Are you a person like me, someone who is in desperate need of breaking bad habits?
If you are, then in today’s digital world, there are several products and services and apps that can help you make better habits and remind you when you need to keep on making those good habits.
There are those of us who still love a good print planner, and we create our own habit trackers. Those within the bullet journal (BuJo) community are well known for developing very complex and creative trackers. Although I do not use a BuJo, I do have a tracker in my planner (image to right). I do, however, find that using apps on my phone helps me a great deal, too.
Two apps that I use are HabitHub and Fabulous. I haven’t used Fabulous as much as I use HabitHub, but I would recommend both for different reasons.
Free with in-app purchases. Available for Android. iOS coming soon.
I use HabitHub to track individual habits I build into my life. According to HabitHub’s website, the app “is based on Seinfeld’s productivity secret – Don’t break the chain! Every time you do a habit, your chain grows longer. Eventually, you will build a very long chain. Your only job now is to keep the chain growing.”
There is something about seeing the progress you’ve made by seeing this chain being built–and not wanting to break it!
I use several of the apps’ features to include
1. putting my habits in specific categories to keep them organized,
2. viewing the various types of graphs because I’m a visual person and like seeing my progress this way,
3. using the reminder so that come evening I’m reminded to finish my habits for the day, and
4. adding a widget to my phone screen so that I can always see what I’m supposed to be doing.
One feature that I really love is the Notes feature because it’s great to journal about the progress made. There are days when it’s easy to get through the activities and days when it sucks to, and journaling helps me to keep track on how and why I feel the way I do during the journey.
Free with in-app purchases. Available for both Android and iOS (though iOS is in beta now).
Fabulous touts itself as “not just a habit tracker or a quantified self app. Fabulous is a holistic approach, it’s your own happiness trainer.”
Incubated at Duke University’s Behavioral Economics Lab, Fabulous is a science-based coaching “experience” that enables you to foster healthy and positive habits in your life. Looking to lose weight? Increase your energy? Sleep better? Fabulous can help with that and more.
The adventure of Fabulous starts with you being assigned one morning routine, and as you progress through that routine, other goals are added to help you reach a better, healthier lifestyle.
My morning routine was to drink at least 8 ounces of water soon after getting out of bed. From there, the next part of journey included buying the right foods for a great breakfast. The one thing I truly love about this app is the personalization. It might sound corny, but it often feels like the app is FOR me. There is a lot of care in the design and content to give you that feeling. The letters you receive through the app as you go along your journey are a huge part of that personalization.
Building good habits is important. In our crazy, hectic lives, it is easy to allow our heads to touch a pillow for rest at night while never giving time to things that really matter to us. Taking time to be quiet during the day to think, meditate. Making sure you’re drinking the right amount of water every day. Getting up from your chair at work so that you get your joints and muscles moving. Being grateful for the little things when the big negative things seem too outweigh everything. It’s nice to have a planner or an app like HabitHub or Fabulous that give us that gentle nudge to be the best we can be.
Dr. Theresa Charlene