Some people say it takes 21 days to build a new habit and other research has shown it can take up to 66 days. either way, 3 weeks to 2 months is a long time! Especially in our busy world. What if you could have simple system to help you in building your new habits?
I’ve struggled to create habits that I felt were important to my personal development and health.
Certain habits such as reading and journaling have helped me in so many ways that I want to make sure I continue to do them. Also the essential, yet mundane things such as paying bills on time is a habit that is important to do regularly.
The way I keep track is to use a reminder app. I set alarms to go off at strategic times to remind me to do something. Most people use an alarm clock to remind them to wake up. I use that same concept to help me build my habits.
Strategy: Before we talk about the apps let’s talk about how to use.
- Set the alarm to go when and where you can act on it. This simple step is the key to making this system work. Don’t’ set an alarm to go off when you are in the shower to pay bills. Maybe set an alarm to go off when you are sitting on the train for your daily commute to read.
- Think about how often this habits needs to be. We think of habit as daily habits and this true of most habits that people want to form. But there are weekly habits such as bill paying and doing your weekly review. Set the alarm to repeat at those intervals. It’s even harder to develop a habit that doesn’t repeat daily so the reminders are even more important.
Reminders This is the build in iOS app from Apple. It works well and does what i need it to do. The reminders app is a basic “pop up” and remind you app.
Here’s some reasons I like it:
- Sync’s across my devices.
- Custom Repeats – You set it to repeat on certain days and all the other normal repeats such as daily, weekly, monthly etc.
- Multiple list – I keep my Habit list separate from other lists I have.
- remind at a location. This is pretty clever and can remind you when you show up at a certain place.
Habit List This is kind of like a check list for the day. But what really cool is that it tracks your streaks. I like the postive reinforcement it gives when i hit a streak several days in a row.
Here’s some features:
- Easy to use. Just touch the habit and it crosses it for the day.
- Stats – It’s loaded with stats if you want to see them. If you don’t you don’t need to.
- Frequency – Set it every day or every 2-3 or 5-7 days you pick when and how much.
- Daily goal – Is this a once a day habit or would you like to do it multiple times in a day. Habit list can help you out ether way.
Building important habits is a journey and having help along the way is critical to your success. These apps can help you.
How have you been able to build successful habits let me know on Twitter.