Per request on Instagram, today I am sharing a review of the habit tracker app I use: Streaks.
If you’re not familiar with Streaks, it’s basically a habit-tracking app. You can get it in the App Store here or on Google Play here. It takes less than 2 minutes to create the habits you want to track and start tracking them. Through the app, you can track up to 12 habits – the goal is to build a streak of consecutive days. You can sync it across your devices and even use the app to create negative tasks to help you break bad habits!
How I Use Streaks to Create Healthy Habits
Before I dive into my full review of the Streaks App, let’s chat about how I’ve used the app so far.
Reminder: I utterly failed to embody my 2020 word of the year. Sure, my word of the year was travel so I’m not really to blame at the end of the day for that failure (global pandemic and all that). Yet, when it came time for me to pick my 2021 word of the year or resolutions, I felt daunted by the task. After the beat down that was 2020, I didn’t want to set myself up for failure.
Thus, I decided to create mini-resolutions. So here’s the plan: each month in 2021, I’m going to choose 2-3 goals. These goals can be to build a habit (e.g: read 1 book per week) or to break one (e.g: go 1 month without shopping on Amazon).
In January, I had 3 goals:
- Close all 3 activity rings on my Apple Watch every day.
- Go 1 month without shopping on Amazon.
- Read 4 books over the course of the month.
I succeeded at all 3 – and was able to track them in the Streaks app!
Here’s how I did it in the app:
For goal 1, I created a Health task in the app. Health tasks link to data from the iPhone Health app and will automatically mark as complete once the data is received. What does that mean? Basically, since my Health app syncs with my Apple Watch, I didn’t have to manually mark that item as complete every day. Once I closed all 3 activity rings, I would open the Streaks app and the app would automatically mark the habit as complete for the day!
For goal 2, I set up the habit as a negative task in the Streaks app. Negative tasks are automatically marked as complete every day – you have to manually go in and mark them as missed. Each day, I received a notification congratulating me on not shopping on Amazon that day. Love that positive reinforcement!
Goal 3 was a little trickier. Since Streaks is all about building habits over consecutive days, there’s really no way to track reading a number of books over the course of a month. So I had to get creative. Given the speed at which I read and the length of the books in my queue, I felt that I could achieve my goal if I consistently read for at least 1 hour each day. In the Streaks app, you can create timed tasks. These tasks automatically start when you tap them, and you can pause and resume throughout the day if you want. If you don’t want to mess with the timer, you can just press the task button to mark it as complete.
Oh and for the official record: I blew that last goal out of the water. I ended up reading 6 books in January!
My Overall Review of the Streaks App
In case you can’t tell from this app review thus far, I’m a big fan of Streaks. The app is intuitive and easy-to-use, and it has a really clean design. I love that I can access the app across my devices and that certain data (like when I close my activity rings on my Apple Watch) will automatically mark as complete.
One note: this app does require a certain amount of personal accountability. Had I shopped on Amazon on day, I would’ve had to manually mark that in the app. You’re not going to get the results and build the habits if you lie to yourself (obviously). You can retroactively mark days as complete/incomplete, but, at the end of the day, the app can’t know what you don’t tell it to know. So, for best results, you need to be honest and consistent (words to live by IMO).
PS in case you’re wondering, here are the habits/goals I’m tracking for February:
- Share skincare tips every day on Instagram Stories.
- Cook at home 3x each week.
- Limit my TV time to 2 hours each day.
- Read 1 book each week (and share my book review on Sundays on Instagram Stories).
Follow along on Instagram to see how it goes!