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Ellen’s Tips to Train HabitAware Keen and Getting Set Up for Success

Ellen’s Tips to Train HabitAware Keen and Getting Set Up for Success

November 22, 2019

We all learn differently.  Some of us are visual learners, others are auditory learners and sometimes hands-on is what we need. No matter how you learn, we’ve got you.  

Last month I introduced a video on training Keen.

Today I’m sharing the same concepts in a blog and if you want hands-on, we’ve got that too. Just click here to schedule a live video chat with a member of the HabitAware team.  

Have you ever wondered how HabitAware Keen works? It’s important to understand how Keen senses your behavior before you start training. During the 30-second training, Keen is recording your repetitive scanning wrist motion - the behavior you do before you pick or pull. (For nail biters, Keen is recording the actual nail biting movement). We call this the "precursor motion." Keen is not looking for hand or arm movements - it wants to feel your WRIST. 

Here’s the information the HabitAware Keen awareness bracelet is taking in when you are training:

The wrist movement 

What are your wrists doing during the scanning motion? My wrist goes up and down when I’m scanning for the hair behind my left ear. Your wrist might go side-to-side, or in circles.

The frequency of the wrist movement 
How often is your wrist moving during the training period? Keen is sensing the frequency of your movements - how often your wrists moves in the 30-second training period.  

The direction of Keen’s silver module as it rests on your wrist
Where is Keen in relation to the ground?  Is it vertical, horizontal, or diagonal?  

After training your precursor motion, Keen is always on-guard for -- Movement, Frequency and Direction. When Keen senses the match, it sends a gentle vibration, like a hug on your wrist, creating awareness.

Let’s get started!

Step 1:  Housekeeping
Charge up your Keen and download the HabitAware app from the App Store or Google Play.


Step 2:  Stay focused
Train only one Keen and one area for the first week.  

If you pull or pick in more than one area, or do more than one behavior, i.e. picking and biting, choose which one is bothering you the most. Fun fact: When I first opened my Keen boxes I trained two Keens and four areas each and I trained the big sweeping motion of the pull instead of the precursor motion. It was an epic fail but totally fixable. I trained just one Keen for one area and viola, it worked.  

Step 3:  Get comfortable
Train in the physical location of where you do your behavior.  For example, I trained in my car. 

Step 4: Train Keen 
During the 30-second training, continually perform your repetitive scanning precursor motion.  


Do:  Bring your hand to the area and begin your scanning precursor motion BEFORE you hit START to train

Do:  Keep your hand in the area, continually performing the scanning precursor motion

Do:  The micro-movement of the repetitive scanning precursor motion 

Don’t:  Hit START and then bring your hand up to the area

Don’t:  Perform big sweeping movements 

Don’t:  Vary your scanning motion 


Step 5: Retrain Your Brain: When Keen senses a match to the scanning motion trained, it will gently vibrate. Consider Keen’s vibration like a “hug” on your wrist, that friendly reminder, making you aware of where your hands are.

Use this as a moment to pause and consider how you can give yourself a real-time moment of self-care. By using the clues - what you are doing, how you are feeling, where you are - you can experiment to find the best “pause” strategies for you.

Need ideas for strategies to replace your behavior?  We have some here for you to try


Ellen’s 2 Cents:  

Keen is not a magic bullet or a cure. The first step in behavior change is being ready to make a change. The second step is awareness, as we can’t change what we don’t know. 

My BFRB was so automatic it’s like brushing my teeth. I just do it. I can’t tell you how I hold the toothbrush. Don’t expect the first training attempt to work. You might find that it takes several attempts and it might change over time and that is completely normal. Try watching yourself in the mirror or ask a friend or loved one to watch you and help you discover your typical precursor motion. If you need help, we are here. Just email me or support.  We’ve got you!

wishing you love, strength & awareness,

About Keen by HabitAware
HabitAware makes Keen, a smart bracelet that helps manage nail biting, hair pulling, thumb sucking, and other subconscious behaviors. Customized gesture detection brings you into awareness and helps you develop healthier habits.
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