Frequently Asked Questions
Here you'll find answers to frequently asked questions about the MotivAider.
About the MotivAider®
How long has the MotivAider been around?
The MotivAider has been in use worldwide for over two decades. Originally developed for use in the health care industry, it's now flourishing as well in the education, business, sports, and self-improvement industries.
I like the concept, but why don't you make the MotivAider more compact?
The MotivAider was designed from scratch to be an effective instrument for changing habits. Every aspect of the MotivAider - including its size - is the result of painstaking efforts to ensure that users will get the best possible results.
I'd really like to buy a MotivAider, but I'm questioning the price. I can buy an electronic timer for a lot less. Is the MotivAider really worth what it costs?
Fair question! Users will tell you that the MotivAider is worth its weight in gold because of the changes it's enabled them to make. To learn more, please visit How Much is a MotivAider Worth?
What kind of help do you offer to someone who's just getting started with the MotivAider?
In addition to the basic operating instructions that come with the MotivAider, we have a growing list of free resources that MotivAider users can access any time. Included in that list is online guided help in getting started. We also offer MotivAider users free lifetime expert support. You can contact us any time you need help.
What kinds of things have people used the MotivAider to accomplish?
The MotivAider has helped users of all ages all over the world make an unbelievably wide range of changes. See just some of the goals MotivAider users have achieved.
The MotivAider is fantastic, which is why I can't figure out why you don't advertise it. It took me forever to track it down.
We don't do much advertising because, frankly, we prefer to sell MotivAiders to people who have done the research themselves and have concluded on their own that the MotivAider is well worth the investment. We realize that without advertising, we will never sell gazillions of MotivAiders. That's fine with us because we'd rather have customers we love and who love the MotivAider.
I heard a rumor that you're working on a new professional model of the MotivAider Is there any truth to it?
It's true that wee've been working on a new professional model, but we don't expect to release it anytime soon. Our "MotivAider PRO" prototypes have a modern industrial look, a large screen to facilitate programming, more options for controlling the character of the vibration signal, the ability to have prompting automatically start and/or stop at desired times of the day, and the ability to create and save several distinct user profiles.
Can I use the MotivAider for more than one purpose at a time?
We don't recommend it. Here's why: The MotivAider was designed to maximize your ability to change habits. A key element in the MotivAider's approach to changing habits is the idea of focusing on making one change at a time. Although some users have reported success in using the device for multiple purposes simultaneously, we believe that most users will achieve the best possible results if they concentrate on making just one change at a time. As soon as one desired change becomes habit (that is, when you continue doing things the new way without the MotivAider's help), you can move on to the next change you want to make.
I've already used my MotivAider to change a habit at work. Now I'd like to use it to change a personal habit. Can I do that?
Yes, you can. You can use your MotivAider to change as many habits as you want, as long you change one habit at a time. Whenever you begin a new project, just make a point of carrying out the simple procedure we recommend for associating your new message with the MotivAider's vibration signal. You might initially experience some "message interference" (thinking your previous message rather than the new one), but this should pass quickly and won't prevent you from getting good results.
How do I get my personal message into the MotivAider?
You don't! You "store" your personal message privately in your own mind. Once you mentally associate your personal message with the MotivAider's vibration signal, whenever you feel the MotivAider vibrate, you'll automatically think your message. It works the same way that hearing a ringing telephone reminds you "someone is calling." To get a better feel for how the MotivAider works, you can watch a 2 1/2 minute video or go through a brief tutorial that was prepared to help MotivAider users get started.
Is there anything special about the MotivAider's vibration signal?
You bet there is! We've devoted hundreds if not thousands of hours to perfecting the vibration signal. Learn all about it here.
The MotivAider is working amazingly well for me, but I'm curious about what makes it so effective. It just seems too simple to work as well as it does!
The MotivAider concept grew out of some keen insights about how the human mind really works. These insights paved the way for a breakthrough in understanding precisely what kind of help people need in order to stay focused on changing their behavior and habits. Learn more about the insights behind the MotivAider concept
What kind of battery does the MotivAider use and how long will it last?
The MotivAider uses a single AA battery and comes with a high quality Panasonic Industrial battery installed. The MotivAider is engineered for efficient operation. Although battery consumption will obviously vary with use, MotivAider users tell us that batteries typically last 6 months to a year or more. The battery compartment is readily accessible and changing batteries requires no tools.
Does the latest (silver) model operate the same as the previous (dark grey) model?
