Confession: I’ve been attempting to cease the habit of biting my nails since Tove Lo released the song “Habits” back in 2014. Whether you’re striving to commence a fresh exercise routine or aiming to eliminate something from your life that no longer benefits you, the process can feel like a perpetual struggle. That’s why it’s no surprise that many individuals turn to habit trackers to assist them in navigating the process of making changes in their life, regardless of whether those changes are significant or trivial. The question is: Do habit trackers work for you?
Beginning new habits comes with a plethora of advantages. Research indicates that cultivating new patterns of behavior might enhance self-assurance and contribute to overall well-being. Additionally, you’re also reaping the benefits of the particular habit you’ve established. It’s a triple win. Ahead, delve into the mechanics of these habit tracker apps, how to determine their suitability for you, and, lastly, how to select the appropriate habit tracker for your needs. Start by downloading the #ShapeFreshStarts Habit Tracker below — it features two empty spaces for you to “choose your own habit” — and employ the hashtag on social media to document your progress.
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong
How Habit Trackers Function
First things first: an explanation of how habit trackers operate. Forming a habit famously necessitates the “three Rs”: reminder, routine, and reward. For instance, if you aim to go for a walk during your lunch break to refocus and accumulate a few thousand steps, your reminder could be a notification on your phone that says “Get out there!” Subsequently, you have the routine itself (your stroll), and the reward of your preference (let’s say, a cup of steaming chai tea or hot cocoa).
In general, habit trackers — whether in analog or digital form — assist you in monitoring your “three Rs,” emphasizing the rewarding aspect of the routine. For example, one highly praised habit tracker app called “Streaks” assists you in establishing consistent habits that are designed to give you a sense of building momentum. While many habit tracker apps operate on a binary system (either you completed your workout for the day or you didn’t), some — including Way of Life — allow for a gray area where you still deserve recognition, but may require you to journal about why you didn’t accomplish a specific task.
This self-analysis might assist you in identifying the underlying cause behind your neglect of a certain routine, allowing you to anticipate and overcome such a mindset in the future.
How to Determine If a Habit Tracker Is Suitable for You
For some individuals, habit tracker applications will provide a sense of liberation and achievement, as well as a means to recognize the advantages of their positive decisions. For instance, if you’ve committed to engaging in yoga daily, perhaps you’re experiencing heightened relaxation, flexibility, and comfort within your physique.
However, psychologist Sherry Benton, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Tao, an online therapy resource, cautions that habit trackers carry the potential to adversely affect certain individuals’ mental well-being. Evaluate your emotions: Observe your feelings while using the habit tracker during the initial week or two, she suggests. “Check in with yourself,” states Benton. “Is habit tracking contributing to your well-being, or is it instilling guilt, shame, or inadequacy?”
If you discover that you’re compulsively checking your habit tracker or experiencing stress whenever you utilize the application, this approach may not be suitable for you. “This is highly individual,” explains Benton. “The majority of individuals benefit from social support and encouragement. For example, some people find the three rings on the Apple Watch for standing, moving, and exercising particularly motivating. However, others perceive it as their watch constantly nagging them.”
How to Effectively Utilize a Habit Tracker
Although each habit tracker or application comes with different pre-loaded instructions and features, a valuable guideline for practicing healthy habit tracking is to record your habit and proceed with your day, as advised by Benton. “The key lies in moderation,” she states. “If it becomes excessively strict and results in guilt when you deviate from it even slightly, then it has crossed the line.”
Prior to downloading a habit tracker application, one effective approach is to consider the desired features. Ask yourself:
- Are you in search of simplicity that allows for a straightforward daily check-in?
- Do you desire the ability to share progress with friends?
- Do you prefer to monitor both habits you want to eliminate and habits you aim to cultivate?
- Are you interested in a habit tracker that focuses on establishing a morning (or nighttime) routine?
- Do you value practical advice on habit formation as well as the capability to track behaviors?
- Would you appreciate a habit tracker that promotes daily self-reflection?
The Top 5 Habit Trackers Based on Your Requirements
Finest Straightforward Habit Tracker: Habit
Courtesy of Merchants
Purchase It: Free, $39.99 for premium
This habit tracker is fundamental in the finest way. You can commence using this infant for free (even though, you will have to pay to track multiple habits at once). With Habit, you can establish push notification reminders to mark off your new behavior, and even add motivational quotes to your reminders if you’re into that sort of thing. Obtainable on iOS.
Greatest Community-Based Habit Tracker: HabitShare
Courtesy of Merchants
Purchase It: Free, $4.99 for premium
In quest of an accountability buddy? HabitShare permits you to inform your community about your accomplishments, and allows you to track up to three habits for free. You can also view your habit streaks and charts to monitor your progress over time. Obtainable on iOS and Android.
Greatest Habit Tracker for Breaking Habits: Done
Courtesy of Merchants
Purchase It: Free, $6.99 for premium
If you’re aspiring to initiate something new and release something old, let Done be your habit tracker guide. Set objectives, check in with the app, and witness your conducts alter over time with graphs and tables. Done also arrives with a remarkable, attention-grabbing color palette—so you’ll anticipate popping on the habit-tracking app every day. Obtainable on iOS.
Greatest Morning Routine Habit Tracker: Morning Routine Habit Tracker
Courtesy of Merchants
Morning routines have been a significant topic of conversation over the past few years—and for valid reason.
There’s something unique about commencing the morning hours according to your preferences, and the individuals at Morning Routine Habit Tracker are aware of that fact. This app for monitoring routines encourages you to choose the morning practices you wish to nurture, and subsequently guides you through the steps you need to follow upon awakening. That’s as straightforward as it gets. Accessible on iOS.
Excellent Habit Monitor for Self-Examination: Route of Existence
Provided by Retailers
Purchase It: No Cost, $6 for superior
Dissimilar to numerous other habit trackers, Route of Existence prompts you to jot down how your habit establishment is progressing. Consequently, not only will you have the opportunity to perceive the advancement you’re achieving, but you’ll also have the opportunity to contemplate as you proceed. You can additionally observe circle graphs of your advancement, establish reminders, and select different color schemes based on your preferences. Accessible on iOS and Android.
Gratitude for your input!