Tech Talk: Goal Setting

Creating new habits is hard for me, especially when they require deep motivation to develop. One of my goals is to walk 30 minutes a day. This should be easy, but I find that I would rather do things other than put on my shoes and walk. So I set off looking for a technology solution to help.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been using a mobile app called Noom. It was created to encourage a healthy lifestyle by motivating users to change their behaviors. It’s a similar approach to Weight Watchers. You are connected with a personal coach and have a group to serve as your support system and push you through days when you regret eating that huge cheeseburger. The daily quizzes, articles and goal setting helped me lose more than 20 pounds. While that was a wonderful success and I love the way I feel, I still was not getting enough activity each day.

I decided to try a traditional method and hired a personal trainer who I see twice a week. This has forced me to get up and go; I’m motivated by the fact that I am paying for it! But I still don’t feel like I am establishing a habit that will last, and I am not reaching my daily goal of 10,000 steps. The search continues.

Not too long ago, I was adding a meeting to Google Calendar on my phone when I discovered a new option, Goal, only available in the smartphone and tablet app (although you can see and edit a goal on your computer). You can set a goal for exercising, building a skill, spending time with family, practicing self-care or doing chores. Simply determine how often you want to do the activity, how long you want to spend on it and what time of day you want to do it. Google then will review your calendar to find the right time slot to schedule the activity. I set a goal to walk 30 minutes a day. The app reminds me to walk and asks me if I have done it. You mark when you actually do the activity, and Google Calendar uses artificial intelligence to schedule upcoming sessions when you are most likely to complete them.

Goal setting, creating new habits and using a calendar to schedule the day are important skills to teach our teens and put into practice ourselves. Using tools such as Google Calendar to help you reach your goals is one way to achieve success. I would love to know what tools you use to learn new habits, be more active or just find time to be still. Share your ideas with me on social media or contact us at Town&Style!

Sheila Burkett is an information technology expert and CEO of Spry Digital, an interactive design agency delivering smart digital solutions. Follow Spry Digital on Twitter (@sprydigital), Facebook (, Instagram (@sprydigital) or LinkedIn ( 

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