Free Apps to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
New Year’s resolutions are a nice idea. I say “idea” because most of them are forgotten soon after they’re made. In fact, a 2015 study found that although roughly 45% of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions, only 8% of them actually achieve them. Another survey, conducted two minutes ago with myself as the only participant, concluded that the all-encompassing reason for people’s failure to achieve their goals is that they had not yet read this extremely helpful article. Keep reading to learn about mobile apps that will make keeping your resolutions easier so that we can bring the success rate up by next year!
The most commonly made New Year’s resolution year after year is to get fit or lose weight. Because of this, there are about a million apps that revolve around at-home ab workouts, leg exercises, cardio training programs…the list goes on. But what’s going to keep you going back to those apps? We’re thinking things like competition, challenges, and gamification (applying elements of game playing into another facet of life – such as workout apps)! Here are a few that use some of those elements to keep you on track.
When you think of personal trainers, you probably don’t think of the word “free”. They usually come at a pretty high price, but Fitnet allows you to have one right on your phone or iPad at no cost at all! After entering your fitness goal, you’re presented with a variety of workout videos that you can follow along with. Now, here’s the motivation – the camera on your phone or iPad captures your movements while you’re matching the trainer’s moves, and gives you real-time feedback on your performance! It’s like having someone there coaching you, so you’re way more likely to keep up with it instead of pretending to be doing crunches while actually taking a quick nap.
The idea of this app is that you’ll do a bit of cardio that increases in intensity each day, in the comfort of your own home, with no gym equipment. So you’re steadily building up your endurance, but still have a “challenge” to complete. I like this app because it presents a goal within a manageable time frame – 30 days doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
Okay so this is the only app on the list that isn’t free. It was just too cool not to write about. Basically, you plug your headphones into your phone, start running outside or on a treadmill, and you’re immediately told that it’s the zombie apocalypse and that you have multiple missions to go on. They involve collecting supplies along the way and actually allocating them (and this affects the rest of the gameplay), following complex storylines, and even getting chased by zombies! You have to run faster or slower depending on your status in the game – like if a zombie is 4 feet behind you, for example – and I imagine this is extremely motivating. This app is $3.99 on the app store or Google Play!
Eating healthy ties in pretty well with the first New Year’s resolution, so it’s near the top of a lot of people’s lists of things they hope to accomplish this year. Thankfully, there are a ton of apps to help.
Lark is described as a “personal weight loss coach and 24/7 nutritionist”. I downloaded it just to see how it works, and it was pretty interesting. It tracks your activity on a graph, asks about your meals, and gives you feedback on their nutrition. It even gives you advice on what you should be eating instead, without directly counting calories or making you feel bad. It even sends you notifications that look like texts if you haven’t logged a meal in a while just to keep you on track.
This app, on the other hand, allows you to keep a very detailed record of all of your food consumed and all of the nutrition information (including a calorie count) in each meal. The app then gives you advice on how to change your eating habits to meet certain goals, and even allows you the option to join online communities to interact with people with similar goals to you so you’ll stay motivated.
If you really want to start eating healthy but you’re not ready to commit to learning to cook with all-natural ingredients quite yet, HealthyOut might be the app for you. All you have to do is enter your address and the type of healthy meal you’re looking for – it offers specifications like low calorie, high protein, low carb, paleo, and so on – and it will give you a ton of dishes in the area offered by local restaurants, as well as their nutrition information. Then you can either order them on the spot or have a lovely night out! No shopping or cooking required.
Be More Organized
I feel like we could all do with being a little more organized. Whether it’s keeping our work calendars up to date, remembering people’s birthdays, or remembering to check the traffic conditions, there’s always some area that we could use a bit of help with. These apps will be all the help you need!
This basically seems like the only “app” you’d ever need to organize all of your things in one place. It’s technically an intelligent personal assistant rather than an app, but it reminds you about events, restaurant reservations and birthdays, alerts you about traffic and weather conditions, gives you suggestions for nearby events…it seems like Google Now does it all. Unfortunately, it’s only available for Android, but we’ll take what we can get.
Evernote seems like another app that allows you to have all of your things all in one place, which is very helpful for staying organized. You can set reminders, take pictures, make lists, and save things you find online, then have them all on one online database to have for later. Sounds convenient to me!
Learn to Budget and Save Money
Extra money is a good thing. We can agree on this. But extra money doesn’t happen unless we know how to intelligently manage our money and make smart financial decisions! These apps will do their best to help you become a financial virtuoso.
This is a service you sign up for online for free rather than an app you download, but it sounds like it makes your life a whole lot easier. It puts your bills, credit card balances, and account information all on one dashboard, and helps lay out budgets for different areas of your life. It also gives your financial tips, and sends alerts when there’s unusual account activity. Did I mention this is all on one simple dashboard? Just one place to go for all of your finance info – I like the sound of that!
Pocket Expense does most of the same things as Mint.com, but also automatically categorizes your spending habits into sections like groceries, clothes, entertainment, and calculates what percentage of your budget is spent on each category. This feature sounds like an interesting one to try out, even if just for interest’s sake!
Learn a New Language
This is another big contender on the list of top New Year’s resolutions. People want to know they’re becoming smarter and learning new things as they get older, and learning a new language is just one way to do that. These apps will help you learn a whole new language and have fun while doing it!
I can speak from personal experience with this app – it’s awesome! I took a couple of Italian language classes in school and I decided to try this out alongside it, and it was a lot of fun. You can choose from around 23 languages to learn and from there, you’re taught the very basics, then some simple words like types of food, animals, and so on. And they’re all in game format! So there are multiple levels and points – it’s very motivating.
This app is a language-learning app like Duolingo, but it seems to be more structured and less game-y. It also allows you to interact with native speakers of the language you wish you learn, which is a really cool feature! There are 12 languages to learn in total, so you better get started ASAP!
With the wide range of apps to keep you on track with your New Year’s resolution, whatever it may be, there’s no excuse not to get out there and accomplish your goals. 2017 is a brand new year, and it’s up to you to make it amazing.
Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor
Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.