Give yourself a reason to celebrate by repeatedly meeting your goals. Staying on course with your goal commitments is not just about taking the individual steps themselves, but also about providing the most supportive environment possible for success.
Any goal takes work. When you commit to changing a habit, it takes time to establish and really pay off. You literally have to learn it until it becomes natural. Something that appears to be a small change, like eating more fruit and vegetables, requires changes to many different supporting behaviors. You may have to shift your shopping routines so that you have fresh fruit and vegetables on hand. Perhaps you have to learn new ways of preparing dishes. You might even need some new kitchen equipment. In addition to this, you need to adapt to how your body adjusts to a new diet – maybe you will get hungry more quickly. Break down at any one of these points may lead to not meeting your goal that day.
Other goals like publishing a best-selling book may require learning new skills, making new contacts, and establishing a routine that gets what you want to communicate down on paper. Not stepping up to anyone of these sub-goals may mean you never reach the finish line.
One way to bring additional support to your goals is by taking advantage of one of many applications designed to keep you on track. These self coaching tools provide support that ranges from prompts and activities to increase goal related awareness to data to assist you in overcoming challenges. Some even incorporate a community or monetary commitment to raise accountability. I outline some of the many options for your smart phone and the ways in which they could be advantageous to you below. Part 2 will review habit and goal focused websites.
1) Momento: This is a unique journal writing application that provides a quick and easy way to privately record moments throughout your day. You can add text or tag people in photos. You can also add details from social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Flickr.
Noting down your thoughts and feelings is a great way to gain greater insight into them and to how they are impacted by the choices you make. Dedicated engagement with your writing improves your understanding of yourself which makes overcoming challenge easier. It also provides a record of your growth over time.
2) Pomodoro: This uses the Pomodoro time management technique, which requires staying on task for set amounts of time and using a timer to moderate this. The five basic steps to implement the technique are: 1) Decide on the task to be done, 2) Set your timer – usually for 25 minutes, 3) Work on the task until the timer rings and record completion, 4) Take a short break of 3–5 minutes, 5) Move to your next task – after four pomodori, take a longer break of up to half an hour. There is also an android version.
This simple tool provides a great way to manage yourself through time. Setting an intention to spend a certain amount of focused time on an activity provides clear boundaries so that overrun and consequent neglect of other activities is avoided. It also promotes better estimation of how much time will be need to get something done.
3) Don’t Break the Chain: Every day of success is acknowledged by marking a big red cross on that dates on a wall calendar. This idea to create a chain of X’s over time is attributed to comedian Jerry Seinfeld. There is also an android version called mychain.
This is a great way to recognize every step towards a long term goal especially one that requires chipping away or repeating an activity. Don’t give yourself a hard time though if you miss a day and break a long streak. Just pick right back up and acknowledge all the progress you have made.
4) HabitSeed: HabitSeed promotes habit formation. As you engage in your new set of behaviors over the course of 21 consecutive days your seed sprouts and grows into virtual tree.
Trying out new behavior often bring additional discovery as to how you could make even further improvement. So why not makes these tweaks and recommit to 21 day and soon you will have a forest of virtual trees.
5) Goal Streaks: This one allows for activities related to multiple goals. You can use a list or a calendar format to view how well you are maintaining your streak. It also allows for the addition of notes and reminders.
Like don’t break the chain and habit seed, this app motivates by acknowledging daily success. Your commitment to each one of your goals is reinforced by reminding you how you are doing. The more you do the greater your sense of accomplishment.
6) Strides: Your report of how you do each day is displayed using various chart illustrations. This real time feedback provides a great reality check. Habitbull is a similar android alternative.
Strides allows you to keep tabs on cumulative progress and is ideal for any quantifiable behavioral goal such as drinks consumed, miles run or pages edited.
7) Habit List: This app is also designed around maintaining your streak. However, it has the added feature that scheduling is flexible allowing you incorporate intervals by electing specific days. In addition, it has graphing and reminder features to keep you on course.
Habit list is perfect for commitments that occur several times or once a week as well as daily. Most people have different routines over the weekend where you target some goals and relinquish others. It is this switching out that reduces follow through. This app allows you to enter and remind yourself of all your commitments whatever their cycle.
8) Checkmark 2: This one focuses only on short-term daily goals. It provides reminders for each task identified to keep you on track. Actively taking charge of your daily schedule allows you to more effectively progress towards your long term goals. Checkmark To Do and Task List is a similar android option.
When you do the work to chunk down your long term aspirations into small steps, this app can really support attention to the details of each segment of your journey. What is the first smallest step that you want to make a priority? Sometimes it is easy to get distracted by the mountain when there is equipment and training required before it can be scaled.
Each of these interfaces can reduce the effort needed to keep on task. Whether it is through assisting keeping items front of mind or by raising behavior awareness through data analysis one of these apps for getting it done might add to your latest projects success.
Part 2 looks at web based apps.