Are you short on Willpower and Self-Regulation? These Apps can help You…

Good Habit MakerIf you are like most people, willpower and self-regulation may not exactly be among your top strengths. E.g., for most of us, self-regulation is located pretty close to the bottom of the list when filling in the VIA questionnaire on 24 character strengths – which is based on Seligman´s and Peterson´s book Character Strengths and Virtues.

But then, breaking or making habits is one of the most important tasks when trying to succeed at a personal change project. So lo and behold! There´s help on the way. In earlier days, people would tie a knot in their handkerchiefs to help them remember things. These days, people don´t use handkerchiefs that much – but most of us do have a smartphone (or two…). And of course, there´s lots of apps around that strive on the fact that our spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

Balanced AppHere, I´d like to introduce you to three app that I´ve started using at the onset of the year:

On New Year´s Eve, I´ve decided I´d like to become a “nicer” person this year. It´s not that I´m an asshole right now – I just thought I could put a little extra effort in it. Probably a “side effect” of being in the MAPP program…

OK. The Good Habit Maker is a nice little (free) app that does only one thing: at pre-selected intervals over the day, it’ll push one sentence to your smartphone´s screen, e.g. your personal change mantra. Helps a lot to bring your mind back to what you want to achieve during busy schedules.

Grid Diary AppThe app Balanced is a little more refined, it´s a sort of task manager. You can enter specific tasks that you want to accomplish, and the quantities/intervals you intend to fulfill (e.g., “watch a TED talk once a week”). The app will then continuously remind you to complete those tasks until they are done. It also keeps track of you levels of completion and timeliness. There´s a demo version that is limited to a small number of tasks – the full version comes at $ 2.99.

And finally, the Grid Diary: as the name suggests, it´s a nice and clean diary app. The useful twist: you can pre-select (or enter your own…) specific questions. So instead of having to think about what to write each and every evening, the app will make you respond to the prompts that you specifically chose to be given. By way of example, I use it as a gratitude journal, which is one of the pre-eminent interventions in Positive Psychology. It´s free but offers some in-app purchases.

Enjoy! Keep it going! And for some extra energy, power up your Sisu!

It was a very good Year…

Thank You DanceOne of the oldest and therefore thoroughly researched interventions in positive psychology is deliberately focusing one´s attention on being grateful. So why not express gratitude for a whole year? Here were go … *

Thank you to Carl-Christoph Fellinger for being an awesome colleague to talk to, an awesome co-author, and an awesome person in general.

Thank you to Dr. Hays Steilberg, my boss at Bertelsmann. You know why.

Thank you to Bernd Rathjen and his team at Corporate Candy for making me look good as a manager (not easy …).

Thank you to the organizing team of WHU Euromasters 2013 for making me feel like 23 again.

Thank you to Annette Mattgey, Anja Tiedge und Petra Diebold (out of the journalists I´ve worked with over the year).

Thank you to the participants of McKinsey´s CEO of the Future for making me believe the future will be a good one.

Thank you to Russell Ackoff for writing the best business book of all times (most likely …).

Thank you to Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon) for re-introducing me to the art of listening to whole albums – instead of taking in whatever the “shuffle” shuffles…

Thank you to the whole MAPP gang, especially James Pawelski (Master of Ceremony), Esa Saarinen (Master of Elevation), Art Carey (Master of Style), Emilia Lahti (Queen of Sisu), and Patricia De La Torre (Mistress of elevated conversion, good food+wine, and staying up way too late…) for making my stay in the U.S. a one-of-a-kind experience.

Last not least:
Thank you to my wife for letting me be who I am. And to the Little Guru for making me better than I really am.

 

* Thank you for this inspiration, Christoph…

 

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