The Fordham Ram

An App That Habitually Helps You Improve Your Life

The+app+Loop+Habit+Tracker+is+available+on+Google+Play.+%28Kevin+Stoltenborg%2FThe+Fordham+Ram%29
The app Loop Habit Tracker is available on Google Play. (Kevin Stoltenborg/The Fordham Ram)

The app Loop Habit Tracker is available on Google Play. (Kevin Stoltenborg/The Fordham Ram)

The app Loop Habit Tracker is available on Google Play. (Kevin Stoltenborg/The Fordham Ram)


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By Jimmy Sullivan

Like everyone, I am trying to get better on a daily basis.

Sometimes I succeed and others times, well, we don’t like to talk about those times. I get frustrated at myself for setting goals and not reaching them; of course, having a plan helps a lot, and it took me over 19-and-a-half years to realize this. So, one Sunday just a couple of weeks ago, I set out to change that.

I specifically went looking for apps that could help me build strong and healthy habits. Before doing that, I read several articles detailing the best apps for building strong and healthy habits, and I came upon an app called Loop Habit Tracker. It is available on both iOS and Android, and guess what? It’s free!

This app does exactly what it sounds like it should do: it helps you form habits. You can choose a habit to start and track over an unlimited number of days. The app keeps track of how often you have clocked in to perform that habit (don’t lie!) and gives you a score based on what you have done to that point.

This app is fairly explanatory, but its most interesting facet is how long it gives you to put your habits into place. Each repetition makes your score stronger, but a missed day or a late check-in knocks back your score without destroying it.

There is no evidence that it takes 21 days to form your habit and then the work is done; that idea is a myth and you should not believe it. The point is that you should get into the habit of doing said thing at the same time every day or night.

As I write this article, I’m at 52% for my first habit, which is to keep a journal every night; this will shock you, but there’s an app for that, too. In case you haven’t caught my drift, I really hate writing things out.

Anyway, I really wanted to get things together because I have become a veteran at setting goals and giving up halfway through. While habits are very different from goals, good habits lead to better performance, whether it is in the classroom, on the playing field or in extracurricular activities.

I have fallen into some bad habits since entering college, such as an unbalanced diet and a time management skill set that would make even the best procrastinators cringe.

It is important that you try to replace your bad habit with a good one instead of just breaking the old one; and that’s exactly what this app can help you do.

That being said, it’s far from perfect. It has drained my phone battery to the point of barely making it to the end of the day after starting with a full charge. (Fun fact: I am the proud owner of a brand new BlackBerry Motion.)

However, its benefits far outweigh its downsides, and I know that it has already helped me perform habit-forming behaviors in my daily life. I would not suggest trying to form multiple habits at once, as it is too much to ask that early on. But if you are willing to invest time and care into cultivating your habits, this app is most certainly for you.

I can attest to the app helping me out just the other night. I have used the Loop Habit Tracker to get into the habit of writing, or typing, a journal entry every night. On Sunday, I was thoroughly overwhelmed after a long day catching up on homework. I went to bed with the knowledge that I had forgotten to do something. I remembered that I hadn’t written in the journal, and thus I kept my 14-day streak alive. Mission accomplished.

The app Loop Habit Tracker is available on Google Play. (Kevin Stoltenborg/The Fordham Ram)

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An App That Habitually Helps You Improve Your Life