Friday, March 11, 2016

Six Habit Building Apps for Android That Can Help You Stop Smoking

The hardest part about quitting is seeing that goal to the end. Many smokers have tried to quit several times and failed, but those who continued to try vaping got what they wished for after many years. One of their secrets was using a goal-tracking app to remind them of their targets and push them to do better. Here are six outstanding apps for Android phones and tablets that provide the information you need to finally stop smoking.

7 Weeks goal tracking app

7 Weeks by Ryan Brooks

First on the list is a promising app called "7 Weeks." This habit and goal tracker was made by Ryan Brooks to help anyone who's looking to make a drastic lifestyle change. The app was based on Charles Duhigg's bestselling book "The Power of Habit", which suggested that in order for change to happen people must replace their bad habits with good ones through repetitive actions that led to rewards.

When he was asked by NPR about his book, Duhigg explained:
In his new book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg, a business reporter for The New York Times, explains how some companies have achieved enormous success by altering people's habits. By luck or design, they've been tapping into a powerful psychological pattern: the "habit loop."

The habit loop is a three-part process. First, "there's a cue, which is kind of a trigger for an automatic behavior to start unfolding," Duhigg tells Morning Edition's Renee Montagne. "There's a routine, which is the behavior itself ... and then there's a reward, which tells our brain whether we should store this habit for future use or not."

The science of habit-forming can be used not only to sell products, but also to transform people or entire companies. To do this, Duhigg says, you have to target a particularly significant behavior he calls a "keystone habit."

"If you can change a keystone habit, you unlock all these other patterns in someone's life or in an organization," Duhigg says. "One of the characteristics of a keystone habit is that it creates a culture. That's why it seems to have such a profound influence on other patterns in our lives."

That's exactly what 7 Weeks was for: to keep you focused on your goal (i.e. stop smoking). Use the app to remind you of tasks that you needed to do again and again until you reached your goal. The app also helps you track the number of cigarettes you did not smoke after seven weeks and the amount of money you saved by not buying them.

7 Weeks goal tracking app

This comment in one of the livelier Reddit threads explains the method in precise terms. For more information about the app, check out this description provided by APK4Fun or visit the developer's website. Download the latest version of "7 Weeks" from the Google Play store.

Rewire by Randome Studios

Rewire habit list

Another goal-tracking app to make use of is Rewire from Randome Studios. It was inspired by Jerry Seinfeld's productivity technique known as the X Effect Method of completing goals. Persistence was a core value of this method, which emphasizes following an unbroken chain of completed tasks and marking each day on the calendar with a big, fat X.

Seinfeld shared this secret with software developer Brad Isaac before "Seinfeld" became a sensational hit on TV. Isaac asked the stand-up comic for advice he'd like to share with young comics who were eager to follow his footsteps, and here's what he said:
He revealed a unique calendar system he uses to pressure himself to write. Here's how it works.

He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.

He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. "After a few days you'll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You'll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain."

"Don't break the chain," he said again for emphasis.

Rewire graph detail

As you build streaks of good days, you gain a sense of accomplishment that motivates you to go on and finish what you started. The app's scheduling system has automated reminders in place to keep you on track with your habit-building activities and never miss a day. Download "Rewire" for free via Google Play. Make sure you visit the developer's website for more details about the app before you buy its premium version.

Day By Day by leoncvlt

Like the other apps that were mentioned here, Day By Day is a goal tracker and habit-forming tool. Leonardo Cavaletti, head of the development company that made this app, was heavily influenced by the X Effect Method or the "don't break the chain" principle of Jerry Seinfeld.

day by day habit building app

Aside from setting up a schedule to follow through, the user is encouraged to take down notes about his or her experiences. Keeping a journal helps smokers who wanted to quit in coping with nicotine withdrawal as they fight the urge to smoke each day.

You'll find a better description of Day By Day's technical features from APK4Fun. Download this digital implementation of Seinfeld's method via the Google Play Store. You can also find a similar app from the developer's website. It specifically targets people struggling with some kind of addiction (i.e. gambling, drinking or smoking).

My Effectiveness from AndTek

my effectiveness seven habits andtek

One of the Android developers of AndTek was so impressed by the guiding principles outlined in Stephen R. Covey's bestselling book on personal development, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", that he made an app for it. It's been very useful to smokers struggling with reducing their cigarette use or totally quitting their nasty habit. The goal-setting app makes use of different tools, such as the Eisenhower Matrix and GTD lists, to help users manage their time efficiently and achieve their goals promptly.

Android phone users may download the APK installer of My Effectiveness from a third-party website, or install the app remotely via their account on Google Play. Either way, users who'd like to quit smoking have the chance to succeed in their efforts by using this effective tool for personal change.

HabitBull by Oristats Ltd.

This goal tracker and habit forming app makes use of the X Effect Method and Getting Things Done or GTD strategy. It has a daily streak counter and a multi-purpose calendar system that allow for accurate goal setting and tracking. Aside from persistent reminders of your daily tasks, the app also provides motivational images and inspiring quotes from people who actually stopped drinking or smoking, or finally burned off the excess fat in their body.

Here's a promotional video of HabitBull from the developer:

HabitBull helps you break behavioral patterns with a straightforward approach. If your phone didn't have pre-installed Google Apps, then you could download an updated APK file of the app from a reputable third-party website. Otherwise, you may install the latest version of HabitBull via the Google Play Store app on your phone.

The video was taken from YouTube.

Habitica Tasks Page

Tasks Page in Habitica

Habitica (HabitRPG 2.0)

A few years ago, a goal-setting and habit forming app known as HabitRPG was released. It's not your usual productivity app though. Aside from managing habit calendars and to-do lists, you're given a tiny avatar to dress up and make more attractive. Whenever you reached your goals, you're rewarded with gold that you could use to buy stuff for your virtual Mini-Me.

This forward-thinking app made use of the reward system in mobile games to reinforce desirable behaviors among its users. Some positive reinforcement also happens whenever the user overcomes the challenges and defeats the virtual monsters that he or she encounters while using the app.

Habitica Market Sample Screen

Inventory and Market Screens in Habitica

The app's description on APK4Fun said:
Input your Habits, your Daily Goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features, such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests! Fight monsters with friends to keep each other accountable, and use your gold on in-game rewards, like equipment or custom awards, or like watching an episode of your favorite TV show. Flexible, social, and fun! Habitica is the perfect way to motivate yourself to accomplish anything.

Habitica Challenges Sample Screen

List of Challenges in Habitica

While good deeds are rewarded, bad behavior definitely leads to consequences for your avatar. If you failed to do the tasks for that day or you indulged a nasty habit, then your avatar would lose some health points. Keep breaking the rules and you'll likely kill your avatar.

Download the latest version of Habitica via the Google Play Store. If you're interested in taking the first HabitRPG app for a spin to see the difference, here's an APK installer of the legacy app created by OCDevel. The source code and other related files are still available for download from the developer's GitHub account.

Here's a video of HabitRPG published a few years ago on YouTube: