When you want to make a change in your life, it can be hard to know where to start. Even once you’re on the right path, it’s easy to let go of your goals and fall into the same bad habits.
The developers of Lift, a new goal-tracking app, want to make it a little easier to switch to those good habits and keep them for the long term. With props from fellow users and handy tracking features, Lift may help you actually complete your goals and keep you on target for the long haul.
Setting Goals and Making them Stick
Opening Lift for the first time, you’ll need to create an account tied to your email address. Lift is going to ask for access to your Twitter account, so it can find your friends and grab a profile picture. Connecting your accounts isn’t required though, and if you choose to skip it now, you can always come back to it in the preferences.
Once you get past all that you can start adding some goals. Tap the plus sign in the upper right. Some of the most popular good habits are going to be listed for you, and if you’re not sure where to start, this is a good place to get some ideas. There’s some pretty basic stuff up top, like remembering to exercise, reading regularly or meditating. You’ll also find some really great but less obvious habits, like setting your priorities for the day, emptying your inbox or calling your parents.
To add a habit, tap it. Lift will take you take you to a list of all the people who’ve recently checked in to that habit, the Lift version of confirming your participation in achieving the personal goal. Tap “Add Habit” to add it to your habit list. Your activity will be added to the habit’s timeline, and you can start tracking your progress. At this point, there won’t really be any progress, though. Hopefully, you’ll fix that!
If you didn’t find your goal in the list of habits, you can also search for it or create a new one. Tap the search field and start typing. If your habit already exists, go ahead and add it. If not, it will still show up in the search results, but with no participants. Just tap it and add it to your goals like any other habit. The only drawback to creating your own habits is that you won’t have the reinforcement of the other Lift users.
Keeping up with Your Good Habits
When you’re done adding all your habits, back out to your main list. If you’ve performed any of your good habits today, you can check into them now. Just tap it, and Lift will take you to the habit’s timeline, letting you see all the most recent check-ins. Tap the big check mark, the button turns green, and you’ll be checked in to the habit for today. You’ll also notice you get a little green tick in this week’s column. As you check in more, the column fills up, and you can see your progress.
To check in to more habits, tap the forward and back arrows next to the title of the habit. This way you can quickly scroll through your habits and check off the one’s you’ve completed. If you’d like to leave a note with a check in, tap the pencil next to your name in the timeline. You can also give fellow users props for checking in to their good habits by tapping the thumbs up next to their names.
If you missed a day’s check in but want to make sure you get your good habit recorded in Lift, that’s easy enough to do. Back in your list of habits, tap the arrows next to the date to move backwards and forwards in time. You can back up as much as a week and check in on all your missed days. If you start checking in on days you didn’t meet your goal though, it sort of defeats the purpose of Lift, so you’re on the honor system for this one.
Tapping the bar graph in the lower left opens your check in summary. You can get a quick glance at how often you’re meeting your goals and where you’re falling behind. If you’re doing especially well with any habit, you may see a “streak” indicator, letting you know you’re doing a good job.
Working in the Preferences
Clicking the gear in the upper left gets you into the settings. You can connect to Twitter and Facebook here and change your name and email address. Lift’s email preferences can also be found here, and you may want to make this one of your first stops. Whenever you check in, other users trying to form the same good habits will give you props by clicking on the thumbs up next to your name. This manifests as an email to your inbox, and if it’s an active time of the day for Lift and you checked in to a lot of habits, it’s going to be a lot of emails. Email preferences is where you can turn off props emails and control the frequency of other Lift emails.
If you got good habit crazy and added more to your list than you can ever keep up with, tapping the gear also gets you into the Remove Habit screen. Just select whatever habit you want to lose and tap Unfollow. It will disappear from your list, though your check ins will remain.
Lift is sort of a to do for good habits. There’s not a whole lot here that you don’t find with a to-do app, and at it’s core, Lift is a revolving checklist that respawns every day. Lift has two features that stand out from other to-do apps, props and tracking. Props is probably only really beneficial if your friends are the ones giving you the props. My experience was that after I checked in, I got a flood of emails from strangers, and while their support was nice, I didn’t feel it helped me reach my goals. Tracking was more useful, as I could see my progress over time, and adding a green tick to my bar graph every day gave me an incentive to check in.
The fact that Lift exists to help you achieve your goals though, does set it apart. If your list of self-improvement habits is mixed in with your grocery list and honey-do list, it doesn’t carry the same weight. A dedicated app with the purpose of making me a better me, did by itself make me want to complete my goals and check in to my habits. I could see my previous check ins and know that I was making changes to my life.
Will Lift make you a better person? On its own, no. But it’s a nice tool to have when you want to make changes, especially when you’re not sure how to get started. The positive reinforcement of Lift, not just from other users but from the green check marks within the app itself, really can make all the difference in getting a good habit to stick.