Tools to form habits and enforce commitments

I am currently reading an interesting book by Tim Ferriss called “The 4-hour body” which talks about hacking your body into a dream machine. This obviously requires some changes to your behaviour and these changes must stick. Tim researched for on-line tools which will help his audience stick with the new habits. They are very interesting and in line with what I have been writing in my blog. I am sharing the two most interesting ones with my audience.

Remember in my post New year resolutions I had said that it takes 21 days to form a habit. This is popular wisdom. There is someone out there who thought that this was so important that they actually created a website for that purpose.

Habit Forge allows you to declare a something new that you want to make into a habit. Starting next day, you start receiving a mail that asks whether you did what you said. The mail has two links, Yes & No. If you click the Yes link, the day count goes up by one. When you keep doing it for 21 days, you get a congratulatory mail. However, if you miss for a single day, the count starts from one again. Open-mouthed smile

I think this is a great idea. We as human beings are always fallible and are likely to fail or give up, in absence of active support. When I started working on healthy eating, I subscribed to a mailing list that sent a mail a day about healthy eating habits. I didn’t always eat healthy, but seeing that mail everyday, definitely made me conscious about what I was eating.

Another interesting tool that Tim talks about is Stickk. In an earlier blog, I had said that making a commitment to someone else is a certain way to keep it.

stickK was founded on the principle that creating incentives and assigning accountability are the two most important keys to achieving a goal. Thus, the “Commitment Contract” was born.

Entirely unique to each person, a Commitment Contract obliges you to achieve your goal within a particular time-frame. Not only are you challenging yourself by saying “Hey, I can do this,” you’re also putting your reputation at stake. If you are unsuccessful, they will let your friends know about it.

Have a look at these tools. Use them as you see fit. Do let me know what you think about them.

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8 Responses to Tools to form habits and enforce commitments

  1. unusual says:

    excellent writing skills & also I just had a quick question for you.. is this a WP theme blog or is it a different theme? I really like the design

  2. Laurie says:

    I would like to add my website, HabitualApp to your list. It works on the idea of 30 days rather than 21, not that that is a huge difference. Set yourself a trial habit, and commit to doing it for at least 30 days. You can also share your progress with all of your Facebook and Twitter friends 🙂

    Personally I love the idea of trial habits. I have created some habits, and later realised that they didn’t have the effect I wanted. 30 days is about the right amount of time to really get a feel for a habit. From there you can decide if you want to keep it up or not.

    I also have a few articles on habit formation that I hope are interesting reading

  3. Sagar says:

    Yes the tools are great.
    But a sms alert will really help people.
    For this one can create a recursive event in google calendar and set sms notification.

    • mkarkare says:

      That’s a good one Sagar. I have found that even simple Alarms work very well. I have an alarm set for 11 PM every night to remind me to brush my teeth. 😀

  4. Mohammed Sufiyan Khan says:

    I am gratefull that I have worked with a leader.. No matter if I have lost it but there is a way to still learn from his blogs 🙂

    I going to use Habit Forge for now and will let you know as soon as I have accomplished anything.

  5. evelyn says:

    thank you for sharing this. i’m quite sure i’ll need this in the near future! I hardly find myselft disciplined enough to keep my commitments 😦

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