OK, say you want to eat better. That's a pretty big goal.
To make it easier to achieve, Quayce Thomas created an app called Timsle that breaks down health goals into manageable chunks and lets users choose an accountability buddy.
Here are some examples: Perhaps your bestie agrees to take you out to a movie if you take a 15-minute walk every morning for a week. Or your mom agrees to make you a quiche if you prepare balanced meals for a month.
"A lot of times we take on these really huge things that are very vague or very ambiguous, and then you get overwhelmed," Thomas says.
"My focus is on some very core behaviours that, regardless of where you are in life or what you're trying to achieve, will be very helpful."
They include improving sleep, being active, working hard, getting proper food, being mindful, working on finances and being social.
It all started as a project to help Thomas with his own mental well-being.
After his bipolar disorder diagnosis, his life started to fall apart.
"I wanted to get back on track. I wanted to get back to school and get back to work. And ... it seemed I was not in control of anything," he says. "Timsle is these very small steps toward taking back control over these behaviours."
What he needed was a system that allowed people who care about him to check in on his progress, and so the app allows accountability buddies to get in touch if something seems amiss.
Thomas hopes the app can eventually be used to predict swings in mood and help people take steps to make themselves feel better.
"We're looking at predicting mania, depression, all these mood disorders in university students, in people that just are in really high-stress environments," he says.
"Before we start becoming unwell there are very little things very early on that start to come out of place. With the program we can notice them and pick up on them and say, 'Your sleep has started to get a bit different. Let's start to re-regulate that.'"
Trailblazers is a community connection project that tells stories about people making an impact in the Ottawa area. We received hundreds of submissions and a panel of judges helped select our top 10.