Happy New Year! Ready to grab 2017 by the horns? If you’ve made a few resolutions for the new year, you’ll be thrilled to know that there are tons of apps out there that can help you on your way to success. For this Tech Talk Thursday, we’ve rounded up apps that will support some common resolutions that people set.
But first, your basic goal-setting toolkit
Regardless of which New Year’s resolution you want to crush this year, it’s important that you have a couple of things in place to ensure your success: 1. A way to measure your progress towards your goal, and 2. A way to schedule your new behaviors or habits into your routine. Having these measures in place will help you know if you’re actually achieving your goal and get you into the habit of practicing your new behaviors. For this basic set up, I personally use two apps that are my ride-or-die goal-smashing duo (read: I really can’t function as an adult human without them [#millennial]).
Strides is a great app that lets you track your new habits and your progress towards your goal. Built with achieving SMART goals in mind (more on SMART goal setting here), the app allows you to track your progress towards a myriad of goals, as well as set alerts and reminders. For example, if your new years resolution is to meditate every day, you can set up a tracker that allows you to input whether or not you meditated on each day. Then the app keeps a report of how often you’re achieving your goal, as well as allowing you to see patterns in your goal achievement (for example, you never meditate on Tuesdays).
Another app designed to help you crush your goals is Remember the Milk. It’s a smart to-do app for busy people that can help you organize all of your to-do’s into a list. The app allows you to create any number of lists, organize your lists and items with tags, create sub-tasks, and even share your lists with others. You can also set reminders and prioritize and postpone tasks. Resolution-wise, this app is helpful if you schedule your new habits into your day and set daily reminders to do actually do them (ie. scheduling in your meditation for 6:30 p.m. and setting a reminder to do it).
Now that you have your basic toolkit, lets tackle a few specific resolutions!
Resolution: Learn a new language
Duolingo takes learning a new language and turns it into a game! Each lesson is small but effective, and you can level up while correctly answering questions.
Resolution: Eat healthy
Always browsing the web for healthy recipes? The Healthy Recipes app by Sparkrecipes.com can set you up with easy-to-prepare recipes wherever you go. The app features over 500,000 healthy recipes and allows you to search by ingredient, dietary needs, and more. It will also share nutritional and calorie information for every recipe, which you can then add to the next app just below!
MyFitnessPal is an easy-to-use calorie counter app. With it, you’ll have access to a huge nutrition and calorie database so you can track your daily meals. The web version of the app syncs automatically with your mobile device, so your diary of counts is always up to date.
Resolution: Read more books!
I am a HUGE fan of this resolution! Goodreads is a great app to try if you’d like to fill out your bookshelf a little this year. This app keeps track of the books you’ve already read (along with your ratings) and the books on your to-be-read list. with this app you can also see what your friends are reading and recommending, share and read book reviews from other users, and find new books to read by browsing personalized recommendations based on books you’ve already read.
Resolution: Get fit
Have you ever considered using the promise of a cash reward to encourage yourself to exercise? Pact lets you do just this! Use the app to set your weekly goal for exercise and healthy eating, and set a price you’re willing to pay other users of the app if you don’t meet your goal. If you meet it, you’ll get paid by all the members who didn’t! Now that’s putting your money where your mouth is.
Been meaning to run a race but don’t know where to start? Couch to 5K gets you started with a routine geared towards getting you race-ready in 9 weeks. 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week – you’ve got this!
Resolution: Reduce Stress
Mindfulness was a 2016 buzzword, and we could all use a little mental break from the things that stress us out. The Headspace app will guide you through simple meditations to improve your focus, relieve stress and anxiety, and exercise mindful awareness. Take a breather – you deserve it!
There’s plenty more apps out there just ready to help you reach your goals this year. Seek them out, and go catch that rainbow in 2017!