Using Our Tech Addiction for Good - Tracking Goals, Habits, and Mental Health

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 03/21/2019 - 13:54

We spent January talking about setting resolutions and goals for the new year in such a way that they get met, and taking the first steps in working towards those goals. If you missed any of this emails, you can check out the blogs here and here

Now we want to talk about some tools you can use as you’re working on any personal goal. These same tools can be helpful to stay more in tune with your mental health this year. Daunting tasks can seem a whole lot easier when you’re handed the right tools for the job!

Here’s a riddle for you: what’s something we all have, would struggle if we lost, but it gets a bad rep as being incredibly addicting and unhealthy? Technology! We love our devices but we know that sometimes we use them too much. Well, we’re here to talk about how to use our “addiction” to technology for good!

Since you’re currently reading this on some kind of technology, that means now is the time to use it for great personal change! Using our phones, computers, tablets, and smart watches can be a great way to hold ourselves accountable to completing tasks, meeting goals, and tracking habits. We carry these things on us much of the time so we can regularly check in with our progress. Here are some ideas:

  • Good old fashioned phone notes app - You can make all sorts of lists and journal entries in these. One of our favorite things to ask clients to do is to use these apps to process feelings and organize thoughts, and to check in with their mood regularly (a sort of mood journal). For example, if you’re on your phone upon waking up and before falling asleep, you can write out worries, goals, and positive affirmations in the morning and debrief yourself on your day at night, listing positive things that happened. Google Keep and Apple Notes are great because they sync across devices.
  • Meditation and mood tracking apps - Headspace, Calm, and Stop Breathe Think are some of our favorite ones. These apps have lots of free content including mood check ins, guided meditation, and guided breathing. 
  • Habit tracking apps - Apps like Strides track habits for you. They can help you meet daily, weekly, or monthly goals of introducing or ditching habits. For example, you can set “drink 8 glasses of water per day” and tap every time you drink or “workout 3 times per week” and check in when you do. It’ll show you how many times you’ve hit a streak, and keep you motivated. It feels so good to check in! This one works on the whole Apple ecosystem, even smart watches! Android has similar things as well.
  • To-do list apps - There are so many of them out there and it’s important to try a bunch to figure out which ones are the most comfortable (and aesthetically pleasing) to you. One of our favorites is Any.do, it’s free and it can sort your to-do lists into personal, work, even grocery lists! And it syncs across phones, computers, tablets, and watches too!
  • Post-it notes widgets- Android devices and most computers have the option for post-it note widgets that float on your home screen, and can be used to remind you of tasks or encourage you with positive affirmations and quotes.
  • Calendars and reminders - Use calendars and reminders that sync across devices and remind you what you have going on each day. Apple and Google calendars do this pretty seamlessly and come on virtually every device. Great for people who have trouble remembering meetings and want to stay organized. 

We recommend exploring which apps feel the most comfortable to you and which ones are the most easily accessible to you - look for things that sync across your devices. It’s so much easier to stick to your goals and get things done if they’re popping up on your wrist, in your hands, and on your desk! 

Maria Karimova MS LLP's picture