A day or so after starting this project, I read a blog post on why our resolutions often fail. Turns out, it’s often a failure to change those nit-picky little things that we do- those small changes in our habits. In other words, we should start small, and gradually the bigger changes will come together. Go figure, right?
Which is a perfect lead in for Lift. In the last post, Lift became the app of choice for this personal development project. After one month of using Lift, I’ve (sort of) gotten the hang of it. Setting it up was straightforward- you just click the + sign in the upper right hand corner, and there’s a list of categories:
I already had some specific ideas in mind, so I just searched for them in the little toolbar and started following them. The winners were: No Sugar (3x a week), Speed Work (running) once a week, Spend 30 Minutes Writing (3x a week), Stop Drinking Soda (All week), Cook New Recipe (once a week), and 30-60 minutes of Reading (4x a week). Here are some of my opinions so far:
Things I Like:
- When you follow a certain task, you can see the comments, questions, and helpful tips others who follow that particular task have. There’s quite a bit of support that goes along with this app (which, according to the aforementioned blog post, is another key component to increasing your chances of success).
- You can “follow” questions within a task. For instance, in my “No Sugar” task, I can see all the questions people have asked for support. Some examples include: “Anyone have any sugar free recipes?” (a bunch of people answered this guy), “Did anyone else feel dizzy about 3 weeks in to a no-sugar diet?” and, my favorite, “Does alcohol count?” If someone has asked a question that you find compelling, you can follow it and get a notification whenever other people offer an answer. Of course, another option would be to ask a question of your own and get answers that way, but if that’s not your style (it’s not mine), following questions is a great way to get extra support.
- You’re in charge of how pushy Lift gets. If you’re the type of person who needs external reminders to do stuff throughout the day, Lift can make that happen. If you’re more hands-off, you can tell Lift to leave you alone and not send any notifications at all. There’s plenty of gray-area here, too, so if you don’t identify with either ends of the scale (like myself), then you can toy with it a bit more.
- You can track goals privately or publicly. So, if you’re working on something that you aren’t keen on sharing with the whole world, don’t. Mark it as “private” and get to moving!
- A fun sidenote: when you click that you’ve accomplished a task in Lift for the very first time, it kinda makes it sound like it’s the first time you’ve ever done it (ex. “Congratulations! First time ever Flossing!” As if I haven’t flossed in 24 years…).
Things I Don’t Like:
- There’s one BIG issue that I have with Lift. I forgot to check off something that I’d done one day, and it ruined my “streak.” Lift doesn’t allow you to go back to the day before and check something off, which annoys me (although it makes sense, I suppose). It threw off my little progress calendar, and now it’s driving me nuts. Again, this is 87% user error…but it’s annoying when the computer thinks you’ve broken a streak that you have in fact, not broken.
- It’s not clear how to add tasks. At first, I started adding random tasks. A bunch of other tasks pop up, so I was under the assumption that you could only join the pre-determined goals that Lift created. In reality, these are groups that other users have created, and it offers a chance for you to join a little community, if you want. Once I figured out that you CAN in fact add your own personal goals, it made me happier.
- I started getting some annoying e-mail and notification activity (happening around 3-4 times a day), until I re-did my notification settings.
After the first month, Lift has helped keep me accountable, and I’m still interested in keeping up with this whole thing (my usual resolution checkout happens about two weeks in). And, since Lift shows my progress on a daily basis, I remember to check in (most) every day. For the next month, I’m planning on taking things up a notch (this month was more of a trial and getting the hang of things) and adding more challenging tasks. If anyone has any suggestions/ideas, they’d be appreciated!