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Using IN-YOUR-FACE Reminders to Establish Positive Habits

Updated: May 1


It is a safe bet to say that at one time or another, most people make a New Year resolution. It is equally safe to say that most people break that resolution in a very short time.


There are two simple ways to come to that conclusion. 1. If everyone that resolved to lose X number of pounds did so, the need for advertising for special diets and pills to lose weight would all but disappear the following year because: mission accomplished! If every person that vowed to go to the gym on a regular basis followed through, fitness centers might reach maximum capacity and have little need to advertise past their grand opening. 2. Resolutions are not a plan. They are a declaration of a desire.


Before using reminders to form good habits, consider this:

In the corporate world or in educational settings many people learn about "SMART."

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym commonly used in goal setting. It stands for:

  • Specific: The goal should be clearly defined and well-understood. What exactly do you want to achieve?

  • Measurable:  How will you track your progress towards the goal? Is there a way to quantify it?

  • Attainable: The goal should be challenging but achievable. Is it realistic given your resources and abilities?

  • Relevant:  Does this goal align with your larger objectives? Why is it important for you to achieve this?

  • Time-bound:  There should be a specific timeframe for achieving the goal. When do you want to accomplish this?


By following the S.M.A.R.T. criteria, you can set goals that are more likely to be successful.


So far, so good, right? Now you need an IN-YOUR-FACE reminder system to practice this new, positive habit on a regular basis. The easiest and cheapest way is to use the Jerry Seinfeld big-calendar-on-the-wall system. It is said that he tells young comics to write down jokes/thoughts/observations every single day and after doing so, put a big red X on a paper calendar. At the end of the month, it's easy to see if there was follow through for that habit.

But big paper calendars don't work for everybody. Depending on your preference for certain electronics, there are other ways to have IN-YOUR-FACE reminders. Ultimately, the best way to set daily reminders is the method you'll use consistently. Following through on a reminder and having a record of follow through is key. Let's talk about this in detail.


There are several ways to set daily reminders on your phone or computer:

Built-in Apps:

  • Android: Most Android phones come with a pre-installed Clock app that allows you to set reminders. You can also use Google Assistant to set voice reminders by saying "Hey Google, set a daily reminder for [task] at [time]."

  • iPhone: iPhones have a Reminders app where you can create tasks and set them to repeat daily.

Cross-platform Apps:

  • Google Tasks: This is a free task management app from Google that works on both phones and computers. You can create tasks, set due dates, and recurring reminders.

  • Microsoft To Do: Similar to Google Tasks, Microsoft To Do is another free app that allows you to create tasks and set reminders across devices.


There isn't a built-in way for emails to automatically turn into daily reminders within most email services. However, you can achieve daily email reminders using a couple of techniques:

  1. Schedule Recurring Emails:

  • Gmail with Boomerang Extension: This Chrome extension for Gmail lets you compose an email like usual, then schedule it to be sent as a recurring message. You can choose the frequency (daily), start date, and even an end date for the reminders. [Search boomerang gmail recurring email]

  1. Third-party workflow tools:

  • Microsoft Power Automate: This tool allows you to create automated workflows. There are pre-built templates to send daily reminder emails to yourself. You can customize the content and even connect it to other apps. [Search Power Automate daily reminder email]

Things to Consider:

  • These methods turn your reminder into an email, so you'll need to be comfortable having them in your inbox.

  • Third-party tools might require some technical know-how to set up.


Here are some alternative approaches that might be simpler:

  • Task Management Apps with Email Integration: Some project management apps like Todoist allow you to set tasks with email reminders. You can choose to receive daily email notifications about your tasks.

  • Forwarding Emails to Reminder Services: There might be specific services that allow you to forward emails and convert them into reminders. However, this would require research and might not be universally compatible with all email providers.

A free Todoist (https://todoist.com/) account provides:

5 personal projects

Smart quick add

Flexible list & board layouts

3 filter views

1 week activity history

Integrate email, calendar, and more

 

Unfortunately, Yahoo Mail itself doesn't offer a built-in feature for setting daily reminders within emails. Here are two alternative approaches you can consider for daily reminders with Yahoo:

  1. Utilize Yahoo Calendar:

  • Yahoo Calendar allows creating events with recurring reminders. You can set these reminders to happen daily and choose how you want to be notified:

  • Email

  • Mobile/Desktop notification (through the Yahoo app)

  • Yahoo Messenger (though less commonly used)

  • Steps to set a daily reminder in Yahoo Calendar:

1.               Go to Yahoo Calendar ([invalid URL removed]?).

2.               Click "New Event."

3.               Fill in the details of your reminder (title, description).

4.               Underneath the date and time, click on "Repeat."

5.               Choose "Daily" from the frequency options.

6.               Set the desired reminder time(s) for your daily task.

7.               Choose your preferred notification method(s) from the available options.

8.               Click "Save."


  1. Third-party Task Management App with Yahoo Mail Integration:

  • Explore task management apps that integrate with Yahoo Mail. These apps allow creating tasks and setting reminders that can be synced with your Yahoo Mail account.

