Chase Your Goals and Break Bad Habits with the Momentum App

Chase Your Goals and Break Bad Habits with the Momentum App

The hardest part about keeping a goal or New Year’s resolution is just getting going.

Whether our goal is to make a positive change or break a bad habit, we often hit the ground running with an absolutism that makes it easy to stumble and get discouraged when we don’t maintain the momentum needed to achieve our goal.

This year, I found an app for building that momentum.

Why You Should Set SMART Goals

You might wonder why I’d write about New Year’s resolutions in the month of May, but as of May 1, we are one-third of the way through 2018.

It doesn’t matter if your commitment was to hit the gym more, or find that new career path, or be better at staying in touch with your friends — now is the perfect time to check how you’re doing.

A lot of people are soured on New Year’s resolutions, but I’ll always be a fan. As a writer, I thrive on deadlines. In a world where plenty makes me cynical, I’m comforted by the optimism that comes with a new calendar of possibility for advancement and improvement.

And New Year’s resolutions or not, we should all be setting SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based, so they keep you accountable to your progress.

This year, I’ve been pursuing my goals with the Momentum habit tracker app by Mathias Maehlum.

How the Momentum App Works

Building good habits in Momentum app

The Momentum app is beautifully simple.

Momentum allows you to set custom habits you want to maintain. Within each custom habit, every day can be marked as completed, failed, or skipped. You can also add notes to any day.

The app operates on Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity tip: “Don’t break the chain.”

Every day you do something (or don’t), tracking your progress becomes more natural to you, gradually fitting into your routine. Consecutive completions make it easier to complete habits going forward.

The free version of Momentum allows you to keep track of just three habits, but for $1.99 per month (or $14.99 per year), you can track an unlimited number of habits.

I’ve used the app both to break habits that are bad for me (like working from my house every day of the week) and to build up good habits (like writing, checking new play submissions, or working out).

I’ve even used Momentum for small stuff I’ve noted to lift my emotional state, like making my bed in the morning or reading a book instead of scrolling through Twitter.

Building Better Habits with Momentum

Screenshot of "My Habits" in Momentum app

By accomplishing your micro-goals day after day, week after week, you build the positive habits you want or break the negative ones that hold you back.

Making grand goals for an entire year can be tough if you don’t know how to break them down. You write a book a page at a time, right?

The biggest benefit of Momentum is that it makes you accountable to that daily or weekly progress by charting your efforts.

I’ve seen people struggle with goals like weight loss or honing a skill because they have a mental disconnect between the progress they aren’t seeing and the work they aren’t putting in.

Without a doubt, I’ve been guilty of the same thing, expecting the big result without realizing how many days I haven’t picked up a pen or laced up my running shoes.

But tracking my habits in Momentum has offered me a better understanding of my progress and challenged me to improve it with daily commitments.

Making Your Own Progress

If you need help tracking habits and goals to make the most of the next two-thirds of 2018, check out the Momentum habit tracker.

For more Internet tips from us, you might start with the nine things our CTO, Allen Day, taught me about the Internet, or check out his breakdown of two other great apps, Evernote vs. Google Keep.

Better yet, start making progress with us by subscribing to the 9 Clouds blog.