A lot of people find that online accountability helps them stick to their goals: posting about their healthier diet, improved exercise habits, or debt reduction making them less likely to suddenly slip up and flop on the sofa mainlining Ben & Jerry’s while buying up half of ASOS. But not everyone in your network cares about how far you ran this morning, or will give you a pat on the back for going without your morning latte.
The makers of Booster have created a new app based around setting and sharing goals, so that like-minded people can connect with and encourage each other. The app lets you set a goal, choose when you’ll do it, and pick one of your contacts to give you a “boost”. At the allotted time, you’ll get a message from them reminding you of your goal and asking for a selfie to prove you’ve done what you promised.
Its designers are a group of Computer Science and Psychology students at the University of California and they’re also officers in the Israeli army, so they probably know a thing or two about keeping going when the going gets tough. They say that Booster works on the social regulation principle – that is, other people watching us try to achieve our goals makes us perform better (perhaps because it’s so much worse to fail in front of someone else).
They’re currently raising money on Kickstarter to work with a developer to bring the app to market for iOS and Android (including in the UK) and to add extra features in future. So far they’ve brought in $2,822 of their $18,000 goal and have until 26 July to raise the rest.