It takes 21 days to develop a new habit. You’ve probably heard that before, after all, it’s one of those sayings that has been touted by many self-help gurus. The other favourite is that famous Yale/Harvard study that found that people who wrote down goals were 90% more likely to achieve them). Too bad they’re just not true. The study never happened and the 21 days to start/change a habit is just nonsense. The truth is that it depends entirely on the individual.

In a study which actually happened it was found that on average it took 66 days before a behaviour (like flossing!) became automatic. However, it also varied widely amongst individuals, taking anywhere from 18 days to 245 days.

In other words: good habits can be hard to start, so we need all the help we can get.

At FitBodyHQ we use a daily habit check-list to make sure we remember to eat our veggies, drink water, all that good stuff. We were using just a simple paper-based system, when it dawned on us: we’re in the 21st century now, let’s use the magic of technology!

All kidding aside, we love paper for to-do lists and journaling, but we found an app that is awesome for helping you to stick to those new good habits. Allow us to introduce you to Way of Life.

Way of Life

Bear in mind that we haven’t tried every check-list app out there, but having said that: we love this app! Just a warning up front: it’s not free. It costs $3.99, so it isn’t the cheapest app out there, but in our opinion it’s definitely worth the small investment. You can actually download it for free, but you can only track 3 goals and it has ads – we’ve got a ton of things we want to keep track of, well at least 10, so we upgraded to the paid version.

What we love about it:

  1. It’s super simple to use.
  2. You can add notes to tasks each day
  3. You can view reports over up to 2 years.
  4. You can track trends.

What we’d like to see:

Way of Life is pretty much perfect for our purposes, but if there’s one feature we’d like to see it would be the ability to add tasks to categories, just to make organizing them a bit neater.

Bottom-line

If you’re trying to establish new good habits, then give this app a go. Download the free version, try it out and see for yourself!

Daily Deeds

This post by Andy at Crossfit LA also turned us on to another app which is great for sticking to habits, called Daily Deeds.

It’s cheaper ($0.99) than Way of Life (and in our opinion has a better color scheme), but it doesn’t have as much functionality: most notably being able to view reports and trends over a longer period of time.

Now it’s your turn: Have you tried any of these apps, or have we missed a great one? What did you think, have they helped you with sticking to habits? Let us know!

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