As found here. Happy Friday.
I’m an iPhone app junkie. But not all apps; productivity apps. I’ve tried so many different habit-supporting and time-management apps that I’m scared to think about how much cash all of those “little” purchases add up to. And I’ve deleted nearly as many, when they invariably fail to knock my socks off. But here’s an app that’s truly a keeper, especially for those of us who are bent on maintaining a daily creative practice: Goal Streaks. This app is a terrific motivator for all the new habits you’d like to develop — and is unusually flexible, allowing you to track virtually any frequency intention (not just daily). At right is a screen shot that shows the first three goals I’m tracking (I have ten in total at the moment — all in the creativity and well-being categories).
LifeHacker loves this app too. Here’s an excerpt from the LifeHacker review:
Goal Streaks helps you set and track repeat tasks so you can form habits and achieve long-term goals more easily. The idea is to chip away a little bit each day, but Goal Streaks is incredibly versatile and can handle just about any more complex schedule you care to throw at it.
Earlier this year I solved my procrastination problem with Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret, otherwise known as don’t break the chain. The “secret” is to put up a calendar and mark everyday with an X each time you complete a specific task (e.g. exercise, cook, clean, etc.). Since then many apps have surfaced to help people implement this method of getting things done on their smartphones. While pretty good, none of them were dynamic enough to allow you to create very specific rules. Perhaps you want to be able to do something four days a week and it doesn’t matter to you which days that task is accomplished, or you need to take vacation days from certain tasks (e.g. exercise and work). Goal Streaks allows you to create and schedule tasks with that level of specificity, making it capable of managing pretty much any situation. The only type of schedule it currently can’t handle, as far as I can tell, is something along the lines of doing something for four weeks and then taking a week off. That said, you can give it exception rules so you can skip certain days without penalty.
Goal Streaks is very easy to use and offers a feature tour to introduce you to all the things it can do. The app is responsive, nice to look at, allows you to set daily reminders, and just works better than the others. It may be late to the game, but it’s a better player than what we’ve seen so far.
The fact is, this app WORKS. When you get a couple of days of X’s in a row, you want to keep the chain going. And then you have three weeks of X’s in a row, you actually WANT to stay up past your bedtime to get your 500 words written because if you don’t, you’re back to zero.
Cost: $3.99. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. Grab Goal Streaks here. Then get rolling with your creative resolutions and intentions for 2013.
If you don’t have an iPhone or an iPad, my condolences! 😉
The girls and I lay down and stared at the moon and the stars last night, all cuddled up like three little ladybugs, telling stories. We weren’t outside. No, we were laying in Sarah’s bed, staring up at this particular moon and stars you see here. Aren’t they fabulous? This now covers our attic access, which just so happens to be in the girls’ room, courtesy of my friend Gypsy who came for a visit earlier this week. Not the best picture, but the best I could do shooting up while laying in Sarah’s bed! Gypsy, her apprentice Michelle, and I spent two days doing some painting, having some heart-to-hearts and enjoying a sunny Florida afternoon in Fernandina Beach gallery hopping and scarfing down some awesome barbecue at the Happy Tomato Café (highly recommended if you are ever in Fernandina!). Gypsy’s visit was definitely food for the soul for me.
Gypsy (otherwise known as Lizz Hundley) is a wonderfully free spirit, making her way in the world while living life to the fullest each and every moment. I’ve been trying to do that more lately, too. In case you haven’t read my comment in my Dodging Curve Balls post, I got good news from the surgeon Monday, so I’m going to be fine for now. Dr. H met with the radiologist and pathologist again and decided that sometimes radiologists and pathologists are a little too quick to recommend further surgery in cases like mine. He wants to wait a bit and re-evaluate in six months. I’m glad Dr. S sent me for that surgery consult as a second opinion.
These past few weeks have made me slow down a bit, though, and I think that’s good. Between this little health scare and learning of a friend’s death by a massive heart attack at the ripe old age of 39, I’ve definitely taken a step back from my usual going in eight different directions. When we started the February Finish-a-thon, my “I can do anything” self took over. I definitely didn’t need to add another thing to my plate, but I went ahead and signed on anyway with the goal of creating a new affordably priced pendant line in preparation for the kickoff of the Riverside Arts Market April 4. Well, today’s February 20 and I haven’t made a one. Heck, I haven’t even gotten around to photographing all the new pieces I finished in November and December! My workshop has been sorely neglected. But I’ve decided that that’s really okay (and that seems to be a realization hitting a few of us right now). Yep, I’ve decided that’s just fine because what I have been doing instead? Just hanging out…and I’ve really been needing to just hang out. I’ve been hanging out with DH and the girls…hanging out on the dock looking at the river…hanging out with my furry four-legged friends…hanging out with all the art currently leaning against the walls of my great room waiting for me to rehang it all…hanging out with my students on Facebook (I actually had to learn Facebook for work!). I’ve been moving at a snail’s pace, and it’s been nice.
I’ve been keeping up with our running comments on the February Finish-a-thon post. Obviously, since I’ve made zero progress, I haven’t had much news to post, but I’ve tried to be encouraging to the rest of you. I have noticed one thing coming through though. This is truly an incredible group of women, but from my prospective anyway, I think we all have “superwoman disease.” We think we can do it all, and we get frustrated with ourselves, our self-imposed deadlines, and our self-inflicted failures and misgivings when life gets in the way (okay, go ahead and throw darts at me if you think I’m wrong 🙂 ).
I refuse to do that anymore. Life should not be what gets in the way. Life should be what it’s all about. It should be about taking a few days off to spend time with a good friend and go chow down on some barbecue. It should be about making up stories about the things we see in a whimsical painting of the moon and stars while cuddling up with our children. It should be about creating simply for creating’s sake, not for a deadline hanging over our heads. And don’t tell me you can’t do this because you’re too busy dealing with the kids, ladies…we’re all in that boat together. Sure, sometimes deadlines are necessary, and I’m not knocking the idea at all; I think it was a good one to give a kick in the pants if needed. But for me a deadline takes all the joy out of creating. It becomes a “I must do this to meet my deadline” instead of a “Hey, I wanna try this just for fun.”
There’s definitely been some good wisdom in the comments, all from different perspectives, but as I mentioned in one of my comments, something Kristine said has struck the biggest chord with me: “So I’m taking a step back and giving myself a break. I’m taking pleasure in my daily accomplishments and no longer obsessing over what I need to accomplish by the end of the month. It’s a journey, not a sprint.” Yep, it is a journey, not a sprint. I shared a John Lennon quote in my “Keeping Calm and Carrying On” post on my Happy Shack blog last week, and it bears repeating here: “Life is what happens to you while you’re too busy making other plans.” And life in general is the best part of the journey. Don’t let it be what gets in the way; make it what counts most instead. Go live it.