Now that we have spanned in front of us a nicely-planned strategy to achieving your resolutions, we can start planning forward: how do we make sure that we don’t lose motivation halfway through the journey? Thankfully, by combining traditional techniques with the ever-developing world of technology, we have the tools to fight the battle this time.
Make Time to Reflect on Your Progress
A French Philosopher by the name of Henri Bergson wrote about how attention (i.e. the intake of information from your or others’ actions) could be converted into memory (a processed, understood and stored version of this information/action), which can then help make the action seem more like second nature. Bergson believes that all memory is like muscle memory, able let us to remember things so naturally, just like swimming or riding a bike. The best way of training ourselves to achieve this is by creating a feedback loop out of our actions.
“Reflective perception is like a circuit, in which the elements, including the perceived object itself, hold each other in a state of mutual tension as in an electrical circuit, so that no disturbance starting from the object can stop on its way and remain in the depths of the mind: it must always find its way back to the object from which it came.” – Henri Bergson, Matière et Memoire, 1896.
By stepping back to observe our progress, firstly we are constantly reminding ourselves of the purpose behind our goals. We also look into our process,evaluating its effectiveness and flaws, simultaneously improving our strategies and methods. Lastly, we are reminded of all the efforts that we have put in, how far we have gone into the journey, and how close we are getting to our desired end goal.
The best way of doing this could be by creating a visual journal or a checklist of completed tasks describing your progress. Seeing our past accomplishments is another way to drive us to do even more going forward.
If your resolution is to be in better shape, for example, don’t forget to take some pictures every now and then. Not only this would help you track your progress over time; it will also help motivate you to do more and to stay on track.
Useful Apps for Self-Motivation
In the current technological world, sometimes the best way of keeping track of things is by placing them at the palm of your hands. Here are some useful apps that could be used to keep track of your adventure, motivate yourself and to stay on course.
Habitica is an app based on the gaming concept of RPG (Role-Playing Games), where players (you) get rewarded points for achieving set quests (your goals) of different difficulty levels (daily tasks vs long-term goals). You can also set a list of bad habits that you are looking to stop doing. You will then get rewards for achieving goals or avoiding bad habits, and lose health if you do the opposite.
The points can then be spent on unlockable features, just like in an actual RPG game. And also just like in a game, you can invite your friends to play along with you and set their own goals, as well as battle monsters using your real-life tasks.
Have you ever started writing an essay, and half an hour later, somehow end up scrolling endlessly down your Facebook newsfeed? ForestApp might be just the tool for you if you are looking to improve your grades and productivity, or be completely focused in completing a certain task.
The web and app-based program helps you to stay away from the distraction of the internet by making sure that you stay within its app page. For every 30 minutes that you are able to focus (i.e. avoid going away from the app page), a tree grows within your plot of land. The aim is to build a forest of trees, which represents your efforts in completing your tasks. Leaving the app before the designated 30 minutes will kill the tree that you’re currently growing.
ForestApp on iTunes AppStore, Android, Windows Phone, Chrome and Firefox
Get the satisfaction of swiping ‘Done’ after you’ve accomplished even the smallest task. Balanced allows you to build a list of goals that you would like to achieve, as well as suggestions on potential new targets to achieve, and allows you to set the frequency and level of priority of the activity.
The best part of the app is definitely having a written list of things that you are planning on doing (which is extremely helpful for a busy or just easily-distracted person like myself!), and of course getting that feeling of victory after completing various amounts of tasks within your day.