The following four tech tools have given a big boost to my search for happiness. Hopefully some of them can also help you in 2016. Please note: I am not affiliated with these products and I’m not receiving any money or benefits to promote them.
vívoactive (a Garmin “smartwatch for an active lifestyle”) – exercise is an important part of my search for simcha (Jewish joy). Since last spring, I’ve been on a good path and I’ve lost 32 pounds (14.4 kilograms). Buying a sporty smartwatch last summer was a crucial component of my fitness journey.
Interestingly, knowing that I have the capability to capture the data of every swim, biking session or walk and will eventually log it in an online calendar has REALLY motivated me to work out more often, and to push myself harder (to avoid downloading disappointing results).
And I’m not the only one who is watching…I have configured the settings of the Garmin Connect app so that a select group of friends (who also have Garmin watches) can see my work-out results via social media. Talk about motivation! Knowing that others are watching (theoretically) really helps me push through when I’m considering quitting or slacking off during a work-out.
Evernote (a “digital workspace” that provides you with “the tools you need to stay organized across all your devices”) – a tendency towards being disorganized and procrastinating has often derailed my happiness in the past.
With Evernote, I can easily maintain lists of the most important information I need to remember, and I can access that information across all of my different devices (computer, tablet and phone). For instance, I put all of the different medical/doctor information for me, my wife and my kids in Evernote. Now it’s in one place and I can call up that information in an instant…no more wasted time looking for a doctor’s business card.
Also, I have created a “Daily” sheet in Evernote that lists all of my goals and intended actions for each specific day (more on this in a later blog post). Evernote offers a “check-box” function, so I can check off each action I complete and see how many were completed by the end of the day.
A white rubber bracelet – OK, so this isn’t really a tech tool. But it’s been very helpful, nonetheless. My first major weight loss goal is getting under 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms). A while back I put a white rubber bracelet on my wrist and I decided that I’m not taking it off until I achieve this goal. It’s a constant reminder (especially because people ask why I’m wearing it) to remain focused on my goal and to make good choices.
I’m only two pounds away from my first goal, so hopefully I’ll be taking off the bracelet shortly!
iPhone 5 – although our connected lives can feel overwhelming (which is why Shabbat may be more crucial than ever), our cell phones are tools that can also be used wisely.
With my iPhone, I can listen to podcasts about Judaism and other topics that interest me, and I have the RustyBrick Siddur app, which enables me to pray anywhere and at any time. I also have a Jewish calendar app, an app with animated content for the weekly Torah portion (great for my kids and me) and other Jewish content.
Judaism is a combination of ancient and modern wisdom that remains relevant across historical eras, so it seems natural to adapt modern tech tools to help us achieve simcha (Jewish joy). Which tech tools assist you in becoming happier?