The Best Apps for Sticking to 10 Common New Year’s Resolutions

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For our last blog post of 2017, we’re looking ahead to bright things in the new year. If you’re like us, you may be contemplating what the future holds and what you want to accomplish next. Maybe you want to be more productive at work or make more time for your family. Perhaps you want to lose weight or finally run that marathon. Whatever your goal for the New Year, you deserve all of the support you can get to ensure success. In this post, we’ll suggest applications for 10 of the most common New Year’s Resolutions.

1. Become a fitness buff.

Ready to get in shape and become more active? Us, too. The following apps are useful for a variety of different workout goals:

  • General exercise: The Human app helps you move more by bugging you if you don’t get at least 30 minutes of walking, running, or other physical activity per day. It also tells you how active others in your city are for additional motivation.
  • Running: If you’re just starting to run (whether for the first time or again), it can be difficult to gauge progress. The Couch to 5K (C25K) app helps you start slow and improve speed and distance over the course of 8 weeks. It also gives audio coaching tips and allows you to listen to whatever music you want.
  • Quick fitness: So much exercise to do, such little time. Try Johnson & Johnson’s 7 Minute Workout app to crunch it in small increments of time and with endless variations.
  • Trainer support: Ever wish you could bring a trainer with you everywhere you go? Then the Nike+ Training app is perfect for you. Watch or listen to hundreds of training lessons for any activity you can imagine.

2. Save money & better manage your budget.

If 2018 is the year you finally get serious about savings, make it easy and fun! The days of relying on spreadsheets are mostly over. Here are some apps that can crunch the numbers for you:

  • Manage money better: If you need an easy place to keep track of your finances, Mint is perfect. It monitors your spending activity and suggests budgets for different purposes, and lets you know when you’ve exceeded them. You can also pay all of your bills from the app’s calendar and get free credit score checks. You Need A Budget (YNAB) is another good option and incorporates features to help you pay down debt.
  • Aggressively save: The Digit app is tied to your bank account and calculates an appropriate amount to put into a savings account each day based on your checking account balance and spending habits. Use the money whenever you want!
  • Micro-invest: Lots of credit cards allow you to round up to the nearest dollar and give that spare change back to you in some way. Acorns takes that spare change and automatically invests it in a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds that you choose based on your risk tolerance.

3. Eat healthier.

Whether you want to lose weight or just be kinder to your body, eating the good stuff is key. Check out these foodie apps:

  • All-in-one control: We don’t love the name, but the FatSecret app lets you keep a detailed daily food diary and exercise diary so you know how much is going in and burning off. It also lets you take photos of your food and get all its nutritional information, including those from specific brands and restaurants so you can plan ahead.
  • Track calories & ingredients: The MyPlate Calorie Tracker from LIVESTRONG helps you track calories, sugars, sodium, and other food elements. It also provides access to a nutritionist and workouts.
  • Avoid genetically-modified foods: The Center for Food Safety’s True Food app helps you detect genetically-engineered foods at the grocery store, so you don’t have to wonder if “natural” actually means anything.
  • Eat intentionally: You feel sluggish but don’t want another cup of coffee…what to do? The Superfoods app suggests food with naturally-occurring nutrients to boost energy, fight a cold, prevent bloating, or what-have-you.

4. Diversify your knowledge & hobbies.

Ready to take on something new this year? I bet there’s an app for that. Here are just a couple to get the ideas flowing:

  • Learn a new language: Instead of spending a fortune on Rosetta Stone, learn a new language for free on the go with Duolingo. You choose the pace, anywhere from 5-20 minutes per day. Dann wir los!
  • Pump up your resume or business skills: Want to learn to code or understand how digital marketing works? Udacity offers free courses in usable skills and then gives you the option of purchasing a certificate of proficiency for $200.

5. See the world!

Are you determined to break away from your desk and explore new places this year? If so, we’re jealous and right behind you out the door:

  • Travel affordably: If your time is flexible but your wallet isn’t, the Hopper app is perfect! You browse some preliminary dates and the app searches for the best flight deals. It can also predict if you should wait to book because a better deal is available.
  • Make anywhere home: If you’re not already addicted to AirBnb, you’re missing out. Peruse locations and pick someone’s cozy house, condo, high-rise, what-have-you to stay in all over the country and even internationally.

6. Manage your stress.

Life never really seems to slow down, no matter the time of year. If you want to increase the amount of peace and contentedness in your life this year, try these apps:

  • Practice meditation and mindfulness: You have the power to create your calm, and the HeadSpace app can help you do it. Think meditation for beginners in just a few minutes per day.
  • Reduce anxiety: Take a holistic approach to stress management with the Pacifica app. It lets you track your moods and behaviors, practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques, get peer support, and engage in 5-minute relaxation exercises.

7. Sleep better.

If you have trouble getting to or staying asleep, it’s probably affecting other areas of your life, too. There are some great apps for different kinds of sleep problems, including:

  • Monitor nighttime behaviors: You may need more information about what’s going on at night in order to improve your sleeping. Pillow for Apple users or Sleep as Android for Android users are both good options for tracking nighttime movement, heart rate, waking, etc.
  • Reduce caffeine consumption: Are you aware of how much caffeine you’re consuming each day? Do you know when you can safely have your last cup? If not, this could be the root of your sleep issues. Get a handle on your daily caffeine intake with the Caffeine Zone 2 app.

8. Quit smoking.

Make this the year that you finally shake off the tobacco cuffs! It’s no easy task, but it is possible and will do wonders for your health. Try these apps for help:

9. Use your phone less.

Do you feel naked without your phone? Have you intended to finish a book but end up playing Words with Friends for two hours instead? It might be time to create a little distance between yourself and your cell. Here are some apps for that:

  • Track phone time and limit yourself: Want to know just how long you’re on your phone every day? Want to set clear boundaries and get called on it if you regress? If so, try Apple’s Moment app.
  • Unplug and block yourself: If you don’t think alerts will keep you off your phone, you may need a more serious approach. Flipd lets you lock down extraneous apps or even the entire phone itself for as long as you set it. You can still call emergency services, but that’s it.

10. Improve the world.

Perhaps your 2018 goals have more to do with others, the environment, or some other good cause. If so, we applaud you! Here are some apps for that:

  • Volunteer more: Want to pitch in near you but don’t know where to start? The VolunteerMatch app lets you enter a location, select your interests, and then suggests available volunteer opportunities. Easy!
  • Help the environment: Never wonder if something can be recycled again! Also, find nearby places to take all kinds of materials that don’t just go in the trash with the Recycle Nation app.

Whatever your resolution, we hope it leads to a happier you. Let us know if you end up using any of these, or if you have other helpful resources. See you in 2018!

December 21, 2017