Whether it’s late night snacking, eating a bag of chips or smoking cigarettes, everyone does something they know they shouldn’t.
For me it’s sitting in my bed, tapping away on my computer as time quickly passes by, with minimal self-will to stop what I’m doing before the clock strikes 12am. I stay up too late, and then have to get up too early. I’m cranky as can be, and I pay for my lack of will power throughout the next day. I vow tomorrow will be different, and I’ll get to bed early. But then the next night comes, and I find myself doing it all over again.
We all know from experience that breaking bad habits is hard work and requires a great deal of effort. Research shows that having to be accountable for your end goal and watching visible progress can seriously improve your chances of sticking to whatever it is you want to achieve.
I think it’s time to use our distractions to our advantage and enlist our mobile devices. We’ve recently discovered there are plenty of hab-app-bits that are designed to keep you on track. We’ve reviewed a handful of them and made a list of a few we think you should try.
This app might be as stubborn as you are. HabitBull keeps track of your goals, habits and routines. It’s totally customizable. Open it, and see how cool all of your organized objectives are. This application is straightforward and very specific.
When you set up a new habit, you’re prompted to either pick one from a list of good suggestions or create your own. You’ll be asked what you’d like to change and how you’d like to track your progress.
Keep track of your successful days and view progress by day, week and month. Your goal is to create long strings of successful days, which are tracked by easy-to-read markers. With the recommended push notifications, this app will keep you focused by checking in daily.
If you’re a visual person like me, this app is great for you. It’s designed to give visual feedback. The virtual pat on the back feels like winning the trophy for the team.
This app employs minimalist graphics, and straightforward but customizable questions, to encourage you to set up goals. Strides is also a good app to track all of your habits and future goals in one place. It has Apple Watch capabilities, and syncs everywhere. It’s been boasted as a less obsessive, but still effective, application for changing the way you live.
Another interesting feature of this app is that you can track anything and categorize items into four flexible types: habit, target, average and project. This allows you to keep track of progress and project deadlines. Stay on top of your personal development by watching your progress. The data driven feedback is also a visual way of staying encouraged.
Strides is an impressively interactive application that has intuitive swiping controls. Flexible alerts also allow you to stay focused on the task at hand.
You can spend less than a minute of your day to track, identify and change your habits with the Way of Life app. It’s not as customizable or aesthetically appealing as some other apps. However, this app is very straightforward. It simplifies the process of setting up and staying focused on goals.
This app allows you to include short notes and organize your habits with specific tags, which makes the app feel a bit like a journal. Way of Life allows you to track and review your progress to encourage change in your habits. The only con about the free version of this app is that it’s limited to three items.
All in all, Today is a pretty straightforward and intuitive productivity app. It’s an Editors’ Choice in the iOS App Store and connects to Apple Health on your phone.
This app’s big, bright and beautiful display makes setting up habits simple. Once the app boots up, you can switch cover images to customize the look and feel of your habit tracker. There are smart check-ins, which allow you to record your actions with a single tap.
To track your progress, you can create custom charts based on measuring unit and goal. There’s also note-taking capabilities, including options to add milestones and to-do lists. Overall, Today is the best app for the visually inclined.
Be the change you wish to see in yourself. If you want to change the way you live your life, you have to stay focused. These phone apps keep you on track and give you positive reinforcement, which is exactly the thing you need to keep you going.
The apps we’ve included in this article have a decent amount of overlapping features, but you should explore a few options to figure out which interface works best for you. Check them out for yourself, and note that the premium versions of these apps have even more cool features than I’ve mentioned here.