When we’re really ready to make a change, most of us don’t wait until January 1 to get started, which is part of why New Year’s resolutions get a bad rap. The pressure to start pursuing goals on New Year’s Day can make us declare our resolutions before we’re truly ready to begin, setting many of us up to fail before Valentine’s Day.
If you’d like this year to be different, the key to staying on course may be right in your smartphone. There’s an app for every common New Year’s resolution (and even many uncommon ones), and these digital aids can help you make lasting habits out of what could have been flash-in-the-pan ambitions.
See the apps we’ve paired with these popular New Year’s Resolutions:
- Get in Shape or Lose Weight
- Spend Less and Save More Money
- Quit Smoking
- Conserve Energy
- Recycle More
- Get Organized
Get Fit or Lose Weight
New Year’s Day invariably brings a lot of fresh faces to the gym. But when results don’t come fast enough, some of those newcomers will give in to discouragement. This is where MyFitnessPal, one of the most popular fitness apps available, does its best work.
MyFitnessPal is a nutrition database and exercise coach rolled into one free app (with additional features for paying subscribers). It stores dietary data on more than five million foods – and adding more is as easy as scanning a barcode. It also coordinates with more than 50 exercise apps and devices like Fitbit to help you calculate and track your daily caloric balance. Put them together, and you have a clear picture of the progress you can’t easily see in the mirror or even on the scale.
Manage Your Money
Living within your means is easier said than done. But with the budgeting app Mint, getting a clear picture of your finances is easier than ever. The beauty of Mint is that after you provide some secured information about your banking and credit accounts, the tracking and analysis of your spending and saving is mostly automatic.
By streamlining the flow of financial data, Mint allows you to focus your attention on what’s really important: where you can reduce expenses, how your investments are performing and how all this activity affects your credit score.
By now, every smoker understands the damage that smoking causes — but that doesn’t make it easy to quit. With the MyQuit Coach app, smokers can make a plan to quit at their own pace. The app makes it possible to track every cigarette and even every craving, which is designed to show users that the struggle to Quit Smoking actually does get easier over time.
If that’s not enough motivation, MyQuit Coach also lets users collect achievements for reaching their personalized goals, as well as connect to a huge network of social support consisting of other aspiring quitters and those who have won the battle.
Upgrading to Energy efficient appliances and hybrid cars are straightforward ways to save energy, but each day presents dozens of free opportunities to make more sustainable choices. The app JouleBug turns those opportunities into a social game, allowing you to compete with family, friends and the eco-conscious community as you reduce your carbon footprints.
Users earn points for making choices like cycling to work, buying local produce or simply turning off the lights when leaving the room. The app also offers tips and strategies for using less energy, and makes it simple to track the savings you generate with every utility bill.
The growing availability of curbside recycling is constantly making it easier for the Average Joe to give new life to their plastic, paper and glass. But it’s possible to recycle so much more, like old electronics, batteries, paint, car parts and even hazardous materials. And since you can’t just throw those things in the curbside bin, you’ll need iRecycle to show you where to take them.
iRecycle tracks recycling drop-off locations for just about everything and uses geo tracking to show you the sites nearest you. It’s also a great way to learn about the recyclability of things you thought were just trash.
Choose Your Own Adventure
Not all New Year’s resolution apps are tied to a specific goal. Habitica lets you customize and combine all sorts of life goals and turn them into an addictive social gaming experience.
Based on classic role playing adventure games, Habitica lets you create a character and “level up” as you take small steps toward your goals, whether that means hitting the gym, studying for an hour or flossing your teeth. As you build better habits, you’ll earn power-ups like armor, magic abilities and battle pets, but if you start slacking off, it’ll drain your health. Nurture a strong, skilled character to battle monsters and complete other quests alongside your fellow Habiticans!
Do you have lofty goals for 2018? Get your mobile device in on the effort by installing the right app and using it to stay focused and motivated all year long.