When it comes to thoughts of self-improvement around this time of year, tell me if this is a familiar sequence of statements:
December: "Ah, the holiday season. The last hurrah before diet time, am I right?"
January: "New year, new me. