As the new year begins, most of us have our typical resolutions. Lose weight, exercise more, read more books, watch less tv, etc.
Unfortunately, they’re probably the same exact ones as last year.
So how can we try to not be in this same situation next year?
In the past year, I have come across two apps that I believe can help create good habits.
The Art of Streaking
Early last year, I read about an app called Streaks. Its premise is simple – set up a task you want to do on a regular basis. Every time you complete the task, check it off. That’s it.
This is all based upon the notion that you don’t want to break a streak, especially the longer the streak goes.
See that exercise streak of 9? Make it 10.
If you do some simple googling, you’ll find many articles about Jerry Seinfeld and his Don’t Break the Chain calendar.
Why I like this particular app is because it’s very simple to use AND you can ONLY track up to 6 tasks. Trying to track more than that is probably a recipe for disaster so it protects you from yourself.
Note: If you are interested in getting an in-depth review, read this brand-spanking new article on Achieving Personal Goals with Streaks at MacStories, which has a ton of amazing articles.
After a few months of use, I found that I was both successful and unsuccessful with creating habits. Certain ones I was great at, keeping very long streaks alive. Other streaks were broken soon after and never started back again.
So now what?
Help Yourself with Reminders
One problem people have in their lives is being too busy.
Honestly, who doesn’t say that?
You’re scurrying around all day trying to get your to-do list items done (aren’t you?). And at the end of the day, you look to see what you’ve done and hopefully, add another day to all your streaks.
But as I’ve found, that’s doomed to fail in a lot of cases.
If you have streaks you do first thing in the morning, those are probably going to get done a little more frequently. However, the ones that fall in the middle of the day? Not so much.
What you need are reminders.
Some people think it’s beneath them to have reminders. And there are some lucky people that don’t need them. But for most of us, I would strongly suggest not fighting the true need for reminders.
In comes Due app.
Although there are many apps that will remind you to do things, including stock apps on your phones, most fail because they only give you one reminder.
In our hectic lives, it’s easy to get caught up in something and actually need to push back that reminded task a little bit. Maybe it’s just 10 mins or maybe it’s an hour or two. You still want and need to get it done but that exact minute is not going to work.
Where Due stands out is that you can easily snooze the reminder instead of marking it complete or deleting it.
Can’t eat that one piece of fruit right at 10am? Can’t floss your teeth at 8pm because dinner has been delayed? Overslept and missed taking your daily medication?
This app will remind (or is it nag?) you until you check it off that you have completed the task. You can set those nag intervals to as little as every minute although I would only use that in extreme cases.
Clear your brain of having to remember things and let technology work for you. Let it remind you and nag you when its needed.
I believe that in this case, the sum is greater than its parts.
Using one of these type apps is good but using both in tandem will get you to develop habits you are more apt to keep.
Please note that I have received no compensation from the makers of these two apps for this article.