I use Habit Catalyst in my own gym for a ton of different processes. I have used it for numerous challenges.
We use it in our FF Accelerator group, our nutrition accountability program.
I am also building out a program for our on-boarding process to provide a more seamless experience. Autoresponders are a pain in the ass to see if people are actually reading things so I am building out programs instead to some our content.
Building out all these different programs has made me think for a second about the client experience and I noticed a couple things.
- It takes the client a few days to get the hang of the system.
- We ALWAYS have clients want to join the day AFTER we start a program.
I bet many of you can sympathize with Number 2.
Unfortunately, I am a pushover and I like sales so we usually let people in after the fact.
I get it, I’m a softie.
So, I needed to come up with a way to make the client experience easier AND give myself a little buffer when starting a new program.
Here is what I came up with.
I am calling this new “feature” the “Welcome Mat!”
The welcome mat is a 2-4 day/lesson sequence that on-boards the client to Habit Catalyst and also to the program they are embarking on.
The length of the sequence is determined by the amount of content. I try to keep lessons short so if I have a lot of welcome material I will go closer to 4 days and if I don’t have much I keep it closer to 2 days.
The “Welcome Mat” also gives me time when people inevitably sign-up after we have started to get them involved without missing any of the challenge or meaty content.
My Welcome Mat is below but make sure to check out the “standard programs” in your HC account as I will put a generic “Welcome Mat” there in the next couple days for you to copy and paste into any of your programs.
Lesson 1: Welcome
Welcome to FF Accelerator, our nutrition, lifestyle, mindset, and accountability program!
Today, we are going to talk about the special education and accountability software we use to distribute your program and collect the daily check-ins. Tomorrow, we will talk more about FF Accelerator and what it entails.
The FF Accelerator uses a software called Habit Catalyst or HC for short. This software was created by one of our own, Trevor, (not by him, he has no idea how to code, he’s the ideas guy) in order to run programs like the one you are about to embark on. There was nothing on the market that could do this so he and a fellow gym owner decided to find a way to create it.
You might have used HC before in other programs run at FF. We use it a lot. If you are already familiar with it, great, this will be a breeze. But, don’t be a know-it-all and be sure to still read the lesson today and tomorrow to make sure you understand everything completely. The software is constantly evolving so things change and you don’t want to be left in the dark.
The premise of the software is very simple. We ask you to do a few things.
- Every day practice the skill or habit you are working on.
(Each day you will be given guidance on “What To Do.” You will practice a specific skill or habit anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks. If for some reason you need a skill modified to fit your situation, please let your coach know)
- Every morning answer your simple yes or no “Check-In” question.
(Don’t feel like you need to lie and always answer yes. We want to know how you are truly doing and being real is part of this program. This allows us as coaches to help you rather than thinking everything is great. Also, the check-ins will come via email or on your smartphone at 9am. If you would like it earlier, please let us know and we can adjust that for you.)
- Most days, we ask you to read a short lesson that reinforces the skills you are working on.
(Please read these lessons each day. They are short, most take 3-5 minutes to read. Some days you will have a new lesson and others will be the same lesson for a few days. If you see that same lesson a couple days in a row, don’t be alarmed, this is by design.)
You have the ability to choose how you get your check-in question.
- Via email
- Via the app Habit Catalyst (seach Habit Catalyst in your app store, its free)
You should have already received a “Welcome Email.” If you have not, please check your spam folder. If you still can’t find it, let us know (link to email). In this welcome email, we give you a specific code to use if you want to download the app. You will need to enter this code to connect the app to your account. If you lose this code, we can always look it up for you.
If you choose not to download the app, which many of our clients choose, you will receive all your notifications via email and you will read your lessons from your internet browser.
Even if you download the app you can still log-in to your client portal at habitcatalyst.com. Here, you will be able to see your progress, change your preferences, and read lessons on a computer screen if you like.
If you choose to download the app and enter in your specific code, all email communication check-ins will end.
Note: Anything you see in green is a clickable link. This will open a browser on your phone or on your computer.
Tomorrow the question will be: Did you read your lesson yesterday?
Since you are reading this now, you will most likely finish the lesson, so you can answer “yes” tomorrow.
After you answer your check-in question, you will be re-directed into the software. Scroll all the way to the bottom and you will see your lesson for that day!
That is it for today. I told you lessons would be short.
Remember, tomorrow morning around 9am you will get a notification to check-in. Answer yes or no and we will see you back here tomorrow with another lesson.
