App of the Week: Lift helps you keep your New Year’s resolutions

screen568x568-2It’s that time of year again: January is when people all around the world resolve to change their habits for the new year. They flood gyms, join book clubs, buy diet books, or just quietly commit to grabbing a fast food value meal a little less frequently.

But talk is cheap, and as anyone with a long-standing gym membership can tell you, the January rush gives way to a much less crowded March. Books go unread, burger joints stay open, and resolutions everywhere get, well, broken.

That’s where Lift comes in: creating new habits and keeping them going is hard, and the app recognizes that. Users start by creating a list of habits they want to cultivate, like starting a journal or drinking more water. For many popular habits, Lift has a 21-day plan set up to help guide users through the experience of getting their habit off the ground.

Then, users can set up a reminder to make sure that they do their habit on certain days, and mark the activity done whenever they do it.

Lift automatically tracks when users mark habits completed, and provides insights into when they’re checking in to help provide accountability. That way, it’s easy to see when you’ve slacked off your meditation regimen for a week, even when you might not have necessarily noticed it otherwise.

In addition to the coaching plans, one of Lift’s key benefits is that habits are shared with other users, who can (and do) offer encouragement and tips within the app to users as they work towards their goals.

For habits users don’t necessarily want to share with the world, the company just started offering the ability to make certain activities private. When adding a new habit, it’s possible to mark it as private, so that people can’t see a person’s activity in that particular habit.

I’ve been a Lift user for several months, and while I haven’t always kept up with my habits, Lift has, at the very least, kept me mindful of the fact that I was ignoring them. It’s not a silver bullet for getting resolutions done, but it definitely helps to give you a push towards becoming the person you want to be.

geekwireappLift is available for free as an iOS or Android app, and can also be used as a mobile web app from lift.do.

App of the Week is a regular feature of the GeekWire radio show and podcast, airing at 7 p.m. Saturdays on KIRO Radio in Seattle (97.3 FM), except when preempted by live sports. The show runs every weekend on GeekWire.com. You can get every episode using this RSS feed, subscribe in iTunes or find us on Stitcher.

Listen to this week’s segment below, or via this MP3 file. [At the time this segment was recorded, it wasn’t possible for users to make their habits private on Lift. That’s no longer the case, following an update that was released this week.]

  • Mike Kinney

    I loved Lift until they updated their UI a month or so ago. It’s far less compact and not as easy to use. I’ve stopped using it. Sad really. The guided plans show great promise.