Last March, I had just finished reading The Power of Habit and I was convinced that focusing on good habits was important. But how do you actually do it?
I was in the middle of my prayer time, when I asked this question, and suddenly the thought came: there must be an app for that. So I immediately distracted myself by researching habit apps on my phone, and all these months later, I’m so glad I did. The app I chose to use, because of it’s streamlined graphic approach, is called Way of Life.
You can see the icon for it above. It is free, and with the free version, you can track three things. After downloading the free version, you can upgrade for a one-time fee of $5 to track as many things as you like.
I track daily 33 things, some of which you can see in screen shots below. Each day for each category, you can mark it as yes (green), no (red), or not relevant that day (blue). You can see your progress as a weekly bar graph, a monthly bar graph, or as an ongoing pie chart. I compete with myself to see how many green marks I can get in a day, tallying them up before bedtime.
In this way, I have been largely cured of interrupting my husband, but my bedroom rarely gets the tidy mark. (I am so challenged with that one that I give myself a green mark for any effort.) You’ll see “expressed gratitude” as an item on my list below; I almost always get that and it is a huge red flag for me if at the end of the day I can’t remember an incident where I expressed gratitude. However, I still have not gotten even close to the goal of drinking 8 glasses of water a day, but seeing it on my list each day is heightening my awareness of that, and helping me edge toward doing it.
One of my blog readers told me recently that she bought the 10+ Journal I recommended, but wanted to know how I remembered to write in it. The answer is that it is one of the items on my check off list on the Way of Life app – and a quick and easy one to fulfill when I keep it next to my bed.
I was also asked at camp how I work toward goals when my life (because of both the practice and homeschooling) is basically based on interruption. The answer is The Way of Life app. It keeps me at least somewhat focused on goals and intentions, as well as conscious of my fulfillment –or lack thereof –of what I say I want to do.
In fact, this app has come up in conversations so frequently recently as a recommendation, that I said I’d put it here on the blog to encourage you to use it. Like anything, you have to work it for it to work for you, but it is quick and easy. I love the simple, graphic clarity of it.
I’ve already removed categories, no longer needing them, and have added others. I average around 19 green marks each day, but have never gotten over 23 out of 33. And some days I’ve scored scarily low. (I didn’t even keep track while I was at camp, and just started in with it again today.) But it is my personal challenge with myself to do the things on my list with meaning and grace, and this app is my quiet, private form of accountability.
Everyday, do you do something you’ve been avoiding? Do you learn something new each day? Are you as regular with your prayer time as you would like to be? Are you finding time for what you want to be doing? Are you taking good enough care of yourself? Are there character traits you want to improve that would be helpful to track? Are you really aware how often you actually do certain things? What would you like to keep track of and get yourself to do regularly? Flossing? Give this app a try.