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Building great habits and resolutions with #apps!

A big part of who we are, as individuals, is defined by our habits. We all know the importance of developing good habits, and it’s easy to get excited about making new resolutions, but it’s so hard to keep them.  Imagine where you’d be today if you’ve actually kept up with all of those New Year’s Resolutions?  I know I’d be one step ahead in:

  • imageJournaling
  • Flossing
  • Exercising
  • Drinking 8 glasses of water per day
  • Taking a multivitamin
  • Reading

The list goes on…

A primary reason we are not successful with implementing our desired habits is that we simply forget.  With all the expectations and demands within our own daily routine, it’s easy to let a new task fall through the cracks. Scientists report that it takes 21 consecutive days to create a new habit. And yet, most people don’t make it to day 14.

Let’s take journaling as an example: you want to start journaling every day. You buy a new fancy journal – the perfect journal for you – and set it on your desk. The first couple of weeks of writing are awesome; you journal every day and feel great!  By week 3 or so, you forget to journal a day or two (things come up, right?), and by week 5 the place of importance and priority your journal once held has been downplayed (you know desk cleaning or “reorganization”), and now blends in seamlessly with your other desk decor. Within a few hours, you’ve completely forgotten the task all together.

unnamed-1Before the smartphone era, I tried printing out calendars and adding checkmarks to habit-completion days, and then I tried writing on index cards (one habit per index card). Both tactics ended up discarded or forgotten (the sad moment when memory tricks become forgotten habits too).

Fortunately, we now have access to smartphones with great apps for habit building! And, let’s admit it together, we do tend to look at our phones several (hundred) times per day.  I’ve downloaded 4 different apps before settling on the one I really like, and (more importantly) works best for me. Here are some to try:

  • StridesApp: “Strides is the easiest way to track all your goals and habits in one place, with flexible reminders and beautiful charts to keep you motivated and on track.”
  • HabitRPG: “A free habit building app that treats your life like a game.”
  • iRunuRun: “Actions speak louder than goals.”
  • Fig: “Your personal wellness guide for body and soul.”

unnamed-3Head to the iTunes App Store or Google Play for Android and search “habit building apps.” Install a few you’re interested in, and try each for a few days to see what works best for you.

Word to the wise: it’s going to be really tempting to create a list of 15 new habits you want to implement… don’t!  Too many habits at once will leave you overwhelmed and discouraged. Start with about 3 or 4, set up reminders (should be available in the app), conquer those habits, and get passed that 14 day mark before adding more.  And last but not least, don’t give up! Nobody is perfect and you’re bound to miss a day or two. Just keep at it and move forward. Even 4 out of 7 days is much better than 0 out of 7 days in a week.

I’d love to hear about what other techniques have worked for you?  Or if you have an app that you’d like to recommend. Share!  Your tips or recommendations will be so useful to a large group of people, so please comment below.

Charmaine Ferrara
Account Manager

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Talk Back

Elizabeth Liew
Posted on July 25, 2014

So scarily accurate. I feel as if someone has been telling on me- am guilty on all counts. I got as far as setting reminder on my phone. Let’s see how that lasts. You DO not want to see the state of my home office. I very soon will not be able to get inside.

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