Habit forming with Lift

9640676728_eb86dc5f95_zI think it’s fair to say that my ‘better’ habits have gotten away from me this year. Through a combination of work and injury I’ve let my health and fitness slip, and this in turn has had an impact on my energy levels.

When I mentioned to Bojan that I was looking to invigorate my habits, he made a suggestion that I was initially skeptical of: Lift.

Lift is essentially a habit tracking app, with a bit of social media thrown in for good measure. It’s pretty basic, which I think actually helps avoid overcomplicating matters, and you need to register for a free account to use it.

The basics

The basic premise is that you type a habit into Lift, e.g. “Go to gym”. Lift will automatically tell you if anyone else is tracking this, or a similar tasks (they nearly always are) and offer you the choice to select one or create it from new.

Once you’ve added the habit to your list, all you need to do is to open Lift whenever you ‘do’ that habit, and it will log it. Lift will then tell you when you’re on a “streak” (x consecutive days) or how many times you’ve done that habit so far.

Lift will even send you encouraging emails and reminders each day to keep you motivated.

The social aspect

When you ‘do’ a habit, Lift will show you details of the other Lift users who have also done that habit today, how many times they’ve done it and whether they’re on a streak. You have the ability to offer them ‘props’ (think of it as a +1 or a ‘like’), and they can do the same for you.

This simple, no-frills social media angle adds an odd (but not unwelcome) dimension to the process, tapping into that part of the human psyche that likes to be praised and responds to encouragement/peer pressure.

Creating habits is easy, keeping them is hard

Although I found the whole social media aspect a little bemusing ( I think it will work better if you have a few good friends registered), there is no doubt in my mind that for the limited time I’ve been using it Lift has had a postive effect on my habit-keeping. There may be more sophisticated options out there, but for me taking the act of habit logging out of a more sophisticated task manager and putting it into a no-frills app like Lift has proven to be a winning solution.

Give it a whirl – like me, you may be surprised…