Things that work :: Habit list

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I'm a person who believes strongly in self-improvement... and, yeah, that includes the new age wonder that is self-help. I'm at a place where I fully own my issues, good and bad. And I am always, always trying to work on the ones that, I feel, hold me back from the life I want. I'm fully aware that I, nor the rest of the world, will ever be perfect and that's not my goal. My goal is too never fall into the opposite trap... the sarlacc pit that is "things never get better / why bother." I get pretty miserable at that thought. I know people who are stuck there and they are not happy people. And not being happy is another thought that makes me miserable.

So if I hear about something and it sounds like it might help me in some way, I will quickly read that book / try that workout / download that app / learn that technique. Sometimes the things help and sometimes, a lot of times even, they don't. When I find something especially useful or cool, I think I'll share it here. With the understanding, of course, that what works for me might not work for you. And, I won't think less of anyone who isn't into the same stuff I'm into* (that's one of the issues I've long ago kicked to the curb). Basically... I'm not the boss of you, you can go your own way, think for yourself, etc.

Creating new habits or dropping old ones is a tricky game... I can't tell you how many to-do list apps and habit apps I have downloaded. Most of them get used for about a week, then moved to a folder in case I magically think of a better way to use it, then finally get deleted in a random app purge. But I think I've finally found a good one in Habit List.

I've been using this app for a few weeks now and I love it. Things are getting done! New good habits are getting ingrained! Old bad habits are getting the boot! Take a look...

These are screen shots from my own Habit List. You can schedule habits all sorts of ways - daily, weekly, monthly, 3x a week, etc. Most of the items on my "today" list are daily habits, with the exception of a different room cleaning goal each day and a couple of monthly goals (like donating unwanted stuff). At the end of a day, it will show you how much of your list you completed as a percentage. I'm pretty obsessed with getting 100%, though I don't always.

You can also easily look at each habit and see how often you complete it. That is helpful if you, like me, often fall victim to 12 Cookie Syndrome. Now instead of, "I failed at this once, I suck, I give up," I can see the bigger picture...  "Yeah, I failed at that goal today, but look how often I've completed it in the past few weeks! It would be dumb to give up because of one bad day!" I'm being careful to slowly add new habits so I don't get overwhelmed and a few have already been delayed or deleted.

The different ways to look at the data can give you a good idea of what your priorities are. For me, my twice daily TM practice is my biggest daily priority and I've never even been tempted to skip it. One of the big effects TM has had on me is that I'm just naturally rejecting the crappity crap and craving (and acting towards) more goodness & order in my life. You might not think that doing the dishes everyday is a big deal... but my previous habit was to constantly fall behind on all the housework and then feel overwhelmed by it all and then ignore it longer and then finally do something about it. I have spent a good part of my adult life trying to figure out how other people manage the day-to-day basics and now, suddenly, it's all clicking with me. And I'm definitely giving my TM practice the props for that. I'm not sure I can explain how it works... it just does.

Oh, but I was talking about how cool this app is. This app is way cool and helping me reach some goals & create new habits. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some habits to tend to. :)

P.S. That sunscreen goal cracks me up because I'm so bad at this! How can a natural redhead be as bad as me at sunscreen? But, look! 10 days in a row I have slathered it on. Go me!

*unless maybe you don't like Star Wars or you like the wrong Star Wars... then I might think less of you. ;)


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