Habits can be made or broken if you try hard enough and have a little help from a friend.
OK, I admit it, I have some bad habits. We all do. At the beginning of each year, I try to overcome at least one bad habit. Sometimes I succeed; sometimes I don’t. This year, I’m going to let my iPhone help me succeed. Here are the habit making or breaking apps that I’m going to use to help me stick to my New Year’s promises. Whether you are trying to save money, spend less time looking at your phone, quit smoking, or be a better person, these apps may help you, too.
Streaks is a habit tracking app that lets you set up new good habits and break old bad ones. Hoping to quit smoking or cut back on drinking? Need a push to remind you to go to the gym more often? Let Streaks help you turn next year into your best year.
You can create daily habits to make or break of any kind by customizing what you want. Add a step tracker, timer, heart rate monitor, and more. You can connect Streaks with your Health app to automatically keep track of certain data. If you also have an Apple Watch, all of your step, heart rate, exercise, and move goals are already set in Streaks.
With iOS 12 and later, you can track and customize how you spend time with your iPhone and iPad. By default, Screen Time will track your daily usage habits and show you a weekly report on your activities. But you can take it further.
Customize how much time you want to use your iPhone and iPad with Downtime, which allows you to schedule times during the day when your iPhone will be locked out, or with App Limits, which lets you lock down specific apps after you’ve used them for a certain amount of time each day.
If you think you’re spending too much time looking at your iPhone or iPad, let Screen Time help you create new habits.
Keeping a daily journal is either easy and second nature, or nearly impossible to keep up with. If you’re one of the latter, give Reflectly a try. You don’t even have to write very much if you don’t want to, but it will help get you into the habit of checking in every day.
Reflectly gives you prompts to start talking by asking questions about how your day was, and how you’re feeling. If you get through the three questions and don’t feel like writing anymore, no problem. If you do, then there’s a section where you can add notes on what you did today.
If you’re ready to take daily journaling serious, but don’t know where to start, Reflectly will set you on the right path.
It’s free to download, but requires a subscription of either $29.99 per year or $7.99 per month (the yearly discount is about 70%).
I have a very bad habit of spending money that I really shouldn’t. I start off with savings, but spend too much and end up just barely squeaking by at the end of the month. With PocketGuard, you can gather insight into where your money is being spent and see what your monthly cash flow looks like. The “In My Pocket” feature gives you an idea of how much spending money you have today, this week, and this month. You can set spending limits for specific things, like dinner, drinks, buying clothes, and more. You can also link certain personal accounts, like your energy provider or internet provider, to get additional savings through better finance offers, rebates, and more.
If you want to save money this year, PocketGuard can be your personal financier with detailed insight into your spending habits and savings.
If your New Year’s Resolution this year is to quit smoking, you’ll see more success with Quit Genius than without. It’s more than a habit tracker or daily check-in. It’s a dedicated smoking cessation app that helps you understand why you smoke and what you can do to break those triggers. You’ll start with a “quit day” which is about a week from your first interaction with the app, and every day, you’ll input information about your smoking habits, including what you were doing right before deciding to smoke and how you were feeling.
There are daily five-minute lessons that help you understand why people have a difficult time quitting and recommendations on what you can do.
You also have a personal quit coach that you can chat with directly, recommended tools to help overcome cravings, and a community of people you can interact with that have quit, are in the process of quitting, or have started thinking about quitting.
It’s free to download and comes with a 7-day trial, but if you’re ready to go for it, you’ll invest $50 per year (I’m not sure why it’s a yearly subscription instead of a one-time purchase). Think about this: $50 per year is still less than the cost of smoking once every 14 hours.
Are you ready for a change?
Do you use any particular apps for making or breaking habits? What do you do when you decide it’s time for a change? Let us know in the comments.