We’re rapidly approaching the end of 2016. Seriously, we’re at the end of December. Before we know it, we’ll be staring down the barrel of a fully-loaded 2017.
So have you given any thought to your New Year’s Resolutions? While some might think them a waste, a resolution can be a great way to move toward some form of personal growth. Whether you want to get fit, learn a new skill, or spend more time with the people you love, there’s no better time to start a meaningful self-improvement journey than the new year.
Making a goal is one thing — achieving it is something else entirely. Don’t worry, though, because we’re going to take a look at some of the most popular resolutions and introduce you to some gadgets that’ll help you succeed!
Get Fit or Lose Weight
When the new year gets rolling, one thing most people tend to want to do is drop weight or get in better shape. That’s all well and good, but most people bail long before meeting their actual fitness goals. Life gets in the way, but with some gadgets, you might just be able to force your way through and meet these aims!
A good fitness tracker won’t perform miracles, but if you use it regularly, it can help motivate you.
When it comes to solid trackers, the two that consistently come up are the Fitbit Charge 2 (UK/CA) and the Garmin VivoFit 2 (UK/CA). It’s hard to separate them, as they both have such similar features and price. It’s going to come down which one you find on sale when you do you shop.
If you want to know more about the top options on the market, check out our extensive article that digs into seven of the best fitness trackers out there.
High-End Smart Scales
If weight loss is your goal, you need a scale. You can certainly get by with just a regular one, but if you want data, a smart scale will serve you much better. Yes, it’ll cost more, but they’ll provide you with your Body Mass Index (BMI), calorie tracking, water weight, bone mass and for more than you’ll get with a standard scale. Like all wearables, a scale won’t do the work for you, but seeing those numbers change is a huge motivator!
Surprisingly, there are tons of smart scale models out there, but the Withings Body (UK/CA) and Fitbit Aria (UK/CA) are popular choices. They do come with higher price tags at $129 and $119, respectively.
Low-End Smart Scales
There are some well-reviewed budget models on Amazon as well. Weight Gurus has a $60 Bluetooth model available with a 4.4-star rating and an “A” rating on Fakespot. There’s also the Yunmai Wireless Bluetooth Smart Scale (UK/CA), which carries a $40 price tag and a 4.6-star rating. It doesn’t grade as well on Fakespot, though, as it has a “C” rating, which brings its adjusted review score down to 3 stars. Still solid for the price.
As you can see, it’s all about the smart, connected devices if you want gadgets that’ll help you meet those fitness goals for 2017!
Learn Something New
Mastering something new is important all year, but there’s no better time than the New Year to get it going. You can learn a new language, gather some programming skills, or take up a new hobby. The world is your oyster as long as you’re willing to learn!
We live in an age where you can learn just about anything you want online. And I’m not talking about spending your life savings on a degree, but rather, I’m speaking about services where you can take courses that are free (or quite cheap).
- Lynda.com — There are tons of topics here, and they’re offered on a monthly subscription basis.
- Udemy.com — Has paid and free courses on just about every subject you can think of — both tech and otherwise.
- Khan Academy — Offers courses on tons of topics, but mostly regarded for its programming courses.
- MakeUseOf Deals — We have lots of discounted lectures on all sorts of tech-related topics.
For more, make sure to check out our Self Improvement section, which features all kinds of articles that’ll help you find places to learn. Now you just need to decide exactly what you want to discover!
In the language learning world, Rosetta Stone (UK/CA) is the one name you’ll see listed as among the best. Sure it’s not cheap, but it offers tons of languages at all levels, so it’s worth spending the money, especially since we’re talking about fulfilling your New Year’s resolution.
There are plenty of free ways to learn a new language, too. Duolingo is among the best as it uses a similar method as Rosetta Stone by teaching you in a way that makes sense. Either way, you’ll be on the road to speaking whatever language you want in no time.
There’s only one device you need to start reading more, and that’s an eBook reader. For most people, that’s going to be a Kindle, though there are other devices on the market that offer similar features.
If you want to take your reading a step further, you can also get Kindle Unlimited, which lets you read an infinite number of books for $9.99 a month. Unfortunately, this doesn’t get you every single book on Amazon (that would be awesome, though), but it does give you lots to choose from. You’ll have no excuse not to read more!
Spend Time With Family
When you’re a kid, spending time with your family is easy. After all, children can’t go on a road trip with their buddies.
But as we move into adulthood, life gets in the way. Your parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and everyone else has their lives. People move around the world, and those moments when we get together are fleeting.
That’s why we recommend you run out and grab a teleportation device so you can see everyone instantly!
Sadly, there’s no gadget that will let you physically spend more time with your family (aside from a car, presuming they live within driving distance). You can get stuff that will make it easier to communicate with them, though!
Obviously, a webcam is a great tool for this. There are tons of webcam models out there, and anything branded Logitech tends to receive good reviews. There’s the HD Pro Webcam C920 (UK/CA) for $60, the C922x Pro Stream (UK/CA) for $100, and for the budget conscious, there’s the Logitech C270 (UK/CA) that sells for under $20. The more expensive ones will offer better video quality, but if you just want to say “Hi” to your family, you probably don’t need 60 fps and 1080p resolution.
Another great way to “spend time” with your family is through video games. This won’t work for all family members (my dad won’t touch a video game with a 10-foot pole), but online games can be an excellent way to hang out, even if it’s just in a digital space.
The Xbox One (UK/CA) and PS4 (UK/CA) are the current console models, and they both start at $250. It sounds expensive, but when you consider that it costs less than most plane tickets, it’s not too bad.
If you already own a PC, you can pick up a basic chat headset and download a free copy of Skype or Discord and play games that work with the power of your computer.
If your plan for the New Year is to spend more time with friends and family, there’s no reason to let distance be a problem!
Enjoy Life to the Fullest
Another common resolution is to enjoy life thoroughly. It’s pretty tough to recommend a particular gadget that’ll help you do that, as we all like different things. My version of enjoying life to the fullest is playing video games, watching pro wrestling, and going to the hockey rink to play. Yours might be knitting sweaters and reading comics. Or participating in underground street fights and making soap. We’re not here to judge.
What I can advise you about are devices that’ll make your life a bit easier. You could grab an Amazon Echo (UK) or Google Home to automate your home and look stuff up easier. You can get one of the many reliable portable battery chargers out there to power devices while you live your joyous life. Grab a Tile (UK/CA) and stop wasting time looking for your keys.
If you’re creative, you can get lots of stuff that’ll streamline your life. It’s up to you to get out there and do what makes you happy, though!
What Are Your New Year’s Resolutions?
To call 2016 an interesting year would be an understatement. But it’s over — let’s make 2017 the best year yet. Let’s make it your best year yet!
Do you have any gadget ideas that’ll help with New Year’s Resolutions? Jump to the comments section and sound off!
Image Credit: Pasko Maksim via Shutterstock.com