We all want to be better people. There’s no question about that. But can an app really help make that happen? I’ve recently tested an app that can, at least incrementally, help people improve. It’s called Strides ($3.99), it’s a goal and habit tracker and it’s one of the top paid apps in the App Store. Since so many people seemed to be giving it a try, I thought I might as well also.
I mentioned above that Strides helped me improve my habits incrementally. If that sounds meh, it’s not. Improvement is improvement and a lot of a little is a lot over time.
I’ve been using Strides for about a week now and I have found that the power of the app is in the data it provides about you. The app itself can’t force you to do anything: it doesn’t zap you into compliance with your goals. Instead, it asks you to report on the progress you’re making toward your goals and then presents your data on a dashboard that helps you make better decisions.
For instance, I told the app I wanted to drink more water. 8 glasses a day to be exact. Never really knowing how much water I drank in a given day, I figured I was probably doing pretty decent in terms of water consumption. I mean, I knew for a fact I wasn’t getting 8 glasses, but I thought maybe 6. I was wrong. I was getting more like 3 or 4 glasses a day. Granted, that wasn’t my only liquid intake—I enjoy all measure of beverages from lemonade to iced tea (and frequently mixed together) to Oogave—but it wasn’t nearly enough water.
Now here’s the interesting part: since I started tracking my water consumption using Strides… I’m drinking more water. When asked why I wasn’t having my typical glass of OJ at breakfast yesterday, I replied that I was trying to get more water in so I could enter a better report on Strides later in the day.
If you think about it, it all makes perfect sense: when people have a choice between better or worse they are going to choose better (more often than not, anyways). But it’s not always black and white until you see what better looks like.
What I like about Strides is that it’s not complicated to get setup. Drinking more water was just ...