Achieving goals takes more than good intentions, as many people who struggle to follow through with their New Year’s resolutions can attest. Creating success requires taking action and measuring progress. Hopefully your resolutions for 2016 are goals that you have made SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time sensitive.
If you like the idea of using technology to stay focused on your goals, there are many apps that can help you track your progress and stay on track. What works well for some people may not be the best choice for others, so it is worthwhile to explore some options to decide what will work best for you. Here are six free or very low cost habit-tracking apps to get you started:
Coach.me (formerly the Lift app) is a free habit-tracking app for iOS that helps you keep your positive goals in sight. You can use Coach.me to track your progress, get community support and celebrate your success. Accountability is a key component of Coach.me, which started with the premise that you improve your chances of reaching your goals and establishing new habits if you solicit feedback and encouragement.
Coach.me provides users the ability to create plans with actionable steps designed to accomplish specific goals. You can share your plans with the community and join plans created by other users. The extensive list of plans will stimulate your creativity and expand your sense of what is possible. Coach.me also integrates individual personal coaching for a small additional fee if desired.
Coach.me is available for iPhone, Android and web.
Strides is a very well designed app with beautiful graphics and charts. This app understands that different kinds of goals require different tracking systems. After you decide what goal you want to track you then choose the appropriate tracker: target, habit, average or milestone. The dashboard helps you see how you’re doing at a glance in one simple view.
3) Habit List
Habit List helps you track “streaks”—how many times in a row you have completed an action. The app provides the ability to create flexible schedules with habits that are to be done on specific days, non-specific days, or intervals. For example, you could schedule to go the gym every M/W/F, cook dinner at home three nights a week, or write a weekly blog post.
Habit List helps you stay on track with reminders and badges, and lets you view trends over time. You can set the app to skip habits when you are on vacation or want a break and resume whenever you are ready.
irunurun is an easy-to-use performance tracking and accountability app that makes the process of building new habits fun by making it like a game. After you enter the action or habit you want to track you then weight the action, assigning each action a point value. Once all your actions are entered, the game begins. You start each week with zero points and then work to add points each day. If you do every action at the appointed time, you would earn a perfect score of 100 points for the week.You can also build an accountability team by inviting other people to any action.
The app could use a graphic design update but the functionality is useful in spite of the outdated appearance. It is available for iOS devices and a browser interface in individual, team and enterprise versions.
With the Lifetick web-based app you start by defining your core values. After you have identified your values, you define your goals then add the steps required to achieve each goal. You can add notes and sync steps with your calendar, and the built-in activity feed gives you a dated journal of all your goal-related activities. The multi-user functionality lets you invite others into your goals, adding the benefit of accountability.
GoalsOnTrack is the most powerful and comprehensive goal-setting program of the six mentioned here. With this web-based app you can record a goal, the purpose, start and end dates, metrics, sub-goals, habits, and action plans. You can also create goal templates and sync due dates with Outlook and Google Calendar. GoalsOnTrack works particularly well for people who like to think and plan in a hierarchical manner. This app is fairly easy to use and costs $5/month.
These are just a few of the numerous technology tools that help people track their habits and work towards their goals. Are you already using a habit-tracking app you like? We would love to hear about it; let us know what works for you!