~ notes from an uncommon journey ~

How I Successfully Formed a New Habit


You guessed it...there's an app. for that! One day several weeks ago as I was thinking about how to really, finally make a habit out of, well, certain things I want to make a habit of. ;) And I was reminded of the idea that says that if you track something, your performance is likely to be better at it. Simply the act of tracking it can lead to better results. Then I figured that there had to be an app. that would help me do that.

So I searched the app. store for "habit tracking." Well, I originally searched on just "tracking" and got mostly results that were trackers for specific things that don't relate to my life. But "habit tracking" yielded the app. that I use now; it's called Habit Streak. Now, I'm certainly not here to "sell" you on this particular app. Just sharing my experience. If you're going to use an app. or any other external tool, of course, find one(s) that really work for you.

How this app. works is: you give a name and description to the new habit and choose a time of day that you want the app. to ask whether you did that new thing. The idea is that you would report on the previous day's progress...and the more consecutive days for which you can indicate "yes, I did this thing," the longer of a streak you build up--hence "Habit Streak."

The only things I don't like about this particular app. are: it only works for things you want to do daily, and it only reminds you, about all of the habits you're tracking, at the same time every day. Some things I want to be reminded of at particular times, like if I want to start taking a multivitamin daily with breakfast, I might want to be reminded of that at a different time than some other things. But--the company that developed this app. has another one that, from what I understand, allows for durations other than daily, so I may be giving that a try soon.

The interesting thing I discovered, though, is: once it got to the point where I was expecting the reminder (I'd set it for right before bedtime, so I guess that made starting to expect it easier), I would realize that if I hadn't done my new habits, I'd have to say "no." And of course I wouldn't be "disappointing the app."--I'd be disappointing myself.


I guess that's the power of tracking! Who knew?!?

I've heard that if you do something 27 times, it's a habit. So by that measure I have formed two new habits and am in the process of forming a couple more. Someday I may blog about what some of those new habits are; for now I'm just thrilled that I can honestly say: This is now a habit. With the new things I'm doing, my health and my happiness are bound to benefit.

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