Building New Habits

Happy Birthday!

The iPhone celebrated ten years on 6/29 – and while many, myself included, on occasion, bemoan the changes technology has created in our life, I am for the most part a techie junkie.  I love all that technology can do to improve our lives and make us more productive human beings.

So, in honor of the ultimate smartphone’s birthday, I want to share my favorite app right now.  It’s called Way of Life, it’s about building new habits, and it’s free.

Way of Life Habit Builder

In addition to running Slay The Chaos, I am also a writer.  My writing up to this point has been on a personal blog called the DJRanch, and I honestly fell into it.  But over the last year or so, the desire to write more has grown.  Hence the creation of Slay The Chaos and also a foray into fictional writing.  I’ve joined classes, purchased how-to books, told people my desires…but hadn’t really written anything.

Can you relate?  

You have this fantastic idea but can’t entirely execute.  In my case, it was fear of the unknown.  It was also not even knowing how to start.  And in this frame of mind, I always seemed to find something else to do.  And then I got an assignment – that had to be turned in and workshopped by the class – I was a deer in the headlights. Enter Way of Life.  It’s an app that helps build new habits – super simple and easy to use.

Here is one caveat I must disclose – this app works for me because it’s about streaks.  A streak is when you do something every day for a period of time and the app tracks that number for you.

I’m a total sucker for streaks.

It probably began after reading a story about Jerry Seinfeld’s habit secret.  Back in the day, when he was a just a stand-up comedian, he had a dream of breaking into television.  But with his “day job,” it was hard to get and stay motivated to make time for writing.  So, he had a big wall calendar that had a whole year on one page and hung it on a prominent wall. Then, every day that he wrote, he placed a big red X on the date.   A few days in, he had a chain, or streaks, of days where he accomplished his goal.  Missing a day resulted in no X – and having to start the streak over.  It was effective motivation, and we all know the rest of the story – he went on to be a famous television star.

Daily action builds habits
We get to decide whether they’ll be good or bad habits.

So back to fictional writing.  I couldn’t get started – my mind felt paralyzed.  That is until I remembered the Way of Life app.  I opened it up and entered my new habit “Write Fiction” and set notifications to on.  I love the motivation on two levels – One, I don’t like the little round red number notification – like Pavlov’s Dogs, it causes a reaction in me that wants to clear the notification with action.  Two, it was a reminder of my new habit that I was trying to create.  Using the app last week to write my first assignment, I’m on an 8-day streak, and the rough draft is finally completed (whew).

The Way of Life app can be used for other habits as well.  Journaling, meditating, prayer, etc – really anything that you’re trying to START or STOP.  But a word of caution – the human brain can only take so much change.  Don’t add ten things at once.  One or two items at a time are enough.  Acclimate yourself to a new habit before moving on.  Be specific and be real.  Lose weight is not a habit.  Walk 10 minutes is.  Save money is not – Not visiting amazon prime today is.

Here’s your homework this week.  Identify a new habit you’d like to incorporate into your life and download the Way of Life app to start tracking. And remember, we are always about progress and not perfection at STC.  Stutter starts are always better than never starts. Keep showing up and trying. Finally, I’d love to be your cheerleader and hear about your experience.

The legal stuff – I’ll never write nor promote a product I don’t believe in…with that said, this post could contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you – these small commissions simply help me finance this blog.  Thanks for being here.

Did you miss the STC Instagram posts this week?  Daily inspiration right your phone!

Donna Matthews

Donna is a passionate soul eager to help others clear the chaos from their minds, souls, and homes with keep it simple, real life, productivity and organizational solutions.

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