By Conner Carey on Fri, 12/30/2016
There’s no better time to slow down and evaluate your goals than around the New Year. New Year’s Resolutions have started to get a bad rep, because often people set their goals too high and don’t have practical steps towards the goal or a support system to help them get there. Technology offers a unique realm of possibilities when it comes to sticking to our New Year’s Resolutions. Regardless of your goal, there’s an app that can help you keep your New Year’s Resolution, somewhere in the App Store. Having apps on your iPhone help by offering both practical steps and support towards achieving and maintaining your goals. That’s why I wanted to put this list together; if you’re wondering how to keep your New Year’s Resolution for 2017, here’s the best apps to help you stay consistent.
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Goal: Lose Weight
MyFitnessPal has been my go-to app for managing my weight for years. Having tried a multitude of apps for tracking food intake and exercise, none are as easy to use as MyFitnessPal. Use the app to figure out how many calories you need to eat in order to lose, maintain, or gain weight. Then track your food and exercise throughout the day with MyFitnessPal’s extensive database. Track your weight over time with the chart and look back at your progress by including pictures with your weigh-ins.
Goal: Exercise More
Love cycling but hate classes? Get drenched in sweat on your own schedule with CycleCast. Pick your coach and ride time then get to cycling. It’s a cycling class in your ears with upbeat hit music and an instructor to keep you motivated. It’s not completely free, but you can try it out for 30 days to see if you like it first.
Not interested in cycling? Use the free version of the popular Couch to Five Kilometers app to go from an all-day sitter to marathon runner. This app is perfect for getting back into working out since it helps you build upon small steps of progress until you’ve completed your goal.
One of the two apps above can help you with your cardio, but weightlifting is an important part of building strength and muscle, regardless of your gender. But weightlifting can feel intimidating if you don’t know where to start or what to do. That’s where StrongLifts comes in. Let the app figure out your workouts and make it easy to keep track. You focus on pumping that iron.
Goal: Eat Healthier & Cook More Often
Yummly has a huge array of recipes from multiple different websites. It’s great for getting out of a food rut and trying new things. Not every recipe is guaranteed to be healthy, so look at the ingredients to make sure it’s in-line with your goals. You can also like recipes in Yummly and the app will give you recommendations based on what you've like. Overall, this is the app equivalent of the recipe box you used to find in kitchens—it’s got good food and lots of it.
Goal: Less Sitting
The Apple Watch has stand reminders to help you remember to stand up throughout your work day. Sitting all day long at a desk is an inevitability for a lot of people, but making sure to stand for at least a minute each hour can make a world of difference. Luckily, you don’t need an Apple Watch to be reminded to stand— there’s an app for that. The Stand Up app allows you to customize the timer to your work schedule. It will then remind you to stand at the intervals you’ve set.
Goal: Quit Smoking
My Quit Coach provides a personal plan to help you quit smoking. You can choose to go cold-turkey or gradually reduce your cigarettes and taper off. Keep track of how many days you’ve gone without a cigarette and make notes of cravings along the way. View charts of the progress you’ve made and unlock achievement badges to help keep you motivated to continue.
Goal: Create Good Habits
Turn your to-do list and goals into a role playing game with Habitica. Create a custom avatar that levels up when you complete tasks. As you advance, you’ll unlock armor, pets, skills, and quests. You’ll also accumulate gold that can be used for rewards, both in-game and outside of it. In short, if you find task management a chore and want to gamify your goals, Habitica is a great free way to do that.
Goal: Relax More
This mindfulness and meditation app is one of my favorites available. It’s beautifully designed and allows you to take a few minutes to get zen and return to peace of mind. The app also asks you to track your emotional state before and after meditation, that way you’re aware of the benefits and can refer back to them.
Another great way to relax is coloring. It allows you to shut your brain off in a way similar to meditation. Pigment is the best coloring app I’ve used. It has lots of free beautiful images, plus it’s the only coloring app that allows you to actually color, instead of just filling in the sections. Choose from quite a few different mediums (colored pencil, marker, etc.) and color each section how you’d like without worrying about coloring outside the lines.
Goal: Spend Less Time on Your Phone
I am as guilty of this as the next person: we spend way too much time on our phones. Not only do we spend too much time on them, we also tend to check them far more often than is actually necessary. If you’d like to spend less time on your phone in the coming year, Moment is a great app to help you do that. Moment tracks the amount of time you’re on your phone and the number of times you’ve picked it up. It uses green, yellow, and red to indicate whether you’ve spent a good amount of time, a little too much time, or way too much time on your phone.
Goal: Financial Health & Wealth
Knowing where your money goes is the first step to figuring out your budget. Mvelopes lets you connect all of your accounts so you can easily track and limit your spending by category. It will also show you the balance of your income and expenses so you can make sure the two match up. Reviewers of the app seemed to prefer it over Mint, but if Mvelopes isn’t your cup of tea, Mint is another free alternative.
Mvelopes helps you budget your money while Digit helps you save it. Digit checks your spending habits and transfers small amounts from your account to a savings within the Digit app. The app guarantees to never withdraw more than you can afford. If you have a hard time figuring out how to save money, let Digit figure it out for you. A little money saved here and there will add up over the course of a year.
Goal: Learn New Things
Learn new and random things from a myriad of different subjects with Curiosity. Read and watch short-form articles and videos, then share your favorites with friends on social media. From history and art to science news and technology advances, learn something new everyday with Curiosity.
Want to study a new language in 2017? While Duolingo is a great free language learning app, Memrise is my personal favorite. I’ve used it to study French for the past few months and have retained more using Memrise than I ever did trying out other language apps. If you’re really serious about learning a new language, sign up for Memrise premium. Multiple languages in Memrise allow you to hear the words spoken by native speakers, which helps train your ear for real world use of the language.
Goal: Journal More
Day One: Journal ($4.99)
This is the only app on our list that isn’t free, but I wanted to include it as a bonus New Year’s Resolution app because it’s one of the best. A lot of the apps above help you with concrete goals like better financial health or a stronger body, but your mental health and internal happiness are important too. Knowing how you’re doing is important for overall health, and keeping a journal is a great way to check in with yourself, as well as to save memories of great moments you’ll have in the upcoming year.