It takes a human being between 18 and 66 days to form a good habit, but less than three days to break it. And science agrees that habits are hard to form. It takes a whole new set of neurons and neural connections to form a good habit.
Anyone who’s been able to hit the gym regularly for six months or more knows that the key to creating a habit is consistency. Daily routines become routines because we keep doing these things day after day.
But that’s easier said than done.
The law of inertia states that bodies will continue in their present state of rest or uniform motion unless changed by an external force, that is, unless an external force prompts you To perform an activity that you want to eventually turn into a habit, you’ll most likely remain at rest.
When it comes to habit formation, these external forces can be anything – a friend who walks you to the gym or an instructor who shows up at your house at 5 p.m. for your swimming lesson.
Another example of an “external force” that can help a person train and track a desired learned behavior is the Habit Tracker app, available on iOS and Android.
Rated 4.8/5 on iOS and 2.8/5 on the Google Play Store, Habit Tracker has over 100,000 downloads on each platform.
Using the app
The app is quite simple to use and doesn’t require much thought or input. You simply log into the application and you arrive on the home page.
The homepage or default screen you see when you log into the app serves as your daily calendar. You can click on different days and see what activities or habits you have planned for each day.
Habit Tracker app
But, when you first log in, this page will be empty.
To start adding habits, click the plus sign (+) in the lower left corner of the screen. There are many on-screen prompts that will guide you if you are unable to locate it, but it is hard to miss.
On the “New habit” page, where you will arrive if you click on the + sign, you will see a list of pre-programmed habits, such as walking, running, doing yoga, cycling, meditating, reading, learning, breathing, drink water, etc., which you can add to your list.
Each time you click on one of these habits, you’ll be taken to an entry page where you can further customize the activity, from renaming it to setting up alerts when you want to be reminded of it. do something. You can choose the days of the week you want the reminder, the times you want the app to notify you, and the date you want the reminders to stop.
The app also gives you the option to create custom habits, in case the pre-programmed list doesn’t already have them.
Once you’re done doing an activity related to a habit you want to cultivate, you need to swipe right on it from the home page to save it as done.
The “Settings” option in the app lets you switch to “vacation mode” if you don’t want to be inundated with reminders.
To delete a habit, go to the settings tab, then click on “Habits manager”.
The second page after the home page allows you to follow the progress of your habits on a calendar. Each “habit” has its own timeline, and you can switch between different habits to gauge your diligence.
There’s also a “friends” tab which makes it all more social by letting you add your friends and letting them see your progress. You can create common habits and have the app ping everyone at once to perform an activity as well.
The UI/UX on iOS is pretty seamless and devoid of glitches, but that hasn’t been the experience of Android OS users. The Google Play Store page for Habit Tracker has several reviews saying the app’s interface on Android is horrible.
On the Apple operating system, Habit Tracker has received unanimous praise.
In the Habit Tracker app
The app is simple and without too many bells and whistles. It’s quite clear that the developers have prioritized functionality over form and design, and, as long as it does what it’s supposed to do, that doesn’t count as a negative in my books.
Getting started is also fairly easy due to its minimalist interface, although a quick tutorial would have been helpful.
When it comes to creating personalized habits, you really have a huge field to work with. You can customize down to the unit of measurement: glasses, grams, seconds, steps, ml, and even add your own “account” in case it is not available. I got into the habit of reading three pages of Tolstoy’s War and Peace each day, and was pleased with the ability to set “pages” as a measure, even though it wasn’t available as a pre-programmed option.
A commendable feature of the app is the ability to create screen widgets, even on iOS, which is notoriously opposed to the idea. Widgets help you keep track of activities you have set for yourself, as well as counting the number of times you have performed the activity.
Removing a habit from your list is a pain though – it’s tucked away in the ‘Settings’ tab, but it could have easily been programmed in a more intuitive way, such as by long-pressing the activity from the homepage itself- same.
Also, Habit Tracker only lets you track your habits, not run them. For example, it does not offer meditation videos or audio recordings. It offers a countdown and some superficial soundscapes, if any. But if you need external stuff to help you perform an activity – yoga, for example – you’ll have to look outside the app.
Think of him more as a scorer than a trainer.
Overall, Habit Tracker is a great, simple, no-frills app that can really help you cultivate habits if you’re diligent enough – a must try.