Musings of a Digital Nerd

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A Motivating Factor, Nostalgia

When 4squareand7yearsago (now, @Timehop) first debuted at @Foursquare's Hack Day almost a year ago I was immediately eager to test it out. Just as fast as I was interested, I fell in love with what these guys were doing. A year later I’ve sinced linked my Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account to this service. Serious props to the talented group at Timehop, @jwegener, @bdotdub and @rachmew

This morning was no different than any other morning. I’m always eager to read my daily ‘Abe’ emails and as I read it in bed this morning I was reminded that around this time last year I was training for a half-marathon and logged an impressive (for me, at least) 6.24 mile run last year. As I read my email, I was instantly motivated to do the same run I did last year, and I did. I have been recently motivated to get back into running and the healthy lifestyle I had last year, but without a doubt this nostalgic trigger (the ‘Abe’ email) I received this morning aided in my motivation and sent it over the top and made me push harder. I did just that and almost matched my run last year. One could say that the last year me performed better, but in my eyes, last year me just high-fived me.

After my run I this ah-ha moment. (Although it could’ve been my runner’s high, whatever.) This ah-ha moment is related to the fact that I/we don’t always need to tie gamification to every single thing. Sure, it has its place, but it’s not the only way to reward and motivate. Today’s motivating factor wasn’t getting a badge. The motivating factor was this nostalgic moment that last year I did this. It was an awesome feeling. As much as I try to put into words via this blog post, I just can’t. Not only do I feel great about my run, but I am thankful that these tools exist and help remind me that I can do it, that sometimes in life the motivating factor can be just as simple as… me.

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