Go for Your Goals

Apps to Help Break Bad Habits & Make Pos­i­tive Change in Your Life

iPhone Life Magazine - - Best Apps - By Hallei Hal­ter

do you have new habits you would like to cre­ate, but don't know how to be­gin? Feel like you start work­ing to­ward a new goal only to find that you can't quite keep it go­ing or reach a fin­ish­ing point? Here's a list of apps that can help any­one in the be­gin­ning, mid­dle, or fi­nal stretch of form­ing a habit or com­plet­ing a goal.

Rou­tin­ist (Free)

For any­one con­cerned with ef­fi­ciency, you can use this app to plan down to the minute how to ac­com­plish your daily, weekly, or monthly goals. Sim­ply cre­ate a habit in the app and en­ter the amount of time you want to spend on it. There's a filter op­tion to sug­gest how long to de­vote to each task. No­ti­fi­ca­tion alarms are op­tional, and my fa­vorite is Bells since it makes what I'm about to do feel like I'm com­pet­ing on a game show. The first 15 habits you cre­ate are free, but you can up­grade to pre­mium ($2/month) to re­move the limit. The Help but­ton is a great learn­ing fea­ture since there's a lot to take ad­van­tage of in this app.

Any.do (Free)

This ver­sa­tile day plan­ner has op­tion af­ter op­tion for or­ga­niz­ing your life. You can set your tasks in list or cal­en­dar view (by con­nect­ing to the stock Cal­en­dar app), and you can use vir­tual as­sis­tants Siri and Alexa to cre­ate no­ti­fi­ca­tions and re­minders. Each task pro­vides a range of per­son­al­iza­tion op­tions, such as adding sub­tasks or notes. And if you up­grade to Pre­mium ($2.99/ month), you'll have ac­cess to more cus­tomiza­tion tools and the op­tion to share goals with other users to get a team ef­fort (like party plan­ning!) off the ground and run­ning with ease.

Trello (Free)

Do you need to break down your goals into smaller steps? Turn mi­cro­manag­ing into a virtue with this app. With Trello, you can start a board and add tasks to it. The tasks (or cards, as the app calls them) can be bro­ken down into check­lists. For ex­am­ple, my kitchen board has a card ti­tled “Sea­son cast iron pan,” which in­cludes a check­list I typed up to re­mind me to look up a guide to sea­son­ing (which I kept for­get­ting to do). Trello's pre­mium fea­tures in­clude ex­tra se­cu­rity, app in­te­gra­tions, and the op­tion to up­load your own backgrounds and sell them to other users.

Habit-Bull (Free)

This habit-track­ing app fol­lows ac­claimed co­me­dian Jerry Se­in­feld's wis­dom of “Don't break the chain,” where you build a chain as you ful­fill your daily, weekly, or monthly goals. Habits are cre­ated as yes/no or counted amounts. Your first five habits are free, while Habit-Bull Pre­mium($19.99/year) al­lows you to make up to 100 habits and in­cludes other fea­tures such as cloud backup. The cat­e­go­rized prompts range from pro­fes­sional to very per­sonal goals, and the over­all feel of this app is al­most like mak­ing a bet with a good buddy (prob­a­bly one with a hair­style as mem­o­rable as Kramer's).

Re­mente (Free)

Every New Year's Day I write a bunch of res­o­lu­tions to im­prove sev­eral ar­eas of my life, only to leave that list in a pile of re­ceipts and take­out menus. Re­mente is a mo­ti­va­tional app that keeps goals feel­ing worth­while. It fea­tures a daily mood chart as well as one that as­sesses how sat­is­fied you feel in eight ar­eas of life. If you're los­ing fo­cus, the app pro­vides re­sources, such as cour­ses and ex­er­cises that cover al­most any topic you can think of. The goal check­lists are pre­made, so if you don't know where to start, Re­mente has you cov­ered with the op­tion to add your own steps. With Re­mente Pre­mium ($9.99/month), you'll have ac­cess to more re­sources, cus­tomiza­tion op­tions, and in-depth sta­tis­tics.

Habit­ica (Free)

Habit­ica is an app that makes com­plet­ing goals feel like com­plet­ing quests. Styled af­ter 64-bit role­play­ing games, Habit­ica has you cre­ate an avatar and earn points by check­ing off cus­tom­ized daily habits and one-time goals. You can un­lock pets, skills, and quests with each use or in-app pur­chase, with the op­tion to in­ter­act with other app users. Habit­ica also lets you cat­e­go­rize habits as pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive and in­clude lev­els of dif­fi­culty. There's no bet­ter way to reach goals than to have fun do­ing it, and I can't get over how cute my avatar looks wear­ing a silly party hat.

Swipes (Free)

Do you have things you want to do? Like, a lot of things? Cre­ate a list in Swipes and swipe each en­try to as­sign a dead­line to it. Set­tings in­clude var­i­ous re­minders op­tions like daily, weekly, or once. Stop try­ing to keep a men­tal list and get it all down in this app, which you can link to Ever­note. Now you can fo­cus on hit­ting the gym every Mon­day with­out con­stant thoughts about mak­ing your an­nual doctor's ap­point­ment.

Strides (Free)

Strides pro­vides four dif­fer­ent tem­plates to track “any­thing and ev­ery­thing you care about.” Use the Tar­get op­tion for goals needed to be done by a cer­tain date, Habit for daily goals, Av­er­age for sta­tis­tics over time (such as sleep­ing hours or time spent read­ing), and Mile­stones for lay­ered goals like pro­ject plan­ning. The FAQ sec­tion is won­der­fully straight­for­ward and makes this app easy and ad­dic­tive. You can set up to seven goals for free, or up­grade to Pre­mium ($4.99/month) for un­lim­ited goal and habit track­ing, along with other fea­tures like de­vice sync­ing and data backup. Hallei is ob­tain­ing her BFA in Cre­ative Writ­ing while liv­ing in Fair­field, Iowa. She's cur­rently work­ing on a novel about peo­ple us­ing witch­craft to clean their houses.

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