Finding Motivation in Message Boards
My usage of the internet has changed dramatically over the years, much in the same way it has for everyone. I am amazed at the tools available now to connect to like minded individuals which allow us grow and learn from each other. No longer are we confined by town, county, state or country but instead can have daily conversations with people on the other side of the world on a whim and it is as simple as a keyclick.
I am a member of a few fitness message boards; I remain active on the boards that are serious about their intent. I have found that health and fitness boards are an excellent tool to find and keep your motivation when it comes to caring for yourself in a busy world. A good board will encourage you to reach your goals and celebrate victories no matter how small. When looking for help you first want to determine what you can gain from the board and don’t be afraid to move on when things aren’t working.
One feature of any board is the sharing of newly discovered information and discussions that help understand all technology available. Over the course of the last few years I have learned a tremendous amount due to conversations with people. There are techniques and approaches to certain issues I wouldn’t have discovered had it not been for the contributions of fellow posters.
When choosing a board for motivation don’t be afraid to be selective, too often I find that something that starts as a fitness motivator can become the opposite; instead it encourages behaviors that contradict their original intent. Just to be clear, we are human, I don’t expect every person on any board to be 100% compliant with their fitness and nutrition, but we shouldn’t be embracing or encouraging people to go astray.
Fitness boards, any discussion board for that matter, can be a time drain if you become overly involved. If you find you are spending more time than you like on any board you might want to use a timer to limit your “online” time. If your fitness boards cuts into the time you should be spending on your personal fitness or even your family then you need to cut back.
Are there rules for board usage and posting, oh yes there are courtesies to follow here a few: (feel free to post anything I might have missed in the comments section)
• First and foremost be a contributor even if you feel you have nothing to offer. One of the worst feelings for members is to know you have lurkers. Lurkers are people who visit only to read but don’t become active enough for people to know who they are. Lurkers are the peeping Toms of the internet world and unfortunately they are everywhere. Speak up and let people get to know you, don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn from others.
• If the board is organized so that everyone has their own home or thread then you should try to visit other people and post on their threads at least once a week. If people only posted on their own thread then the sharing function of a board becomes useless.
• Don’t be afraid to share information and ask questions, this is what makes a mediocre board excellent. Also, don’t be offended if something you have shared is debated. Ideas and processes change all the time, without this type of debate we might be left believing old outdated information is still factual.
• Be encouraging and share ideas that might help someone who is struggling. Nobody wants to feel alone with their issues in real life just as they don’t want to feel alone in their virtual life.
• Unless the board is about writing and literature I would suggest keeping your posts concise. People live in a fast paced environment and often don’t have enough time to read a 500 word essay.
There are a lot of wonderful resources available that include some fantastic boards which offer not only board support but also tracking of your daily nutritional intake and also your fitness endeavors. A few of these fitness sites have excellent learning tools and access to experts; this is available on both the free and pay for use sites. You can become a member of free boards, which I would suggest, or if you want a celebrity trainers face to look at you can pay a fee for the same type of service. I use two free sites often; Fitday.com which tracks nutrition and fitness and gives you excellent reporting and Sparkpeople.com which also tracks nutrition and fitness, reporting is okay but they have a huge resource for learning and offer excellent board support with others who share in the same experiences as yourself. There are many sources out there and a quick search will pull up dozens. If you want more information you can certainly ask as I would love to assist you.