If you’ve tried a habit building app before, you’ll know that many of them turn completing a daily habit – like flossing or meditating – into a game. Complete the habit every day and you’re rewarded with a badge, a trophy or you simply get to keep your streak going. It seems to be a formula that works well for most people. But does it work for everyone?
The thinking behind (Not Boring) Habits is a little different. With this iPhone and iPad app, adding more good-for-you habits into your day doesn’t have to be a slog. Because many other habit trackers do need to make you feel guilty to some extent. For example, you didn’t continue your streak or you didn’t get the habit done today, so no trophy for you.
On the Apple App Store, developers write on the (Not Boring) Habits page that a new behavior needs to be repeated 60 times for it to stick. But, regardless of what you may have read elsewhere, it doesn’t need to be done strictly 60 times in a row – so taking one day off or breaking a streak doesn’t have to mean failure.
Is this the best way to build new habits?
There’s a lot of conflicting advice about habits depending on who you listen to. By recommending this app I’m not necessarily saying the creators of (Not Boring) Habits have discovered the secret sauce to behavior change. But I like the idea that making your life better with good habits shouldn’t be based in guilt. And if you’ve tried and failed to make habits stick in the past – especially if you’ve used apps before – then it’s worth giving this approach a try.
You can choose any new habit to focus on, whether that’s meditating every day, hitting a step goal, flossing your teeth, journalling or anything else. The app then allows you to add widgets to your Home Screen and set Reminders so that you stay motivated and, crucially, remember to carry out your new habit when the stresses of the daily grind inevitably arise.
The (Not Boring) Habits app is incredibly simple to use, too. You can add skins to the app, which change how it looks and feels. But you probably won’t want to as it’s been carefully considered, looks good and is elegant to use – it’s rare I say an app is beautiful, but this one really is. It’s no surprise it won an Apple Design Award back in 2022.
If you already have a tried and tested way of tracking habits or actually really enjoy collecting badges or keeping a streak going, then stick with what you’ve got. But if you want to add some new habits into your day and have never quite got the hang of how to do it, (Not Boring) Habits could be a game-changing new download.
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Becca Caddy is a contributor to iMore, as well as a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than a decade, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality. Last time she checked, she still holds a Guinness World Record alongside iMore Editor in Chief Gerald Lynch for playing the largest game of Tetris ever made, too.