if you are trying to quit smoking, it is impossible to do a negative behavior of "not smoking". There is nothing for you to actually do. There is no behavior you can take or mentally rehearse. In fact, you hear "smoking" and smoking is what your mind imagines. 

So you need to replace smoking with a behavior that you can do,  and  can imagine, like "Take a breath" or "Meditate" or absolutely anything you want. By bringing your attention to another behavior, you are not smoking. The more you bring your attention to something else, the less you do the behavior you want to reduce.  

Overview of the System

Categories

Categories allow us to organize our lives in meaningful ways and to find others working on similar things. On GetMotivatedBuddies we have four categories that  cover all the areas of our life that relate to well-being:  Health & Fitness, Learn, Work and Life.

Behaviors
You can choose pre-existing habits or create your own habits in any one of the categories. You can also use the the same behaviors in different categories. For example, writing for work is different than writing for school, but they are both writing. 

Planning

Planning places your behaviors in time and space. This makes them more likely to happen. 

Confirmations and Check ins

Confirming your intention to do a behavior is the closest proximate cause to whether you will do it.

Checking in to your behavior lets us and your Buddy know if and how much of it you did. 

Points & Levels

Earn points by confirming and checking in to your behaviors. Level up in each category and on the site. Your Accountability score represents all your points on the site.

Buddies

Buddies exist for your emotional support, to help you understand where things are going right and wrong and as a frame of reference for your behaviors. You are colleagues on a shared journey.

However, on GMB, you are loyal to the workability of the relationship not not to your Buddy. If they are not helpful to you, we encourage you to find a new Buddy.  

You start with 1 Buddy in any category, and earn more by checking in. You can earn up to 4 Buddies, one for each category. 

Matching

Search for buddies by keywords or filters, or get daily auto-matches.

Chat

Chatting is limited to your Buddies and group members to create more meaningful relationships. To have individual chats with people who are not your buddies, create a group and invite them to it.

Groups

Find others who use your apps, go to your gym or school or organization. Create your own groups around ideas or things that are important to you.

Challenges

Challenges allow you to do a Plan with others. If you create a plan to Run Daily for 30 minutes for 5 weeks, and you want the added support of other people doing that same plan, create a challenge, and you can do it together.

Flash Challenges

Flash challenges allow you to do one event with others at the exact same time anywhere in the world. So if you live in San Francisco and want to Run for 30 minutes at 6 am PST, someone in New York will see that flash challenge at 9 am EST and can join you. 

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