Thursday, September 6, 2012

WotW: Lift Yourself Above Bad Habits with Lift

Remember back in January when you set some New Year's Resolutions (can you even remember them)? How are you doing with your goals?

Chances are, if you're like most Americans, you've abandoned at least a few of your resolutions. If you haven't, my hat's off to you. For most people, resolutions can be incredibly difficult. Sometimes we set unrealistic goals. Perhaps we just got too busy. But maybe the biggest reason we don't succeed at our resolutions (or any goal in life we come short in) is because we don't track our progress.

Fortunately – to use the trite phrase – there's an app for that.

It's called Lift, a free app for the Apple App Store (sorry Android users, no app for you yet). This incredibly basic app allows you to set goals and then track your progress. The best part? All you have to do is check in each time you achieve one of your goals and it does all the monitoring for you.

Once you download the app, you need to sign up for an account. You can also link your Twitter account, which will pull in your profile picture.

To get started, you will need to select some habits you would like to work on. I chose only the things I really struggle with, but you can select as few or as many habits as you want. Because Lift is a social network app (of sorts), you can see what habits other people have already created and join in, or you can create your own.

I have selected six habits to work on. Don't judge me. Five of the six, I have a daily goal to accomplish. The writing in my journal goal is only once a week.

OK, so let's say I worked out today. I want to record this in my Lift app, so I open it up, click on the Exercise link and I am taken to the Exercise home page. All I have to do to record my progress is click the checkmark circle.

The checkmark will turn green and the graph above will add an extra line (you get a line for each day of the week you accomplish your goal). Below the graph, you can see what other people have done with the same goal.

Because this app is social in nature, you can give "props" to people who do a good job. This is a simple way to give encouragement. You can see below that I gave props to someone who left a comment on their progress. 

You can add a comment to any check-in that you do by clicking the little pencil icon next to your name after you check in and then type a comment.

If you return to the home page of the app and click on the little graph icon, you will be taken to your statistics page. Here you can see the total number of check-ins and props you have received. You will also see graphs and percentages on how well you're doing. This can be really motivating, either because you're doing great or because you see how poorly you're doing and make a vow to fix it.

If you click on a specific habit's statistics, you can drill down to learn more about it. You can see frequency by week on a simple chart where each line represents a day of the week.

 You can also see a calendar view and see which days you were successful and which days you weren't.

This app is so incredibly simple to use and so powerful that it's a must-have for your device. So many goal apps take a lot of time to record your progress, but even on my busiest days I can squeeze a few seconds to click on a giant checkmark. And if I ever forget to record my progress one day, I can always jump back a day and record it (no cheating, now...).

Go on and give it a try. What goals will you set?
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