Every year millions and millions of people set goals. Some people set resolutions which don’t last long, others set goals and really set about achieving them. So, what is the difference between achieving or not achieving your goals? For many people, it is monitoring, that is, actually, tracking daily habits. It is using tools and technology and some of the best apps to track habits that help with reaching goals.
The Best Apps for Tracking Habits and Creating Momentum
Momentum doesn’t just happen, it is achieved with action. Similar to goals, goals don’t just happen, they are achieved with action. In fact, it has become clear that monitoring progress towards goals increases the chance of success. An article in the American Psychological Association indicates that monitoring progress helps to ensure behavioural changes take place that helps with the attainment of goals. Thus, tracking habits can lead to success.
It wasn’t too long ago where the only way to track was on paper, in a journal. Today though, it is so much easier today to track habits. Especially with all the apps available on smart devices like the apple watch.
I love my Apple watch, it is like my accountability partner. Keeping me on track. One way the apple watch helps me with sticking to my health goals is with it’s prompts to close all three rings. The three rings are part of Apples activity monitor. At the end of the day, I like to see all three rings closed. The standing ring, the movement ring and the exercise ring.
Another thing I like about the Apple watch is the watch recognizes when you are working out and asks you if you would like to track. Naturally, this needs to be activated first. Apples own tracker is not the only tracker I use, but it is a great one to get started with if you own an Apple watch.
What is tracking for goal achievement?
You, I, we all have goals in life. Unfortunately, some of these goals are like a wish list. However, this wish list can become an achievable goal list if regular small steps are taken towards the desired outcome.
The problem is not the lack of wishing, dreaming, wanting. The problem lies in the lack of a plan. A plan that guides you toward your desired outcome. In short, a plan is just like a roadmap leading to your destination. If you were going to drive to a new destination, you would not drive around aimlessly, hoping you will land in the right place. In reality, you would look up the directions, and follow a guided path to the location.
Tracking for goal achievement is the breadcrumbs on your guided path. The route that takes you there. Additionally, tracking each day helps with seeing where you have come from and the changes needed to reach the destination.
Naturally tracking is not just track and you will obtain the end result. You still need to put in the work and tweak your habits so they lead you to success.
Why do goals fall by the wayside?
Goals slip away due to failing to plan to achieve them. It is as simple as fail to plan, plan to fail. Goals without a plan in place really are just a wish list. Therefore to achieve a goal action steps are needed.
For myself, one of my walking goals seemed too far of a stretch. In fact, I decided to shelf the goal for a while due to a foot injury. The goal was to walk The Great North Walk. A 250km trail from Sydney to Newcastle. Due to plantar fasciitis and knee pain from osteoporosis, it would be easy to let this goal just slip away. However, over the past year, I turned the goal into steps to improve health so that walking The Great North Walk can be achieved. A goal set for 2019.
Related post:7 Simple ways to walk 10000 steps daily.
Health could become the reason to fail or the reason to motivate. I choose the later and spent the last year working on improving my foot and joint health with exercising and walking. At first, walking was hard, so I walked in a swimming pool. Now I walk at least 10,000 steps a day by the lake or by the beach. Although The Great North walk will be a walk split into many 3-8 hours walks, breaking down the goal makes it more manageable. It reduces any overwhelm.
How to plan for success.
- Set goal – Walk The Great North Walk.
- Break down into bite size pieces;
- Physio for feet and knees
- Walk 3 x a week in the local swimming pool
- 20 minutes walk 4 x a week
- Walk 10,000 steps a day
- Enjoy a few 2-3 hour walks on the weekends
- Share goal with friends.
- Plan walking expedition days.
Like many long walking trails, The Great North Walk can be walked over many days, over weekends or over months in sections. The book gives suggestions for start and end points if walking in sections. This makes planning for success easier.
Related post: 7 Simple ways to structure your day for productivity.
The Small Steps Matter.
It is the small changes that lead to a goal. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Any goal worth striving for is going to challenge you in many ways.
Do you remember when you learnt to ride a bike? Achieving goals is a bit like learning to ride a bike. There are multiple steps to the process.
First, you celebrate cycling with training wheels, then celebrate cycling with one wheel and then no wheels. Eventually, it feels comfortable riding a bike.
Related post: Life is like riding a bicycle.
It becomes the new norm until you decide on a new challenge. Achieving goals is stepping out of the comfort zone and taking action towards the desired outcome.
The Best Apps to Track Habits and Overcome Procrastination.
The best products to set habits and achieve goals are not all products. And, despite all the technology available at our fingertips sometimes the simple old school way of pen and paper works best.
Journaling is one way where you can track your daily habits. Just writing or ticking off a few steps each day in a daily planner is all it takes to see how you have progressed that day.
What I love about journaling is you can see at a glance how you are progressing that day, week, month, year. It is easy to see if there is a pattern to achieving the daily or weekly steps that lead towards the goal. For example, if my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day. I might tick off 4 days of the week as completing walking 10,000 steps. The other days, if over time form a pattern with me not walking 10,000 steps than I’d need to look at my day to see how I can change my routine to reach my goal.
Walking 10,000 steps a day is a goal I do have and I have had to change one of my days around to walk in the evening not morning due to shift work. Again, it’s the small changes that matter.
Related post: 5 Ways to start a personal journal.
