Streaks, and the gamification of good habits
16th January, 2022 - Blog
With my job writing about tech, and much of my free time being spent working on my fitness, I’m always looking for something that blends it all together, like my Apple Watch. Step forward Streaks, a habit-forming app that feels almost like a gamification of health goals.
I found Streaks a while back, but hadn’t really committed to using it for more than a few days. Since late December, though, I’ve been using it to form some better habits. Essentially, users try to create streaks (duh) by completing daily repeating tasks.
For me, it’s things like completing my Apple Watch activity rings (calories burned, exercise minutes, standing regularly), as well as drinking a certain amount of water per day. I’m also using it to make sure I complete a blog post each week.
You can also set a streak based on things you don’t want to do. For me, it’s avoiding “bad” food, and if I give in to temptation then I uncheck the task for that day. Each task is tracked individually, so I can tell you I’ve had four instances of “bad” food in 2022 so far, and coincidentally they’re the days I also didn’t hit my exercise goals (one day was my birthday and I had cake, so I won’t judge myself too harshly there).
Racking up streaks is fun, and rewarding, while the app will also suggest tweaked goals if you’re finishing them regularly. For example, my goal was to drink 1 litre of water a day and the app suggested moving to 1100ml. It’s a small change, but it’s the kind of thing that works well as an incremental change (it originally suggested 1050ml).
There are options for pretty much everything. There’s walking the dog, flossing, racking up steps and more. Each applicable one can write to your Health app, too, helping track metrics like water intake.
There’s also a handy widget for iOS, as well as an Apple Watch complication. That helps take the onus off of constantly opening the app to track progress, while completing tasks is as simple as a long-press on them. Streaks is also on the Mac, meaning you can complete items from there, too.
All-in-all, Streaks has helped me make a really positive start to 2022, health-wise. I’m more hydrated, I’m keeping up with my exercise, and I’m cutting out bad food.
Oh, and if you’re looking for a more fitness-focused option, there’s a Streaks Workout app, too.
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