Getting the throngs to “tune in” to health

Posted on April 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm

While the exact viewership figures vary, there’s little doubt that this week’s royal wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton has engaged a sizable percentage of the world’s interest. Everyone from pop singers to a certain venture capitalist titan who shall remain nameless (he knows who he is!) will be watching. It’s one massive, global, real-time focus of attention.

So if the predicted two billion people – roughly 29 percent of the global population –tune into the royal wedding, we have to wonder: what would it take to get the same percentage of folks to tune into their health with that same level of focus?

Here’s our quick and dirty assessment of some lessons we in the healthcare space can learn from the royal wedding phenomenon:

Be aspirational: The royal wedding has an irresistible fairy-tale quality. Maybe it makes us dream of meeting our own prince or princess in the elevator – or returning to our own wedding day weight, becoming the kick in the pants we need to get out there and mingle or finally lose those pounds.

Tap into tradition: Love it or hate it, there’s a long and storied history to the royal family that can be enrapturing. If we don’t already have a Sunday morning stroll, monthly extreme street luge competition, or other physical activity built into our routine, what would it take to start one for ourselves, our families, and friends?

Create a shared experience: This event serves as a cultural touchstone for many of us – and something for us to talk about with friends, co-workers, people we ride with on the bus. Similarly, there are a bunch of programs establishing social networks where people can share their successes and frustrations around their health issues. It’s a powerful motivator.

Be multi-generational: Not only does this wedding bring together older and younger family members, the spectacle is a great way for mothers to share an experience with their daughters, or for older folks who remember, say, Jackie and JFK’s wedding, to share the memories with younger generations. Think of how we can cross-pollinate this kind of wisdom when it comes to health.

Make a reason to celebrate: How does the old saying go? Look good, feel good. So maybe a secret to perpetual motivation is a constant stream of reasons to celebrate. A royal wedding only comes along once in a blue moon – so think of it as a reason to dress up, to be happy together with friends…and see what kind of effort you are likely to put into preparing for the ‘big event.’ And don’t skimp on the beauty rest (which we’ll especially need after getting up before the crack of dawn to watch the wedding live).

So all our best to the happy couple, and may we all be inspired to feel a bit royal ourselves in the way we treat our minds and bodies.

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