Sometimes it is easy to slip up when you are only accountable to yourself. Therefore, having an accountability partner is a great way to help you stay focused on your goals. Sharing goals with a friend, a blogging group, even a mastermind group helps with accountability to your goals. This is because the goals remain in focus and ways to change habits to reach the goals can be brainstormed. A little help from friends, new and old can go a long way.
There are a variety of ways to find accountability partners.
- Within your network of family and friends: Sharing a coffee with a friend, discussing goals is sharing. Your friend or family member may support you with your goal. For example, they may join you with a fitness goal or may call you to check how you are doing each week.
- With an online mastermind group: When I started learning affiliate marketing, I found the online groups a great resource to share goals and to encourage each other with our goals. Mastermind groups can be via internal subscription programs, paid coaching, Facebook groups, YouTube community tabs, this list could go on. Are you part of any mastermind groups?
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- Attending a local networking and mastermind group. If you have a local group near you, meeting and networking together can be very beneficial. Especially if you have a similar goal.
One of my goals is health and I’ve found that walking weekly and discussing successes and losses with my peers a great help.
Connecting with like minded people, both on and offline helps your peers and yourself. As an introvert, I struggle at times with connecting with people. Though, connecting via a common goal where we all take an interest in each other’s successes assists with personal growth and of course creating the habits to reach personal goals.
If you are tired of setting goals that you never actually achieve, then joining online and offline community groups may help you.
As much as I love to write down goals with pen and paper, I still love the use of modern technology and the multiple apps that assist with tracking habits.
You may want to try one or two of these free and affordable apps listed below.
Trello is a productivity platform which is visual. It can be used individually or shared with others. This makes it a great platform for teamwork. What I love about Trello is the visual aspect and is accessible via the mobile app.
I use Trello to plan social media content, keep notes for blog writing, keeping a list of groups I communicate with on social media. Project management and project tasks on individual and shared project boards.
Cost: Free and paid options
Asana is similar to Trello, just not so visual, though it is possible to choose boards or list view on setting up each project. Projects too can be shared and collaborated on. Asana is great for team projects and agency project management due to the share capabilities and comment options. Project management with clients makes signing off on project tasks easy.
Also like Trello it has a free and paid version.
Wunderlist is a list app that I like to use to list the groceries I buy, the goals I set, the Christmas present list and more.
It is a list app available on mobile and desktop.
One of the great features is the sharing of the list and linking to your calendar. I especially like to share the grocery list with the family so they can all contribute to the shopping list. This sure saves me a lot of time in checking what is needed for the pantry.
Fabulous is an app that helps you create habits by setting routines. The app has preplanned routines, however, you can also set your own routines. One of the first routines it suggested to me was building a morning routine. Creating a morning routine is definitely a great way to create habits that lead to success.
Cost: Free to sign up, monthly subscription
Productive is another app that helps you build good habits to organise your life. With the productive app, you can schedule your tasks throughout the day and create your own routine. Similar to when using the rings on the Apple watch motivation comes from seeing the success streak in your monthly calendar.
When you search for ‘habit trackers’ in your app store you will find many trackers. Many trackers have a free trial followed by a monthly or yearly subscription. It is normally best to start with a free trial as to find the tracker that best suits you.
Additional habit trackers to reach goals may be specific to the goal it’s self. For example, a tracker I use is Couch to 5k. I have used the Couch to 5k on numerous occasions over the years. Recently I commenced learning to run 5k again with this app.
Common Questions About Setting Habits to Achieve Goals.
- I don’t know what goals to set. To start with, know that you are not alone. Many people happily float through life while others chose to create their life their way.
- If you are unsure of what goals to set yourself I recommend you read to discover your personal life goals.
- What is some daily goal setting examples? Daily goal setting is the breaking down of your goals into small steps to achieve your goal. The Couch to 5K app is a great example of breaking down a 5k running goal into manageable walk/runs that lead to the goal of being able to run 5k in 9 weeks. This post has an example of daily, weekly, monthly habits for weight loss. Other daily habit examples are;
- Get up an hour earlier
- Read a chapter of a book a day
- Walk 10,000 steps a day
- Track daily calories on a food tracking app like Easy Diet Diary
- Write in a journal daily three things you are thankful for.
- How do you set goals? Below are two blog posts to help you with setting goals and writing down your goals. I choose to work on a few areas of my life at a time and aim for a balanced life.
- Is there a setting goals worksheet? There are many goal setting worksheets online as well as habit tracking worksheets. Click here for a free 90 day habit tracking worksheet and email support to help you set your goals, track your habits and stay motivated.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about tracking your habits to reach your goals.
- Tracking your habits only works if you remember to track, this is why using an old school system of tracking with pen and paper works well.
- Tracking has become easier with the use of technology as you can set up prompts as reminders.
- Having support from friends, community groups both online and offline can assist with staying motivated and help you achieve your goals.
- There are short goals and long goals and every small step that leads you towards your goal is a step to celebrate.
Share in comments an app you use to track habits or share which app you’d like to try.
Angie blogs about setting goals and mastering habits as well as productivity and living abroad. She started blogging while learning the skills to start an online business. Her goal to work online came about due to wanting to see overseas family and travel around Australia. Her mission is to help others succeed with their goals. Angie often shares tips and tricks while walking the beaches or near the lake on the Central Coast NSW Australia.