Habit-forming helpers at your fingertips


“Act the way you’d like to be, and soon you’ll be the way you act.” — George W. Crane

Are you interested in breaking a bad habit or developing a new habit? Maybe you want to break a caffeine or junk food habit. Or perhaps you’d like to add flossing to your bedtime routine or start taking the stairs instead of the elevator on your hospital visits.

Research suggests that it takes 60 days to form a new habit. During this crucial period, how do you keep track of your progress? Listed below are two apps for your smartphone or tablet that can help you log your behaviors and see how you’re doing toward your goal of creating or breaking habits.

Healthy Habits by 2Morrow Mobile
smartphone with appsHealthy Habits was awarded first prize in the Integrative Health category of the 2012 Surgeon General’s Healthy App Challenge. The Healthy Habits motto: “Change is not just about thinking; it is about doing.” This free app allows you to track three habits and your efforts to either break them or make them. You can create a custom habit or you can select one from a list provided; then, define a goal, set up reminders and rewards, and track your progress. Upgrade to the premium version ($4.99)  to track more than three habits and to gain access to more graphs, statistics, and other tools. Click here for more information. HabitMaker HabitBreaker is the Android version of this app.

HabitMaster by ProductiveTap
At $2.99, this app for iphones or ipads helps you incorporate positive habits into your life; you can track your progress, set up alerts and reminders, and also view your longest streak of successes (your goal is to beat your own record). With this app, you can personalize if and when it’s okay to skip days. For example, if you’re trying to create a habit of getting up earlier, you might decide that it’s okay to skip Saturdays and sleep in a little; this won’t affect your current streak. For more information about HabitMaster, click here.

Don’t have a smartphone or tablet?  Joe’s Goals is a website that allows you to track your habits (good or bad) online at no charge.

by Katie Huffman

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