4 Smart Apps to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions
As fireworks light up the night sky, it is customary for most of us to make New Year’s resolutions and set goals for our future selves to achieve. These resolutions usually pertain to some good habits we hope to adopt, or some bad habits we want to kick. Ultimately, they serve as a verbal self-proclamation to do better and be better in the face of endless possibilities.
Yet, a report by The Economic Times states that only 16% of people who make these resolutions actually end up following through on it. Citing reasons such as lack of time, resources, or motivation, it is extremely common for us to stick to our newly-established routines or annual goals. Thank goodness for technology! In the digital age, technology and smartphones have become an extension of our personalities and many of these devices offer ways to help you stay on track to achieving your New Year’s resolutions. For those of you struggling to keep on pace with these objectives, here’s how some smart apps can lend a hand.
Apps to Help You Keep to a Habit
Strictly speaking, the toughest part about keeping to a New Year’s resolution is and always has been making a habit of it. Most of our resolutions require consistent effort and time sequestered away to consciously make headway. Having an app to track daily habits is the perfect way to stay on track and keep yourself accountable, and we think that these apps just might do the trick.
Humans are inherently receptive to reward and punishment. We are visual creatures that enjoy a little dopamine boost when we do the right thing and abhor the negative consequences of falling short. Streaks takes advantage of that by presenting your daily tasks in a friendly and appealing To-Do list. Completing tasks on Streaks enforces habit-forming behaviour by incorporating them into your everyday routine. Eventually, as you complete your tasks, visual indicators of your success present themselves on the app as “Streaks” (hence the namesake).
The app monitors a wide variety of activities, from health and exercise to self-care and self-maintenance. It also provides users analytical and statistical insight into their daily routines. This allows for adjustment and quantifiable tracking, which holds users of Streaks accountable for their actions. Available now on the App Store for $4.99, Streaks feels like the comprehensive way to kick off your New Year’s resolution on the right note.
2. Day One
Mental health and the importance of reflection has come to the forefront of self-care in the 21st century. More so now than ever given the effects of COVID-19 and the new normal of working from home, the strain on employees’ mental health has been exacerbated. It is therefore imperative for everyone to take some time out to really internalise their feelings and find a safe space where they can let go of any emotional baggage.
Enter Day One, a journaling app that encourages self-reflection. With a user interface that places primary importance on just writing freely, the app encourages users to type away and log memories daily through photos, videos, and audio notes. Furthermore, Day One is password protected and encrypted end-to-end for the user’s privacy, ensuring that everything written within the device is safe from prying eyes. Day One can be found for free on the App Store, and keen users can opt for a $2.92 monthly subscription towards Day One’s Premium plan, which opens up features such as cross-device use and unlimited text-to-voice transcription, as well as video, audio and photo recordings.
Apps to Get You Moving
Another common theme along New Year’s resolutions involve losing weight or starting a workout routine. Whether it's building up your endurance and getting your cardio in, or just maintaining a regular jogging routine, both these apps are well-suited to help you get off your chair and into your trainers.
1. C25K Trainer
An app that might sound daunting and extremely technical, C25K Trainer basically refers to a program where users can go from “couch to 5k”. Sporting a tailored system for users to slowly ramp up towards jogging a 5-kilometre route, the C25K trainer uses a measured and gradual progression system to help meet any New Year’s fitness goals.
Ideal for those of us who haven’t been running for a long time, or might have led a sedentary lifestyle for too long, C25K Trainer’s weekly and phased plans start off light and eventually works towards a sustainable training program. Furthermore, it pushes users to maintain a healthy and consistent running habit so that they never feel sluggish or lazy ever again. C25K Trainer is available for free now on the App Store, and users that want an ad-free premium experience can proceed with in-app purchases to upgrade to Pro, which also comes with a music and trainer companion which gives you tips during each session.
One of the most popular running apps in the App Store, Strava is a hit amongst users because of its wide array of features. The app caters to not only runners but cyclists and swimmers as well. In addition, robust social features are also a huge boon on Strava, as users can share their progress with the Strava community, and even share running routes and places in the neighbourhood. We think that this network is crucial for new runners, who might feel uncertain in the face of new challenges. Having a tangible way to show off your progress and share your experience with other runners comes in clutch as a way to reward yourself for all your hard work.
Strava is available for free on the App Store, and users can also upgrade to a Premium subscription at $5.00 monthly for access to performance analytics, partner perks, as well as a personal GPS that tracks your location as you jog.
Regardless of whether your New Year’s resolutions are about staying healthy, physically or mentally, or even just about building good self-care habits, the key is consistency and we hope these apps will benefit you along the way.