Tech for Good: BeKind Spotlight
Written by: M.T. Bennett, M.S.
“Love of others is the answer to the world’s troubles.”
As anyone who has made a goal to “exercise more” or “be more positive” knows, good habits can be difficult to form. If we want to make changes in our lives it takes consistent effort. That is something we want to facilitate at One Kind Act a Day and why we are striving to curate communities committed to kindness. This is why we email kindness reminders twice a week, to help you remember to create habits of kindness.
However, some people want daily reminders. This is because while there are a lot of important factors in creating good habits, one of the most important is consistency and repetition. You may have heard productivity gurus tout that it takes “21 days of consistency to form a new habit.” Unfortunately, while it sounds nice to change one’s life in as little as three weeks, the research shows that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days or 66 days on average1. People are different and the level of difficulty in the habit they are forming is different. Habit formation takes longer than good intentions and a week or two.
What can people who want daily reminders do to stay consistent?
Well, just like those commercials in the 2010s…
…there’s an app for that.
BeKind, which is available for Apple and Android products, launched in 2020 when their founder, Bienvenido David III wanted to find a way to spread love in the world. He noticed a lack of apps centering on kindness. So, with a background in programming, he made one himself. He says:
“Love of others is the answer to the world’s troubles. Unfortunately…love is hard to package into a mobile app. Instead of love, we focused on a simpler component of love which is kindness. The hope is that the habit of kindness will turn into love of others.”
The app notifies you every day and when you open it there is a suggestion for a kind act you can do that day. Show consideration for someone, call your mom, create a poster about kindness and hang it up, mow a neighbor’s lawn. If you don’t want to do the daily idea, you can refresh it for a new one or you can just mark that you did a kind act.
As you do kind acts you earn coins which are like points to earn kindness badges. The app tracks your daily streaks of kindness. There are articles and news you can read for inspiration and ideas. You can connect with friends to help encourage and support each other. There is even a leaderboard for those who have earned the most coins. As of writing this article Cara T. from Great Britain is the world leader in kindness. Sign up and see if you can catch up to her!
One Kind Act a Day wants to connect people to any and all resources for kindness, our own and those made my other kind people. BeKind is a great app and well worth looking into if you want daily reminders to help create better habits of kindness. We hope it can be a good resource as you try to do one kind act a day and fulfill BeKinds purpose:
“Let’s make the world a kinder place. Perform daily acts and make kindness the norm. If we all start caring more for each other, we will start to heal our society, our planet, and ourselves.”
Dr. Phillippa Lally and colleagues conducted a study on habit formation using 96 volunteers who each chose a habit to try and develop. The study ran for only 84 days. Using the data they were able to create nonlinear regressions that fitted an asymptotic curve. The time for each asymptotic curve to reach 95% was as low as 18 days or, based on projecting the graph if it followed its current pattern, as high as 254 days. So, while the study only lasted 84 days, they were able to project and predict the length of time needed to form habits to be as long as 254 days. Further research studies lasting 254 or more days should be done to confirm this prediction.
- Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C.H.M., Potts, H.W.W. and Wardle, J. (2010), How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 40: 998-1009. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.674