There's only one way in which the models operate differently. Although both models are capable of sending signals at either regular or variable intervals, they operate differently when variable intervals are chosen. The earlier model sends signals at average intervals. The latest model sends signals at random intervals. With the earlier model, if you enter an interval of 10 minutes, you'll get signals on average every 10 minutes with a range of 5 to 20 minutes apart. With the latest model, if you enter an interval of 10 minutes, you'll get signals at random intervals - a signal may come as soon as 1 minute after the previous signal or it may not come for as long as 10 minutes.
What are the MotivAider's dimensions?
The MotivAider is approximately 2 3/8" wide and 2 1/2" tall. It's depth varies from 5/8" to 3/4" near the top.
Neat concept, but wouldn't a smartphone app be better than a separate device?
Actually, we've already developed MotivAider apps for Android phones and the iPhone. The apps allow smartphone users to experience some of the benefits of the MotivAider Method for changing behavior and habits. Incorporating the basic functionality of the MotivAider into a smartphone does, however, require trading some effectiveness for convenience. Because the MotivAider Method's effectiveness relies on "conditioning," the best results can only be achieved with a fully dedicated device that's capable of producing a unique vibration signal. Learn more about the apps.
We heard that you sell "Economy" MotivAiders at a discounted price. How do "Economy" MotivAiders differ from regular MotivAiders?
Economy MotivAiders are discounted MotivAiders that fall short of our stringent standards either because (1) they are slightly audible when used in other than the normal upright position OR (2) they must be set to a higher vibration strength setting in order to achieve the same level of vibration strength that premium MotivAiders produce at the default vibration strength level. Economy MotivAiders are fully functional and identical in every other respect to premium MotivAiders. They're also covered by the same 3 year warranty and come with industrial battery and removable belt clip. Please be aware that because we don't deliberately manufacture Economy MotivAiders, their availability varies and is unpredictable.
I'm submitting a research article for publication and am wondering how to correctly cite the MotivAider. Can you help me? By the way, the MotivAider is a marvelous tool!
Here's all you need: "MotivAider" followed by the registered trademark symbol and the text "MotivAider is the registered trademark of Behavioral Dynamics, Inc. http://habitchange.com."
Ordering and Shipping
How soon after I order will you ship?
We normally ship within two business days. See more about shipping.
Operating the MotivAider®
I'd like to keep things as simple as possible. Do I have to use the advanced user settings?
The vast majority of users leave the MotivAider in the standard or default mode and get excellent results. In this mode, the only thing you have to set is the amount of time you want to pass between signals. If you're not sure if your MotivAider is in the standard mode, just remove and reinstall the battery to reset all functions to the factory-default levels.
Can I make the vibration stronger or weaker?
You sure can! You can choose from 5 intensity levels that range from a gentle tapping to a fairly strong and steady vibration. You can also increase the length of each vibration signal. (For some users, increasing the duration of the signal is more effective than increasing its strength, so don't overlook that possibility.) Visit User Help to learn how to make adjustments.
How do I turn my MotivAider off?
Just move the SET/RUN switch to the SET position. The display will remain on, but the MotivAider will not count down or vibrate. The MotivAider uses a negligible amount of battery power in this mode. When you're ready to resume using the MotivAider, just move the SET/RUN switch to RUN. The MotivAider will remember all your settings, so there's no need to reset it unless there's anything you want to change.
I lost the operating instructions. How can I find out how to make my MotivAider work the way I want it to?
Please visit User Help where you'll find links to basic operating instructions and get help with advanced settings.
I messed up the settings on my MotivAider. Is there an easy way to reset it?
No problem. You can restore ALL factory default settings simply by removing the battery, waiting about 15 seconds or more, and then reinstalling the battery. If you just want to reset the time interval without changing other settings (like vibration strength, etc.), you can press the UP and DOWN buttons at the same time to zero the display.
Is there a way to make sure that I set the time interval correctly?
First of all, remember that the time interval you set is the amount of time that will pass between signals. So, for example, if you set an interval of 4 minutes, you're telling the MotivAider to send you a signal every 4 minutes. With the switch at SET, hours are shown to the left of the colon (:), and minutes are shown to the right of the colon. So, for example, if you see 0:11, your MotivAider is set to send you a signal every 11 minutes; if you see 2:30, your MotivAider is set to send you a signal every 2 hours and 30 minutes. If you don't see a colon at all, your MotivAider is set to accept input in seconds rather than minutes and hours, and the number you see is the number of seconds between signals. So, for example, if you see 00 15, your MotivAider is set to send you a signal every 15 seconds.
How do I know how often to send signals?
