Tech Habits that Will Make You Cringe (and How to Fix Them)

Last night I climbed into bed around 11:30 PM, plugged in my iPhone to charge and swiped to the home screen to find my favorite alarm clock app—Sleep Cycle. But before I could get to the app, I quickly opened Facebook to see if I had missed anything. One of my friend’s had just had a baby, so I liked her photo, then flipped through a few more.

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These 3 Apps Made Me Run a Stupid Marathon

Two years of junior high track and cross country were enough for me to put running for exercise on a ten-year hiatus. For me, running is painful, boring, lonely, inconvenient, and a long list of other negative adjectives. However, alongside this list, another list has steadily grown over the years: the reasons I need to improve my lifestyle. Here’s a snapshot:

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How to Stop Checking Your Phone Like an Addict

On December 16, 2013, a Taiwanese tourist was walking along St. Kilda pier in Melbourne, Australia. The pier offers a beautiful scenic view of the ocean, so I’d imagine many tourists have their cell phones out to take pictures. As expected, this female tourist had her phone out too, except she wasn’t saving precious memories–she was checking her Facebook newsfeed. She walked along the pier staring at her phone, and it was the distraction that did her in. KERPLOP. She fell right into the ocean.

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Should You Take Advice Like This?

There’s a serious problem with self-help—one that you’ve probably noticed. So what is this all-too-frequent problem? Let’s take a look, using the classical storytelling tradition of Aesop:

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How to Be Happy (3 Things You Should Know)

One of the privileges we have living in the 21st century is spending large percentages of our time searching for happiness. We try to choose enjoyable jobs to make us happy, we eat delicious foods to feel happy, we play and watch sports to be happy–generally we do stuff to be happy.

If you eat a whole package of Oreos in one evening, it’s probably because you believe, at that time, that doing so will make you happy. And maybe it does make you happy. In fact, most of the goals we set, or the good habits we try to create, are intended to help us be happier.

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5 Psychological Challenges Facing Behavior Change Technology

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Thanks to Apple’s recent release of HealthKit, it won’t be long before everyone with an iPhone has access to health and quantified self tools, whether they want them or not. Of course, hundreds of apps have offered similar features and functionality for some time, but with HealthKit as a default in iOS, a large new audience will be introduced to behavior change technology.

At the same time, hardware technology is finally reaching its potential in behavior change: GPS works better than ever, battery life finally lasts long enough to be useful, and accelerometers are able to gather pretty incredible data about movement throughout the day. Because of these reasons, the Apple Watch should create a lot of momentum in the industry. The technology is up to speed and behavior change apps are mainstream–are we on the verge of seeing gym attendance reach all-time highs and the national BMI statistics drop back into a healthy range?

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If You Only Have One Good Habit, Make it This One

If you spend enough time learning about habits, behavior change, and psychology, you quickly realize that there’s much more information than you could possibly implement in your life. There are hundreds of theories, models, and studies; often what seems like a basic principle has a vast library of research behind it. But the truth is that often you can dramatically change your life by applying just one or two simple strategies. So–if you could only choose one strategy from all the mountains of psychological data, what should you choose to have the biggest impact?

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How to Create High Quality Habits (Lessons from Seinfeld and Krispy Kreme)

Every once in a while, you might put on a piece of clothing that you’ve recently purchased from the store and find a small sticker on the inside of the fabric. It’s usually a small circle with a number on it, that looks something like this:

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You probably know that the “QC” stands for “quality control” and the number refers to a specific individual who personally inspected your piece of clothing at the manufacturer. The quality control process is a very important step in the manufacturing of many products, especially foods, like meat or eggs, that have the potential to spread harmful bacteria and diseases. “Quality control” also refers to the process of teaching and training new employees to make sure items are produced efficiently and no accidents occur.

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