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An app that keeps track of the small things that make you happy in life

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Dec 15, 2021
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An app that helps you stay happy by reinforcing your habit of doing what matters in your life. You define the small actions that make you happy. The app keeps track of how often you do them and how they affect your day.
Why?
  • A way to maximize your happiness. An experiment to design a happy and fulfilling life (tweak the parameters until you get them right).
  • Do the things that enrich your life as a habit.
How it works
The goal
The goal is to have long streaks of amazing days. Define the steps that will get you there, then keep stepping.
Defining the "life enrichment variables"
Think of a few things that make you happy whenever you do them, and that you never get tired of. Would you be happier if you did them every day? For example things such as:
  • giving someone a hug
  • laughing
  • working out
  • having a quality conversation with someone
  • coming up with a new idea
  • going for a walk in the nature
  • doing something you've never done before
  • going out of your comfort zone
  • etc.
In the app, define several things that mean a lot to you and you would like to do more of.
Define how many of each you think you can comfortably do without them becoming burdensome.
Keeping track
Keep track of how many times you do these things every day. Ideally, do at least as many as you said you would do.
Whenever you have time, update the app with the latest count for that day. In the evening the app reminds you to do a total recount and update the numbers for each "life enrichment variable".
If you haven't updated the numbers for longer than usual, the app can remind you. "Time to work out?". "You haven't come up with any new ideas today... maybe take some time to think?"
In the evening the app asks you to rate the day on a scale from 1 - 10.
If you fail to update the numbers, you get another reminder the next morning. If you skip it, all stats are blank for that day.
Analytics
The app shows you graphs of how you are doing over time. How your days are going and if you did anything differently that affected the days.
Seeing the stats every day should make you want to continue a good streak once you get it going.
2
Creative contributions

Also tracking negative behaviour

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Spook Louw
Spook Louw Dec 17, 2021
It might be a bit different, but I have seen some apps that allow you to track your mood. I think yours is a great idea, and like these apps, it could help users determine the things that are beneficial to their life.
Perhaps then, it would also be useful to keep track of whenever you do things that make you unhappy.
For instance:
  • Drank too much
  • Ate unhealthily
  • Took your frustration out on the wrong person
  • Spent an entire day being lazy
The reason for this is not necessarily to chastise yourself for messing up, but rather to see if you are improving and to remind you that some of your actions tend to affect you negatively and that it would be good to steer clear of them.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
it would be ideal if people could somehow boil the negative events down to common denominators, for easier statistics. For example:
  • had an argument with my mother
  • had an argument with my girlfriend
  • had an argument with my friend
would all boil down to "argument with a beloved person"
Whereas "road rage incident" would be a different event even though you still had an argument with a person.
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Spook Louw
Spook Louwa month ago
Darko Savic Also, sometimes arguments are necessary, whereas sometimes they are silly or misdirected. Being able to retrospectively rate or classify such events might also be good for a person. Differentiating between who affected you in what way might also be a good way of seeing who is actually affecting your happiness negatively instead of contributing to it.
That said, I don't necessarily think it would be healthy to have an app where you as the user would be able to rate the people in your life.
I think, as you laid it out in the original idea, it should focus more on the actions and choices of the user, rather than external factors.
For example, you could choose to work out or go for a walk, in the same way, it is your choice to drink too much or laze around. Whereas you tend to react to the actions of other people, "Having a quality conversation with someone" for instance, also depends on the other person, so you have less control over it. The same is true of arguments or road rage.
I think such an app would be more suited to focus on things that are completely under your control.
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Suggestions to improve the app

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Povilas S
Povilas S Dec 16, 2021
There are no things that "make you happy whenever you do them, and that you never get tired of". Even considering things that you like to do often, different of them will work for different days/times and different circumstances.
Therefore the list of things to do every day that will make you happy can't be fixed. Instead, I propose making (entering into the app) a long list of activities that make you happy, which you would update whenever you want and browse in the morning, or in the evening (preparing for the start of the new day). Every day you'd pick up a few things from the list to do on that day (whatever you feel like doing today/tomorrow the most). You could start with 3 different things to do each day.
You'd do each of those things at least once on that day, but preferably more. That would be your determination and the "deal" with the app. Once you did a certain activity chosen for that day once, you'd indicate this in the app by simply opening it and tapping on the activity icon displayed on the screen, the app then would register it as "completed" and you'd get reimbursing dopamine hit.
The user could choose how many activities to do on a certain day and how many times each of those has to be done. If you chose to, for example, give three free hugs that day, you'd tap on the "hugs" icon in the app after each hug, after three taps it would be marked as "completed".
How good the day was will depend on many factors and the app should aim to figure out the best activities that contribute to your happiness and how often (and if possible when) you should engage in them. Therefore at the end of the day, I suggest rating not the general happiness level of that day, but how much those activities contributed to you feeling better on that day, you might as well rate each activity separately.
The app would slowly learn which activities contribute the most to you feeling good and would suggest those as tasks to complete for the next day (the part which was initially manual would be replaced by recommendations).
The very important part is for the app to try figuring out chronological patterns in your preferences for and positive ratings of certain activities - maybe you chose running on Tuesday and liked it, then didn't like it on Friday, but liked it again after a week, why is that? Is there a pattern to this that can be guessed by the algorithm to offer you the right activities at the right times? That should be the core focus of such an app, in my opinion.
For the sake of variety, the app could also suggest new activities you haven't tried yet based on your past likes.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
Some things always work though. For example, having a good laugh, having a good conversation, or coming up with a cool new idea. So the trick is to come up with more stuff that always works and do more of those
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Povilas S
Povilas Sa month ago
Darko Savic Laughing is a result of proper circumstances coming together, e.g. - a good joke, what's a good joke for one is not for another, also, the same joke might seem funnier at specific times for you and not others (because you've been in a situation the joke is talking about recently, etc.), you can try to laugh intentionally without a reason to train your "laugh muscle" but I'm not sure that's a good idea. Laughing needs to be induced, the specifics of inducing it is a science upon itself.
The same with good conversation - whether the conversation with someone will be a quality one or not you can only guess in advance, it might turn out to be vice versa, even with people you know well.
The process of coming up with a new idea you can't really force either, or if you try to, then you might come up with one you don't really like, an average one, etc.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
Povilas S so the milestone goal would be set as "get yourself into situations where you are likely to have a sincere laugh". People binge-browse social media for hours every day. Why not binge standup comedy instead. There is several lifetimes' worth of good standup material online. Why not write jokes yourself and become known among your friends as "the guy who likes jokes". You try to make others laugh, they reciprocate with a good joke they know. Your chances of having a good laugh increase.
You can't force a good idea, but by forcing 10 average ideas per day, you increase the chances of one of them being good:)
The app would get you to work for what matters. It wouldn't be easy in the beginning, but once you get it going and develop habitual induction of the "small stuff that matters", it should have a positive effect on your life. The app stats should reflect it.
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