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How I'm Building Better Habits And Reaching My Goals In 2023

by - Thursday, January 12, 2023

Are you the kind of person who sets new goals for the new year? I always have been, mostly half-heartedly, but the older I get, the more I find I'm dedicated to starting the year with a different mindset. Perhaps it's because you do get a sense of your time running out once you hit midlife, but I like to think it's a drive in me to do those things I haven't yet done.

habit tracking and goal setting apps for 2023

I'm a typical Capricorn so you'll find me making lists, keeping organized, and working towards long-term goals in most facets of my life. I've found a few old ways and some new ones that work for me. In case you're aiming to be more productive this year, here's a few of the apps, books, and tools I recommend.

1. Atomic Habits

The book Atomic Habits by James Clear is probably the one thing that's made the biggest difference in my daily life. Through the approaches James teaches like habit stacking, I've managed to make some good habits a part of my everyday routine. 

He offers lots of helpful approaches and understanding of how and why we behave the way we do. I especially love that you can find ideas that work for you. There's not a single best way to build good habits; you can try different methods and see what works.

One method I've found especially effective is temptation bundling. I bundle something I don't want to do (go on the treadmill) with something I do want to do (watch Bad Sisters on Apple TV). I only get to watch that show if I'm exercising. TV shows in themselves have that "what happens next??" appeal so its a great motivator to get on the treadmill over days and weeks so I can see how the show ends.

2. Streaks App

I just downloaded the Streaks app after Christmas and I am surprised at how quickly it has impacted my daily actions. 

You load the app with the good habits you want to build or the bad habits you want to break. You are motivated to take action daily (or multiple times a day, or weekly, or whatever frequency you set) and in doing so, you see your "streak" extended.

I'm not so much motivated by the streaks but I have found the regular daily reminders are a great way to compel action. I'll find myself checking the app several times a day and I can visually see which tasks I have yet to complete. Forgot to take my vitamins at lunch? No worries, I see that reminder at dinner time when the notification to Drink more water pops up on my phone.

It's unexpectedly motivating just before I go to bed when I see what tasks are uncompleted for the day and rush to tick them off. The new day resets all your tasks so you find yourself wanting to complete as many as you can before the clock starts again.

3. Notion

I've used Notion for work but this year, I'm aiming to use it more for my personal life too. It claims to be an all-in-one workspace where you can save notes, task lists, and documents. You can drag and drop images, URLs. You can create To Do lists, spreadsheets, and calendars.

If you're tired of having all of your ideas on sticky notes or spread amongst a handful of different apps, Notion might be what you need.

4. Passion Planner

What's the one productivity tool I would be lost without? My Passion Planner! I've been using Passion Planners for the last four years and found they offer the combination of scheduling/calendaring plus goal setting that I need. They're not too 'woo woo' and feminine as some goal planners can be, and the design is not so minimal and rigid as basic calendars are. 

I also appreciate that Passion Planner offers a 'try before you buy' PDF option with free downloads of their planner. Who gives away their product for free these days?? And not only that, purchases of specific planner covers provide funds to partner organizations like the Malala Fund or charity: water. It's a brand whose products I love and that I love supporting.

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