Sticking with New Year’s resolutions can be tough. Losing weight, saving money, and getting buff sounds easy while we daydream about all of the good habits we will develop over the next year. In reality, sticking with goals is a lot harder than it seems, and without accountability, a majority of the population’s New Year’s resolutions are nothing more than a faded memory come February.
Truth is we’ve all witnessed the “New Year’s Crowd” of gym goers during the month of January, and breathed a sigh of relief come February as the crowd dies off. This year, instead of plotting a master New Year’s plan that will be soon forgotten, why not use an app to help with accountability and make reaching our goals fun, organized, and interactive. Check out these five apps below that are sure to keep you on the right path to starting and more importantly, following through on this year’s resolutions.
1. Habit List
Habit List is a great way to keep track of how often we are performing actions that lead healthy habits. The app, which is exclusively available through the App Store, allows users to track how often they are meditating, exercising, skipping TV, cleaning, or even drinking water. The goal is to get on a good habit streak and work toward your goals on scheduled days, or even better, every day. Users have the option of developing a schedule for when they should perform a specific habit and Habit List will analyze your "habit data" by tracking when you perform or skip an activity on a scheduled day. This allows you to see what days you are more likely to exercise vs. what days you are more likely to read or write a blog post. You decide what habits you’d like to develop and when, and Habit List will help you stick to it.
2. HomeBudget App
The HomeBudget app helps users keep track of their income and expenses and has the ability to sync multiple users. It is excellent for families living on a shared budget. Upon logging in, users are able to see their expenses (what has been paid), their bills (what is owed), their income (what is earned), and their budget (what they SHOULD be spending monthly). It’s the user’s job to ensure that their expenses do not exceed the budget. The HomeBudget app has some cool tools for analysis and has a user friendly interface. Users can analyze their spending trends for the day, week, month or year, as well as add and delete items and set up recurring bills. As a personal user of this app, I must say it’s really helped in terms of bringing an awareness of spending habits. Sometimes, all we need is to see the data to make the changes. This app can be downloaded by Android, Apple, Amazon, or Windows Users for $4.99.
3. Couch to 5K
Couch to 5k was designed to get beginners literally up and running. The app is centered on a 9-week program that encourages users to run 20-30 minutes a day, 3 times a week. To make things fun and interactive, users are able to select a trainer/avatar that offers up motivational audio as well as integrate their personal playlists. Getting fit is hard, but this app promises to ease new runners in with a program that is not too easy yet not too demanding. Just think, 9 weeks is all it takes to say that you ran a 5k which is pretty impressive.
Fooducate grades items on a scale from A to D after users scan a bar code with their mobile device. Users can flip a switch to be notified whenever a product uses GMOs and good grades are consistently given to whole, minimally processed foods. Fooducate does not give good food grades to items that are simply low in calories and have added nutrients. Instead, an A grade is given out to items that contain real ingredients that do not rely on artificial sweeteners to keep the calories low. People looking to get healthy and not just lose weight can benefit from this app. Users can compare and contrast products, add favorites, and make Facebook and Twitter updates through the app as well as find healthy alternatives to popular product types with less than stellar ratings. Fooducate is not simply for dieters. It works for anybody who is opting to eat a more nutritious diet free of artificial ingredients.
Ecoviate was created to promote social sustainability and plants a tree for every download. Available on Android and iTunes, the app connects users to a social network of individuals committed to working toward a more socially conscious and environmentally friendly lifestyle. Users receive tips and product suggestions, Eco-points and rewards for meeting their sustainability goals. Users can also compete with each other for points. Ecoviate considers itself more of a lifestyle than an app, and for future generation’s sake, a socially conscious lifestyle is something we all should be working towards.
Elizabeth Aguirre is a technology professional with more than 8 years experience working in the software industry. Currently, Elizabeth is pursuing an M.S. in E-commerce at DePaul University and works as a consultant for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing in Chicago. She is on a one woman mission to empower small business owners through the use of technology. When she is not being a "cool mom" to her daughter Esther, she enjoys working on her personal web page, the Chitown Reikologist.