What is HabitBuild?

I met a woman this morning who eats, sleeps, and breathes behavior change, and she asked me a very good question – what am I trying to do with HabitBuild?

So I was going to start writing a post about why I’m building HabitBuild, but realized I needed to take a step back first and explain what first.

HabitBuild was borne out when I tried to start taking a daily morning walk.  Even from day 1 of that walk, I knew I was doomed to fail. Don’t get me wrong – it felt great to get out & walk; I got loads of inspiration and energy from this new “habit”, and yet … it lasted about a week. Maybe two. About as long as I as expected it to. I knew it wouldn’t last because I’ve been down that road before – some new diet tip or fitness trick or productivity hack. None of them stuck.

Why not?

I’m sure it would take a psychotherapist years to uncover ALL of the reasons, but there was one gap my technology-tuned brain could identify: I didn’t have a good system or the right tools. The “just do it” approach works in some situations, but it’s not an effective strategy for sustainable behavior change.

As I started researching more on habits and behavior change, I realized there was a wealth of information out there, but no one seemed to put it all together: the concepts, the tactics, and the tools to manage it all.

That’s what I want HabitBuild to be.

I have three primary goals for HabitBuild:

1. Educate and inform you HOW to build habits
There’s no shortage of books, blogs, and well-intentioned family telling you what to do to change your life. But almost no one tells you how to do it effectively and sustainably. I want to help you get past “Why can’t I change?” and reach a state of “What do I want to change next?”, through an intuitive user interface, powerful tools, and social communication (including this blog).

2. Give you a centralized place to improve ALL areas of your life.
There are some great health & wellness / lifestyle apps out there – calorie counters, fitness trackers, productivity tools, etc. What I want HabitBuild to do is help you achieve whatever changes you want in your life. And while health & fitness are key, our lives are bigger than that. We have our time & energy to manage, relationships to grow, and our budgets to balance. We have habits that affect every dimension of our lives – and those habits can be tweaked, massaged, and rebuilt to get us more of what we want out of life.

3. Keep you engaged
Let’s face it – unless HabitBuild does something very different, it’s going to end up on the digital scrap-heap with all those other self-improvement / health & wellness blogs, newsletters, and e-books. My vision is to implement the user interface and the tools in such a way as to make it simple & painless for you to build your habits, see your progress, and be excited about the improvements you are seeing in your life as a result. Keeping you as an engaged and active user is not just good business for me, but it’s the way I can have the biggest impact and help the most people achieve their goals.

On that note…
Visions are (of course) subject to change, but my intention for HabitBuild is to be a subscription-based service when it officially launches. I expect to offer a free-trial so users can see if it’s right for them, but I want to focus my energy and effort on those people who are ready to make changes in their lives and are willing to pay a [little] cost to do so, because they see a huge return of value. I don’t expect to follow the freemium model, and I definitely don’t want to have random ads all over the site – I hate that. (I am open to exploring ways for vendor sponsorship that would actually benefit users, however).

BUT… HabitBuild is free to join while it’s still in beta! I have some core features up & running, and I’d love to get more beta-testers — people willing to put up with some ugliness, some gremlins in the machine, who just can’t wait to get started. Check out what I’ve got so far at beta.habitbuild.com, and send me feedback via the support link. I’m working on a major interface re-design right now, and will be improving the stability and robustness of the system in the coming weeks.

I’m putting all of this out here, because I believe in honesty & transparency. And who knows where this will be 6 months… 1 year… 5 years… from now – this post might be laughable, looking back. But I gotta start somewhere!

Keep on buildin’!