  • Some options include:

  • Todoist: https://todoist.com/ (Provides daily email reminders for tasks)

  • TickTick: https://ticktick.com/?language=en_US (Another option with reminder syncing)

Things to Consider:

  • Using Yahoo Calendar might be more suitable if your reminders are more event-based.

  • Task management apps with Yahoo Mail integration offer more flexibility for managing to-dos and might be better suited for general daily reminders.

 

Many fitness trackers offer daily reminders to help you stay on track with your fitness goals. Here are a few popular options:

 

Fitbit Inspire 3: This is a budget-friendly tracker that offers basic features like step tracking, sleep monitoring, and heart-rate tracking. It also has a reminder to move alert that will buzz you if you've been inactive for too long.


Garmin vívosmart 5: This tracker has a bright, easy-to-read display and a comfortable design. It offers a variety of features, including step tracking, sleep monitoring, heart-rate tracking, and GPS tracking. It also has a move alert that will remind you to get up and move if you've been sitting for too long.


Fitbit Versa 4:This is a more feature-rich tracker that offers everything the Inspire 3 does, plus built-in GPS, stress tracking, and the ability to store and play music. It also has a variety of customizable clock faces and apps. It has a feature called "Daily Readiness" that uses your heart rate variability to give you a score on how well-rested you are and how hard you should push yourself in your workout.


These are just a few of the many fitness trackers that offer daily reminders. Some factors to consider include battery life, water resistance, and whether the tracker is compatible with your smartphone.

 

There are many fitness trackers that work with iPhone, here are a few popular options:

 

Apple Watch Series 9: This is a smartwatch that offers a wide range of features, including fitness tracking, health monitoring, and smart notifications. It is the most seamless fitness tracker to use with an iPhone as it is part of the Apple ecosystem.


Fitbit Sense 2: This is a smartwatch that offers many of the same features as the Apple Watch Series 9, including fitness tracking, health monitoring, and smart notifications. It is also water resistant and has a long battery life. However, some features may not be fully functional on iPhones compared to Android devices.


Garmin Forerunner 265: This is a GPS watch that is designed for runners and cyclists. It offers advanced training features, such as pace tracking, heart rate monitoring, and VO2 max estimation. It also has a long battery life and is water resistant.


These are just a few of the many fitness trackers that work with iPhone

 

The "best" way to set daily reminders depends on your preferences and what you use your devices for most often.


Here are some popular options to consider:

 

Built-in Smartphone Apps: Most smartphones come with a pre-installed Reminders app. These are simple and convenient, allowing you to set recurring daily reminders with specific times or even location-based reminders (like reminding you to buy groceries when you enter the store).

 

Digital Assistant Integration:  If you use a digital assistant like Google Assistant or Siri, you can set voice reminders. This is a hands-free option,  perfect for situations when you're busy.

 

Calendar Apps: While typically used for scheduling events, many calendar apps like Google Calendar or Apple Calendar allow you to create all-day events that repeat daily. This can be helpful if you prefer a visual schedule or want to integrate reminders with your existing calendar.


Third-party Reminder Apps: There are many productivity apps with robust reminder features. These can offer more customization options, like recurring patterns beyond daily (e.g., every other day), snooze functionality, or integration with to-do lists.


ALEXA

Smart devices, like Alexa can be set to deliver a daily reminder. You can set this up by voice or on the phone app if you have the Alexa App on your phone. If you connect Alexa to a Google Calendar, she will announce an event in your calendar with or without prompts. You do not need to own an Alexa device to have an Alexa App on your phone. There is a version for android and iphone.


Here are some additional factors to consider when choosing a method:


Integration: Do you want your reminders to sync across all your devices? Choose an option that works seamlessly with your preferred ecosystem (Apple, Google etc.).

Customization: How much control do you want over the reminder format (text, sound, notification type)?

Simplicity: Do you just need a basic reminder or something more elaborate with recurring patterns and notes?


Paper based or electronics based is your choice. Now set a SMART Goal for your desired positive habit, and choose the IN-YOUR-FACE reminder, and don't forget to track it daily.


Good Luck! You can do it!


Peace


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