I mentioned in the previous post that this month I'm working to build a new habit by writing 500 words each day. To track the progress for this habit, as well as others I am working on, I am using an app called Lift. Lift has been around for awhile now, but when I looked at it in the past it did not offer an Android version. Using the iPhone version on my iPad was less than an optimal experience, but with the Android app available, it's a great choice for me.
Lift is designed to make creating, finding and tracking goals or habits simple. You can browse what habits have already been created by other users and see how many participants they have. You can add your own habits if the one you are looking for does not already exist. You can even mark a habit private so that other Lift users cannot see that you are a participant.
I'm not using the app for the social features that it offers, however, they seem to be helpful to those that do. From simple positive feedback/reinforcement to the ability to ask questions of other habit participants, Lift gives you the ability to interact with other users to motivate you to succeed. Some goals are even sponsored by experts that then make themselves available for question and answer sessions in the app. I have noticed that this is typically also tied to a chance for the expert to market themselves or their services, but I can understand why they see the opportunity as a good one for both parties.
A big part of what makes me want to use an app is the design and user experience. Many Android apps feel out of place when the iOS version came first. Lift is an exception. The Android app is great and feels like it was developed with the Android platform in mind. The user interface is very clean and minimal, yet informative and clear as to the progress on each goal or habit.
Don't Break the Chain
The value in having an app like Lift is that it gives you a very visual and material way to measure how you are executing on your goals. It adds the achievement of checking a box each day. The idea of not "breaking the chain" is a large component in building any habit. You don't want to kill the streak, and having an app that shows you that really does seem to have a motivating effect.