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Apple Watch goads you into getting some post-holiday exercise

Apple is taking a much more active approach to motivating its smartwatch owners.

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Guilt over holiday eating might just convince you to hit the gym in the coming weeks, but Apple wants to offer some motivation of its own. On December 28th, the company pushed a notification to every Apple Watch owner encouraging them to participate in a Ring in the New Year Challenge starting January 2nd, 2017. If you complete all three of your activity goals (Move, Exercise, Stand) every day for at least one week in January, you'll get a special achievement medal (above) and an iMessage sticker pack to help you brag about your performance.

The concept of seasonal Apple Watch achievements isn't strictly new. Apple introduced a Thanksgiving Day 5K challenge on November 24th with similar rewards. However, the Cupertino crew is being more aggressive about notifying users. Also, you're much more likely to realize that you can get achievements like this -- there's now a dedicated section in your iPhone's Activity app that shows seasonal medals, including a placeholder for the not-yet-active New Year's competition.

Not every Apple Watch owner is going to appreciate the campaign, to be sure. The alert could easily rub you the wrong way if you can't (or just don't care to) take up the challenge. However, it's not shocking to see Apple go this route. In addition to promoting good health, the seasonal events offer an incentive to keep wearing your watch. You may be more likely to use the Apple Watch every day if you know that you'll have something to show for that commitment, and that increases the chances that you'll be interested in a future model instead of letting your current watch languish in a drawer.

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