LIFT – an App to Track Habits

Technology is a beautiful thing, One of my favorite apps is called LIFT. Designed to help you “build better habits,” LIFT uses all the best tools of positive psychology to help you practice and solidify new habits or break the bad ones.


Like all good apps, LIFT is accessible via the web and/or your iPhone. It’s a coach, a support group, and a nudge-giver rolled into one.

First, you input the habit(s) you’d like to develop (or drop). The possibilities are limitless, but best to start small and build from there.

Second, you check in with LIFT each day to record your activity. Did you floss your teeth last night? Have you done those 50 sit-ups? Did you remember to call your mother? You have an option to editorialize on that day’s check in, e.g. “ran out of dental floss,” or “did 75 sit-ups!”

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LIFT tracks your progress, giving you a nice green check mark on the days you’ve marked off, and a bar graph gives you a broader picture of progress. My favorite feature is that your can set reminders for your iPhone. So if you can’t seem to remember to take that multivitamin every morning, LIFT will help you with that and reward you with the satisfaction of recording the deed.

Last but not least, the feature meant to really keep up your determination and enthusiasm is the social component to LIFT. You can connect your account to Facebook and Twitter (in the event your friends and followers care about your daily meditation.) Most users find it beneficial to join a group that shares a common goal and offer each other “props” for progress. On the flip side, you can opt out of all the social aspects and remain completely anonymous by using a pseudonym.

It’s highly customizable, but remember, it only really works if you are already determined to make that positive change. It simply reinforces that behavior through tracking, group support and visual feedback. If it truly takes three weeks to make or break a habit, give LIFT a try for 21 days, and see what happens.


The Mindset of a Regular Exerciser

What’s the difference between someone who exercises regularly and someone else, who tries, but doesn’t? It’s mindset. The exerciser has created a HABIT of exercise. He’s not “trying” to get in better shape, he’s committed to doing it. He doesn’t have more time, isn’t necessarily more athletic, and probably didn’t get more sleep last night than the non-exerciser. But he does make exercise a priority. He looks at it in terms of what the workout can do for him, instead of the barriers that stand between him and fitness.

What’s your favorite excuse when it comes to exercise? Below are six oft-heard reasons. Do you see yourself in any of these?

Senior Man Doing Press Ups In GymI don’t have time.
The exerciser makes time. Face it. We are all busy. The avid runner wakes up an hour earlier several days a week. The yogi makes a deal with her husband that he makes dinner for the kids twice a week while she attends a yoga class. The tennis enthusiast doesn’t schedule meetings or appointments on Friday mornings that will conflict with her standing singles match. They don’t do it out of obligation; they WANT to fit it in to their schedule.

I’m too tired.
When you exercise regularly, you have more energy. Really. Endorphins released–even during a brisk walk–ease stress and fatigue. If you’re looking for a better night’s sleep, those who enjoy regular aerobic exercise sleep better than sedentary folks.

I’ll never look like him/ her!
You may never achieve a chiseled physique, but devoted exercisers quickly realize that the benefits are bigger than physical fitness. Setting and reaching small fitness goals increase self-confidence. If competition is a good motivator for you, then by all means use it to work hard on the court or on the track. Yet most of us find immense satisfaction in self-improvement. When you’re feeling better about yourself, you’re less inclined to compare yourself to others.

I hate the gym!
If you’re a person who exercises consistently, then you’ve found something you enjoy doing. If you hate the gym, don’t waste money on a membership. Find a few things you love to do, and then mix them up into a consistent weekly routine. Try Pilates, dancing, swimming, pick-up basketball, nightly dog walks.

I’m not motivated.
Dig a little deeper and find out what WILL compel you to exercise. It’s not the same for everyone. No doubt regular movement will help you lose weight, but its impact on your blood pressure, bone health, strength and balance, and immune system are priceless. Increasing physical activity can also ease anxiety and depression. Remember, unless you are obese, your fitness level is more important indicator of health than is your weight.

I don’t see results.
In the same way that diets don’t yield lasting weight loss, expecting dramatic results a few weeks into a new exercise plan isn’t realistic. Keep at it and the benefits to your waistline and your blood pressure will show up right about the time you’re feeling maybe just a little bit addicted to this exercise routine. You do it regularly because you like the way it makes you feel. You may even get antsy when you miss a workout. Congratulations! It’s part of your lifestyle.

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