Loop – Habit Tracker

This is a great tool, developed by Alinson S Xavier, available for Android in the Play Store here.  There are many different iterations of habit trackers available, but I like this one because not only is it free, it also is ad-free, has a clean interface, can set reminders, gives you graphs of your activity and scores your performance.

This is a great tool for encouraging new behaviours, refining existing behaviours, and getting us to think a little more closely at how we spend our time.

One really good point that is mentioned in the FAQ:

Instead of tracking bad habits, it is better to rephrase your habit in a positive way. In this way, every time you open the app to put a checkmark, you are rewarding yourself for some good behavior, instead of getting punished. For example, instead of having the bad habit “Did you smoke today?” you could have the good habit “Did you have a smoke-free day today?”. Another example, instead of “Did you eat junk food today?” you could have “Did you eat healthy today?”

Taking this approach helps to create a positive feedback loop, wherein the satisfaction you get from being able to put a check beside the habit for the day combines with the pleasure or benefit you get from the activity itself.

It can also help provide additional motivation when the new habit is one that is initially uncomfortable or difficult, like trying a new exercise or doing something else that places you outside of your comfort zone – the fact you are tracking your activity means that at the end of the week, you will still be able to derive a sense of satisfaction from your attempts, regardless of how the activity itself went, which can be a powerful motivator and help us stay on course even if results are not immediately forthcoming.  In this sense, it helps reinforce that the effort is the way; it is better to pride ourselves on the efforts we make rather than just the successes we have.

And finally, wording our habits positively can help us get in the habit of wording things positively, or understanding how to reframe our expectations or understanding as positives rather than negatives.  For some people with deeply entrenched negative thinking, this fundamental change can bear striking results.