How often to send signals depends on a number of factors including the kind of change you're trying to make. For most users and most habits, starting out with a signal every 10 or 15 minutes works fine. If you're not sure, it's better to send signals less frequently to start with and then increase the frequency once you start to get results. Here are some general guidelines you may find helpful.
I'm not noticing some of the signals. What should I do?
It's perfectly normal to be unaware of some of the MotivAider's signals. Not noticing signals is only a problem if you're not getting the results you want. If your results could be better, first try increasing the vibration strength and/or increasing the duration of the vibration signal. If adjusting the signal doesn't help, then please visit User Help for other possible solutions.
I'm noticing the MotivAider's signals and I remember what to do, but I'm not consistently doing it. How can I get better results?
You probably need to change the message you assign to the MotivAider's vibration. Instead of just reminding you what action to take, your new message should remind you why to take it, that is, it should focus your attention on a powerful personal reason for making the desired change. For help in crafting effective motivating messages, click here to visit User Help.
My son is pretty active and I'm worried that the MotivAider might pop off his belt. What's the best way to keep that from happening?
There's a very inexpensive small nylon pouch available that should do the trick. It's sized just right for the MotivAider, has a velcro closure, and incorporates a sturdy belt loop that allows you to thread a belt (up to about 1 1/4 " wide) right through it. These pouches are available in several colors. If you're interested, please contact us and we'll let you know where you can get one.
Where can I get help creating an effective message?
Please visit User Help or contact us. We'd be happy to help.
Help! My MotivAider doesn't seem to be working right.
First of all, rest assured that if we can't help you get your MotivAider working properly again, we'll promptly repair or replace it. Although we do absolutely everything we can to make MotivAiders as reliable as possible, the unfortunate truth is that not even the greatest care in manufacturing and the most rigorous testing can completely eliminate the possibility that an electronic component will fail. You hate when that happens, and we hate it, too. If it does happen, however, you can count on us to take it seriously and get you back in business quickly.
If you're MotivAider isn't working right, first try our troubleshooting instructions. If you don't find a solution there, please contact us.
My display (screen) went blank. What should I do?
First try a fresh battery. If that doesn't help, clean the battery contacts inside the MotivAider with a pencil eraser. (Even better, clean the contacts with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing - isopropyl- alcohol.) Then reinstall the battery by first inserting the negative (flat) end and then just barely touching the metal contact inside the MotivAider with the positive battery terminal (the bump). Check the display. If it's working again, fully insert the battery and rotate it back and forth in place a few times. If the display remains blank, please contact us for further instructions.
Some of the digits on the screen are missing segments.
Please contact us for instructions.
I haven't used my MotivAider for quite a while. I want to use it again but it doesn't vibrate even though I can see numbers on the screen.
First make sure the battery is fresh. Even if the display is bright, the battery may not have enough power to operate the vibrator mechanism. If your MotivAider still doesn't vibrate with a fresh battery, try this: With the switch at SET, press both timer control buttons at the same time. Then move the switch to RUN. Now hit the MotivAider's side against a book or other hard surface. (Don't be afraid to give it a good whack.) Repeat several times. If the MotivAider starts vibrating, let it continue for about 30 seconds before moving the switch back to SET. If it still doesn't vibrate, please contact us for further instructions.
My MotivAider starts counting down but then just stops. What's wrong?
You probably unintentionally set the time interval in hours rather than minutes.
Place the switch at SET. If the screen shows any digits other than 0 before (to the left of) the colon (for example, 2:00), your MotivAider is set for an interval in hours and minutes, and you won't see a second-by-second countdown until less than 1 hour remains.
If you meant to set the interval in minutes rather than hours, it's easy to fix. Just press the UP and DOWN buttons at the same time to zero the display, then press the UP button once for each minute of the interval you want to set. For example, to set an interval of 5 minutes (receive signals every 5 minutes), just press the UP button five times and you'll see 0:05 on the screen.
I can't remember whether I set my MotivAider to accept intervals in minutes or seconds. Is there a way to tell just by looking at the screen?
Yes, there's an easy way to tell. If the MotivAider is set to accept your input in seconds, there won't be a colon (:) on the screen. If it's set to accept your input in minutes, there will be a colon.
If you want to change from minutes to seconds or seconds to minutes, press the small oval button (located next to the switch) four times. The screen will display your current setting - HM (for hours/minutes) or SEC (for seconds). To change to the other setting, push the UP button once, then slide the switch to RUN then back to SET to save the new setting.
Following Through - the Book
Where can I get a copy of Following Through?
The latest print, ebook and audiobook editions of Following Through are available from online sellers like Amazon.com. Visit FollowingThrough.org for more information.