Starting a new habit is a tough business, and big business.
There are hundreds of apps, courses, books and programs to help you start good habits yet in spite of all these things it is still MUCH MUCH easier to start a bad habit and lose your good habit than start a good new habit which lasts longer than just a few weeks.
Well this app from Lift.do is a great app that uses a few psychological triggers to help you build a daily writing habit that you can stick to for good.
4 Tricks for Starting a New Habit
Every habit has a trigger, something that tells you “hey it’s time to do your habit now.” An example would be brushing your teeth before. Everyone knows you need to brush your teeth everyday (and hopefully twice a day) but this wasn’t always the case and it took a lot of effort to get people to start the habit of brushing daily.
The reason we brush our teeth twice a day was part of a marketing campaign that knew to get people to start using toothpaste they needed to give people a trigger so they knew they should do the habit. They recognised the “film” on peoples teeth could be used as a trigger telling you that you NEED to brush your teeth.
The second important part is to make sure that you get a reward after doing the habit to show that you have complete it and make you feel good about doing the habit. Interestingly this doesn’t have to be a completely pleasant reward, let me show you with Toothpaste again.
Toothpaste has an added irritant so that once you have finished your gums “tingle” or rather are irritated. This let’s your brain know that they have been brushed, of course there is the added reward that your teeth look whiter too so that helps!
If a habit isn’t practical then you’ll never be able to do it. Wanting to start going for a jog in the middle of the day when it’s burning hot outside or going to the gym after work when no gyms are open.
Okay these are extreme over the top examples but the point still stands, if you want to write for an hour in the morning but you have kids you need to look after you are either going to have to beat them up or find another time.
There’s something about knowing that someone is going to check on you, tell you off for missing practice or just get ahead of you that can help give you that extra push when you need it. It’s the basis of Training partners and Personal trainers around the world.
How Does Lift Help with This?
Lift uses all these aspects to encourage you to pick up a habit. There are plenty of reminder apps that will give you a trigger, but they don’t really reward you or help you to compete against other people.
Lift is a social app that adds in these two other elements. It still won’t help you judge how practically it is so you’ll still need to use your common sense a bit and work out when you should use it.
The way lift works is you sign up for a group who want to learn a habit (for example, write 1,000 words a day) and you can set a reminder for when you want to do the habit (you don’t have to do it then but you’ll get an email or push notification on your phone at that time).
Then you check in once you’ve done the habit for everyone else to see. So far a basic trigger and reward but it’s going to get more interesting.
When you check your habit you can say what you did (so for learning a language you can give a tip or ask a question, or you can share your workout routine etc) and then people in the group can give you “props” which are a bit like…er.. “likes”.
Basically it’s saying “nice job”, you can add a comment as well in response to what they did.
But it doesn’t stop there, you also have a public streak. So if you’ve done the habit 5 days in a row, everyone else will see “Chris Wilson learnt Spanish for the 5th day in a row”. Trust me, as soon as you get to over a week you won’t want your streak to end!
All this means that you have a strong competitive and social aspect to encourage you to do your habit, tell other people about it and keep doing it everyday. A great way to start your Daily blogging habit.
You can even check out the guys behind Lift’s own view on the science of Lift. They highlight some different areas but it’s pretty similar.
Although it is an app just for the iPhone, iPod and iPad, you can use the web version on your computer or mobile device so Android and Windows users aren’t left out.
Join A Daily Writing Group on Lift
If you have wanted to start a habit of writing a blog post daily (or just writing daily) then there are groups for that on Lift. I’m part of one called “Write blog post” with just over 2000 others.
If you’ve had trouble before then I challenge you to sign up to lift, download the app and start writing. If you leave a comment with your name bellow, I’ll keep an eye out for you on the community.