Can an app really change your life?
I started out my journey with Fabulous six weeks ago and was skeptical. A friend told me it did a lot for him in just a short period of time. And I agreed. He looked healthier, seemed sharper and was generally happier than before. He told me that his work improved and so did his relationship with his wife. But could this really be attributed to an app? I had to give it a try. So I downloaded Fabulous and kept an open mind.
The first thing I noticed with Fabulous is the interface is colorful and user-friendly; I enjoyed jumping into it and wanted to see more after the start screen. I was surprised at how quickly I was able to get into the program and start making progress. I didn’t have to answer 100 questions or enter personal info. Instead, I picked which area of my life I wanted to get started on improving.
Small steps slowly improve your daily routines
Fabulous does not encourage you to try and improve everything in your life all at once. This is counterproductive because we usually go all out for a few weeks and then quit (and I include myself in that). Instead, the app paces you with one overall goal and small achievements over weeks to improve your habits.
The app gives you four journeys to improve your life including: ‘Sleep better’, ‘Feel more energized’, ‘Focus and concentrate more’ and ‘Lose weight’. I chose ‘Sleep better’ for my first journey since it’s the area I need the most improvement. You can pick whichever you want but once you’ve picked a journey you’re locked into that one until you’ve achieved enough improvements.
Fabulous started my journey by showing me some brief reading material so I could familiarize myself with the science behind the process. Then it gave me some small goals that I needed to work on. One of the goals was to disconnect from my electronics 30 minutes before bedtime for three nights in a row. The app explained why I needed to do this – the screens from our devices make our brains think it’s daytime and it is then harder to get to sleep. I did everything the app asked me to do to improve my sleep.
Once I finished an achievement the app moved me on to another. If I was tempted to try and tackle another ritual the app wouldn’t let me and gave me the warning: “I don’t want to overwhelm you”. I thought maybe I could just purchase some points or something, which is how most apps do it. Well, Fabulous wouldn’t let me. I had to follow the course slowly and correctly.
I inevitably failed at a goal. This was disheartening but the app did an excellent job of picking me back up when I was down. I didn’t feel like quitting because I knew I just needed to do something small and not try to change my whole life overnight. If I didn’t understand something I just asked a question to one of the coaches in a chat section similar to a messenger app. The coaches were friendly, prompt and always helpful.
These small changes in routines changed my life
It would take too long to elaborate how many ways my life is better with this app but I’ll give you one example. I started with the sleep journey and that was a smart idea because I was having so many problems with it. I wouldn’t get a good night’s rest and would end up feeling tired every morning. It took me longer to do everything throughout the day. I had a tough time focusing and even got irritable over nothing.
I now know the problem with my sleep was my routine. When it would near bedtime I would always be on my smartphone, PC or laptop. In fact, the last thing I would do every night was check my notifications. If I awoke in the middle of the night I would always look at my phone. My bedtime routine was terrible but it didn’t change all at once. I slowly had to alter my behavior over a few weeks.
The app methodically separated me from my electronics at bedtime and now I go to bed 30 minutes before my bedtime and have a healthy meditation routine before I fall asleep. These small changes in my sleep routines had a profound effect on the rest of my life. I started waking up feeling well rested almost every morning. I was able to focus more and I started exercising regularly. Best of all, I was confident enough to move on to the next journey.
Self control is a myth
Fabulous doesn’t try to upend your life. It instead wants to slowly steer it towards health and happiness a few steps at a time. To quote one of the app’s lessons: “Self-control is a myth. You can impose it on yourself once, twice, even a whole week, but you can’t keep on relying on self-control every day. Instead, you need an ingrained habit, an automated routine that is part of your personality.”