Christmas always comes and goes. Before you know it, the calendar will be showing January 1st. That time of the year for new resolutions and fresh promises.
After the chocolate-based sugar high has worn off and the turkey is no more than a pile of discarded bones, you’ll be left looking at an empty year ahead. It’s full of possibilities – new love, a change in career, fresh hobbies… and a chance to finally kick some of those old bad habits.
It’s not easy to stick to your New Year resolutions; temptation is a powerful force. Thankfully, with the advent of technology, it’s a little bit more doable.
In this piece, we’re going to look at 10 online tools to help you pursue your new year resolutions. We’ve taken the top 10 most common resolutions (as listed by Statistic Brain) and offered one app or tool for each.
1. Lose Weight and Eat Healthier: MyFitnessPal
21.4 percent of respondents said losing weight and eating healthier food was their main resolution for 2017, thus making it the most common goal among American adults.
There are lots of fitness trackers and calorie counter apps out there, but the best-in-class remains Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal.
With an app on Android and iOS, as well as a full-featured web app, you’ll be able to log your exercise and diet from anywhere. The food database includes more than five million items. And, if you can’t find the food you want to add, you can create your own entry.
Using the app really should help. Research shows keeping an exercise and diet log can more than double your weight loss.
2. Self-Improvement: Happier [No Longer Available]
Underpinning many such goals is happiness. Without an internal sense of tranquility, it’s hard to motivate yourself to reach your self-improvement goals.
Therefore, perhaps you should check out the Happier app. It’s available on the web and both Android and iOS. Best described as a social network for positivity, Happier lets you share moments with the community for support and encouragement.
The app has eight broad topics: gratification, health, work and money, inspiration, mindfulness, relationships, living happier, and home and food.
Download: Happier (Android [No longer available], iOS)
3. Better Financial Decisions: Google Drive
In third place with 8.5 percent of the vote is “Better financial decisions.”
It’s no surprise that the desire to make better financial decisions is on the list. A lot of people still haven’t wrapped their head around mortgages and credit cards – let alone disruptive technology like Bitcoin which is making the financial world more confusing than ever.
All smart financial decisions start with an organized budget. And, so you get started on the right foot, why not choose a free-to-use tool to get your budget in order.
Google Drive is full of ways to aid money management. We’ve covered 10 of them in detail elsewhere on the site.
4. Quit Smoking: American Cancer Society Cigarette Calculator
If you’re a smoker, quitting is the best health-based decision you’ll ever make. Cigarettes are responsible for almost half a million deaths in the United States each year. Sadly, quitting is also one of the hardest mental challenges you’ll ever undertake.
Instead of trying the usual apps on Android and iOS, why not take a different approach? The American Cancer Society Cigarette Calculator shows you how many cigarettes you’ve smoked over a given period and offers an estimate of how much money it’s cost you.
It might be a lot easier to quit once you realize you will be several thousand dollars better off each year.
5. Do More Exciting Things: Meetup
Leading a more fun lifestyle is easier said than done. Money, family commitments, the weather – you can come up with a near-endless list of reasons not to put yourself “out there”.
But, if you take that approach, you’ll regret it in later. You don’t really need to pass up on an opportunity to visit a new indoor ski slope just because a new episode of Game of Thrones is due to air at the same time.
One of the best web apps for finding fun things to do in your local area is Meetup. Activities are searchable by categories and cover everything from book clubs to sports events.
6. Spend More Time with Family and Close Friends: Facebook
Of all the resolution’s listed in Statistic Brain’s research, spending more time with family and friends is probably the easiest one to achieve.
After all, what’s so difficult? Call your brother or your aunt and ask them if they want to watch a film or go somewhere for dinner. Except, we all know it’s not that easy. Life happens, people move away, things come up.
Facebook might sound like an app that achieves the very opposite of what you desire by encouraging people to interact via the network rather than in person. But used correctly, perhaps in conjunction with a WhatsApp group, it’s still the best way to stay on top of where all your friends and family members are at any given time.
7. Self-Teach Yourself Something New: Lynda
Teaching yourself a new skill is another resolution that requires a lot of motivation. Dragging yourself to a language class at the end of a day’s work or forcing yourself to do trigonometry exercises on a Saturday morning can be a challenge.
Nonetheless, 5.3 percent of respondents are determined to acquire a new skill. If you fall into that 5.3 percent, you can’t go far wrong with Lynda.
The site offers thousands of courses across an almost endless number of topics. Everything from digital painting to programming is covered.
A membership costs $19.99 per month.
8. Do More Good Deeds for Others: Pay It Forward
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone was willing to help out their fellow man at all times?
In the last couple of years, a slew of good deed-based apps have popped up in the various app stores. It’s hard to determine an outright “winner,” but we like Pay It Forward.
Pay it Forward is a global movement that tries to introduce small acts of kindness that brighten everyone’s day. You use the app to log your good deeds. You can even see all the deeds on a map, and thus discover where are the kindest places in the country.
Download: Pay it Forward (Android [No longer available], iOS [No longer available])
9. Find New Love: Tinder
Perhaps surprisingly, only 4.3 percent of the people surveyed said they wanted to find new love in the upcoming year.
The good news is those people will now find it easier than ever to uncover love online. Sites such as Plenty of Fish and Match are well-known and have been around for several years.
I’ve decided I’m too sarcastic for internet dating… Apparently I just come across as a bitch… I’m glad there isn’t a star rating system with @Tinder
— Hannah Ferrier (@hannahferrier_) December 19, 2017
However, these days, the leading app for online dating is Tinder. The location-based algorithms show you other people in your area. If you like what you see, swipe right. With more than one billion swipes logged on the app every day, you can be confident of meeting a match.
If you’re new to the app, make sure you check out our list of tips for using the service.
10. Find a Better Job: Bumble Bizz
Who wouldn’t like a new job? More money, better career prospects, a more comprehensive benefits package – it’s easy to see why it’s one of the top 10 most common New Year resolutions.
A quick Google search reveals thousands of job hunting sites. In truth, there’s very little to choose between the big names such as Monster, Indeed, and CareerBuilder. The same vacancies are often found on each, and you’re competing against the same candidates.
If you’re a female and looking for something a bit different, check out Bumble Bizz. The female-first dating app launched a jobs service in mid-2017 and tries to offer a twist on LinkedIn jobs by combining dating and professional networking into a single interface. We’ve taken a detailed look at the app elsewhere on the site.
How Will You Stick to Your New Year Resolutions?
The 10 apps we’ve listed should have you covered; we’ve introduced you to a tool or app for all of the most common resolutions. If you’re looking for inspiration for resolutions, check out these bizarre New Year’s resolutions shared on Twitter.
Now it’s your turn to add to the list. Which apps or services will you use to try and stick to your resolutions? Have you tried any of the tools we discussed?
As always, you can leave all your opinions and suggestions in the comments section below.