by Tony Rushin
Depending on which statistics you believe, something like 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. That sounds about right to me since some years I make resolutions (here’s my last, in 2013) and some years I don’t.
Independent of New Year’s resolutions, I’m a big goal-setter. On my sales team we take time to set goals every year and I always set some personal goals as well as business goals. As I went through the process of setting some personal goals last week I thought I would look into apps that would help me track my goals. As you would expect, there are plenty to choose from. Based on what I found, here is a brief description of the four that made my short list.
This is a goal-setting as well as goal-tracking app. It caught my eye based on several positive reviews that I read. GoalsOnTrack is very robust and helps you think through how to set goals, find your motivators, create subgoals, action plans, etc. It can send reminders and integrate with Google Calendar or Outlook. It also allows you to share your goals and progress with others – great for accountability partners. For me, it’s too robust: complexity means I probably won’t take the time to learn it / use it. The price for the web-based computer app is $68 / year and it comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. There is a free iPhone app that pairs with the web-based computer app (note: the iPhone app is useless without the web-based app).
This one, formerly called Lift, has been around for a long time. Coach.Me has a free Habit Tracker iPhone app that I didn’t try out. What caught my eye was the online and phone coaching support that could be used in conjunction with the app. These features have great reviews and positive articles in Wired, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. They offer Leadership Coaching for $249 / month and Habit Coaching for $15 / week (and up). This, too, was overkill for my needs.
This is much more in line with what I was thinking: a simple goal-tracking app. Despite its name, irunurun doesn’t need to have anything to do with running (unless, of course, one of your goals is to consistently run). The purpose of the app is to guide you into focusing on the daily and weekly habits needed to achieve your goals. This is a straightforward app that’s easy to set up and I love their tag line: Actions speak louder than goals. It has a simple interface and I was able to quickly set up my Action Dashboard of daily and weekly habits. You can share your goals and progress with an accountability partner, which is nice. They also gamify the experience: once you set, and weight, your goals the tracking starts with 0 points each week and based on your performance you can accumulate up to 100 points for the week.
Like irunurun, Strides focuses on goal / habit-tracking. It is also simple and easy to use – I had my daily and weekly goals set up in less than 5 minutes. What I don’t like, relative to irunurun, is that I can’t share with an accountability partner. What I like much more than irunurun is the ability to set up and track three different types of goals:
- New Habit (or breaking a habit) – “exercise at least 4 times each week” or “say ‘just’ or ‘only’ no more than 3 times each day”
- Target Goal – “lose 6 pounds by February 28th”
- Average Tracker – “get an average of 7 hours of sleep, or more, every night”
I set up the app yesterday so I don’t have much history yet; here’s my dashboard.
It’s also gamified and the graphics are great. And in addition to the three types of goals shown above you can set it up to track milestones as you work toward any event. Here are example graphics showing history.
Everything I’ve done so far with the app has been intuitive and easy (don’t like the order in the dashboard? Simply drag a goal to rearrange). The app has a free version and a premium version ($4.99 / month or $39.99 if paid annually); I haven’t yet encountered a reason to upgrade from the free version.
Good luck achieving your resolutions (or goals) in 2016!