- Practice Your Skill
- Check-In Daily
- Read Your Lesson
- Email Us If You Need Help
Your Habit Catalyst –
The Team @ Functional Fitness
Lesson 2: Program Overview
Congratulations, you made it to Day 2.
You should have checked in this morning, most likely with a yes, and the system has recorded it. One thing about the system is we always ask about yesterday. At 9am you are going to be asked how you did YESTERDAY. When you check yes, you will get a check mark on your calendar for yesterday. You won’t see anything on your calendar for today.
People get confused with that part so I wanted to clear that up right away.
Let’s get down to business.
FF Accelerator is meant to be a nutrition, lifestyle, and mindset academy. The reason we are calling it an accelerator is because it’s going to accelerate your results.
Although we will provide you with loads of education, this is just a minor component. What is more important is taking action and practicing on a daily basis.
This idea of action is going to be a little different for each person. Someone who is proficient with a habit might just need to dial things in, while those who are starting at zero need to simply take a step in the right direction.
If you need any assistance or need a habit modified please reach out to the coaches. You will spend most of your time interacting with Coach Trevor, Karen, and Britt but it’s very possible you will hear from Erin, Vicki, Adam or Dustin as well.
Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org and that is the best way to reach us.
If you need to speak to a specific coach just address them in the salutation and we will make sure they get the email.
Habits vs Skills
Now, I want to talk about this idea of habits. At FF, we have talked about habits for some time now. In order to create lasting change, we need to improve our habits, our day to day activities. We might hear us refer to these as tendencies. But, we believe that tendencies can be changed and they are changed through practice. We don’t all of sudden say that we are going to change a habit and BAM it’s changed.
We need to practice the change. We need to put in the effort and time. Sometimes practice will go great and other times a win might be just showing up.
When you practice something, what are you building?
Habits seem like something that we do or don’t do, but I think it’s deeper than that. I think a better term for what you are going to be working on is skills. You are going to be working on the skill of eating. The skill of eating more vegetables. The skill of preparing. The skill of eating slowly. The skill of stopping when satisfied. You get the picture.
All of these skills make up healthy eating and living.
Just like a basketball player would work on his skills like dribbling, shooting, passing, conditioning, and defense, you will do the same with FF Accelerator.
FF Accelerator at its essence is a bunch of skills that are going to make you a healthier, happier person.
The goal of every skill is to put in the practice. If a basketball player wants to get better at shooting, he needs to practice the skill of shooting every day.
FF Accelerator Overview
- Practice your skill, one at a time
- Check-in each morning
- Learn about your skill
- Ask for help when you need it
Just like a basketball player has a coach to help improve his skills, you have coaches that are watching over how your skill development is going. Some skills are going to be easier than others and that is okay.
The final piece, every Saturday or Sunday you are going to fill out your weekly reflection, and at the end of every month, you will have a progress check. A link to a Google Form will be in the lesson on those days and reflections shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes to fill out.
The purpose of the weekly reflection is to see how you are doing with more open-ended questions. It gives you a chance to review your week and is also a time to set your intentions for the following week. This is a very powerful practice.
At the end of every fourth week for those that would like, I encourage you to do a body composition, take some measurements or step on the scale. This isn’t required but encouraged. You will also receive a form where you will answer subjective questions about how you feel you are progressing.
These two check-in points are VERY important so don’t skip over them. You joined FF Accelerator for a reason and this is a major part of the program.
Thank you for choosing us to walk with you on your journey. Remember, this is your journey, we are simply here to assist and support you in any way we can.
Tomorrow you will get your first practice, food journal.
What you can do today is find a small notebook that has lots of room in it. If you need one, we have lots of them at Functional Fitness just ask one of the coaches for an orange food journal.
For the next 5 days starting tomorrow, you will record everything you eat. If it goes down into your stomach, it goes on paper. I get it, having to write down everything you eat can get annoying, so that is why we are only doing it for 5 days.
We will come back to the food journal every few months or so to see how things are going; that is why I don’t want you to use blank sheets of paper. They will inevitably get lost. Find yourself a notebook and bookmark it as a food journal only.
That is it for today!
Tomorrow you will be asked if you read your lesson and if you got this far, it should be an emphatic YES.
Every day we practice.
-The Team @ FF
There you go! A simple welcome sequence you can swipe and edit for any program you run.
Let me know if you have any questions!
P.S. If you would like to take a look inside HC or strategize implementation schedule a coaching call here.