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As we prepare to exchange the calendar for a new one, it’s also a good time to make some changes. You’ve probably made new year’s resolutions in the past and found them difficult to stick to. Try these smart apps to finally keep your resolutions for a better you.
There are specialized tools to tackle popular resolutions, but the basic principles of meeting goals are the same. Keeping that in mind, these websites and apps will push you towards achieving your objective, whether by motivating you or by bullying you.
Keep Your F****** Resolutions (Web): Auto-Pay If You Fail
Money can be a strong motivator to get something done. So Keep Your F****** Resolutions (KYFR) puts your money where your mouth is. If you don’t meet your goals, you’re going to lose some cash.
Here’s how it works. You write down a goal and set a deadline. Then you nominate a supervisor (via email), who is going to check if you have accomplished your objective by the deadline. You will also link your credit card to KYFR, and attach a dollar value to your goal. If the supervisor says you failed, that amount will be automatically deducted from your card.
It’s a threatening take on the old idea of how a check-in can help stick to resolutions. But sometimes, that impending loss of $100 is exactly what you need to motivate yourself into action.
MOTI AI (Web, Paid): Smart Bot Figures Out Your Motivation and Recommends Methods
One of the common mistakes that make people quit resolutions is that their goals are poorly defined. “I want to lose weight” is a good target, but if you don’t figure out how you are going to do it, you are heading for failure.
It’s not easy to break it down, or even figure out your motivation behind it. MOTI AI promises to do that. Talk to this bot to find out the right resolution for you, rather than a generic idea in your head. It poses a series of questions, which you answer in everyday language or with multiple-choice answers. It’ll ask about your past experiences, break down your current goals, and understand how you can best tackle your goal.
It costs $5 for a month of access, which isn’t exactly cheap. But think about it this way. With a clearly defined goal and a plan of action to tackle it, you’re more likely to follow through. Worth it?
JstStrt [Broken URL Removed] (Web): Free “Don’t Break The Chain” App for Multiple Goals
Jerry Seinfeld famously shared his productivity technique once. He hung a large calendar on his wall. When he wrote a new joke on a day, he would put a big cross on that day. Soon, he built up a chain, and the mantra became simple: “Don’t break the chain.”
It really works too, and scientists back the idea by saying you should monitor your progress closely and regularly. If you like the method, try out JstStrt, a free web app to track multiple goals on a daily basis. It’s as simple as things can get. Write multiple goals you want to track. Click on any day in a calendar and choose which of the activities you did on that day.
As you use JstStrt regularly, you will build a fulfilling calendar of all the steps you have taken so far. It works perfectly on mobile browsers too. So there you go: a no-installation, free app that will tell you how well you’re doing.
Hey Habit (Web, Chrome): Habit Tracker and To-Do List
Hey Habit isn’t as minimalist and beautiful as JstStrt, but it’s far more functional. It combines a similar habit-tracking calendar with a daily to-do list, and even adds a Chrome extension to make this your productive new tab page.
With the Chrome extension, you’ll get a cheerful, motivational message when you open a new tab. The rest of the app is a regular calendar on the left, and your habit and task list on the right. You can add and edit tasks every day, denoted by blue dots in today’s date on the calendar. Recurring tasks (or your habits) get a special colored square in the date. Again, the principles of the “Don’t Break The Chain” productivity method apply here.
Hey Habit uses your Google account to sync your progress everywhere, but it’s a web app only and doesn’t work well on mobiles. Think of this as your desktop productivity tracker only.
Download: Hey Habit for Chrome (Free)
Nagbot (U.S.-only, Text Message): Daily Nagging Texts to Keep You Honest
Regular check-ins are important in meeting your goals. Ideally, you should get yourself a buddy in the same boat. But all your resolutions might not be common with what others want to achieve. Nagbot can be the annoying, pesky friend who pushes you towards your objectives.
The bot works only for U.S. residents at the moment, as you will need a U.S. phone number to use it. Give it your name, and a question to ask you which has a Yes/No answer. Set how often you want Nagbot to remind you (daily, weekly, monthly), and what time it should send you an SMS.
Like some of the most entertaining chatbots, Nagbot has a personality. It’s snarky and mean, and you can set how mean it gets when you fail to meet your goal. It’s probably best that you avoid disappointing this automaton.
What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?
There are a few resolutions that come up more often than others. Losing weight, saving money, and reading more are common goals. But they might not be the best goals. In fact, some of the world’s greatest minds suggest resolutions that we all can benefit from.
What’s your goal for 2018? Have you successfully kept resolutions in previous years?