Forming new habits: App + life review
The old adage goes: "Practice makes a man perfect" (not women, women are already perfect). But, forming a habit to practice – that is the hardest part.
Not all habits are difficult to create. It is really easy to form a habit out of an action that provides a dopamine kick. But it is daunting if it involves putting in some effort. IMO, most of the "good habits" always fall into the difficult bucket. It could also be a corollary that all easy habits are the bad kind!
So how does one build a new habit? Here are 5.5 million opinions.
On a serious note, I found this simple Andriod app, Loop - Habit Tracker, to be really helpful. I enter my goals, and regularly track whether or not I have achieved the goal for that day. Based on this, it creates a score for each habit and has these cool graphs that show my progress. And the stat that helps me most, is my longest streak for every goal. I'm bent on creating a personal record! It also has notifications that help you create a habit of opening the app regularly. This helped me ease in, and the positive reinforcement got me addicted to it.
- This app only helps in motivating you. You still need determination to act on it.
- A general rule: never lie to yourself. Be a strict judge of your actions. Do not find excuses to mark the goal as done if you did not complete it, or if you think you have not done enough. Lying a few times to the app will, in the long term, make your subconscious invalidate those stats; they will be meaningless, and the app turns useless.