What are "SMARTracs"?
Updated: Sep 9
SMARTracs are a core component of ONTrac, but we often find it is also the piece that many people take longer to understand. We wanted to devote today's post to explain a little more what SMARTracs are, how they are based on solid goal achievement research, and how they can help you become the best version of yourself. As I go into a more detailed description of what they are, I think you'll find a lot of parallels to many of the other topics that we've been covering on this blog to date.
First of all, it is important to understand that each specific goal has its own SMARTrac. Some of the SMARTracs that we have created for our beta release are:
Spend more time with family
Drink more water
Get enough sleep
Reduce Your Monthly Expenses
Moderate Exercise 30 Minutes a Day
These SMARTracs allows us to customize the experience for the user based on the specific goal they are trying to achieve.
So what do each of these SMARTracs do? There are three main things that a SMARTrac will do:
Help the user create a SMART goal for themselves.
Break larger goals into smaller milestones.
Automatically schedule out evidenced-based tasks to achieve that particular goal
These were specifically designed to help users achieve their life goals using both research on goal achievement and my personal experience. We have another post on this blog that addresses the research behind why these things can help users achieve their goals at a higher level. In particular, we wanted ONTrac users to set goals that were quantitative and time-based, be set up for small wins, and not have to think about what specific tasks or activities they should do to achieve their goal. We wanted to provide them with premade plans so they didn't have to spend a lot of time thinking about a plan but instead spend time focusing on building good habits. We also feel that removing a lot of the heavy lifting behind goal planning, a user can focus on more goals than they normally would if they were responsible for the planning and scheduling themselves.
However, in addition to the fact that there are separate SMARTracs for each goal, it's also important to understand that each goal can have multiple SMARTracs. That is because there can be multiple paths to achieve a goal. Some plans might work better for some people than others. Taking paying off debt as an example, there are multiple methods to pay off debt. Two of the most prominent methods are the Snowball Method and the Avalanche Method. I blogged about this in an earlier post, but in a nutshell, the Snowball Method is paying the lowest balances off first, while the Avalanche Method is paying the highest interest rates off first. While mathematically the Avalanche method is the best method, for many, the Snowball method may be psychologically the better method. Both are valid methods of achieving the goal of paying off debt. Which one works better depends on an individual's preferences, personality, and life experiences.
Once we launch our SMART goal app, we don't intend to focus on creating SMARTracs ourselves. Rather, we will look to work with subject matter experts in various fields to create them, while we focus on building out a platform that maximizes interactivity while minimizing data entry on your part. This allows our users the best of both worlds: getting actionable, practical content from experts in a variety of fields that matter to you on a platform that makes the user's experience simple and easy to use. These SMARTrac are a major reason why we like to call ONTrac an automated life goal management app.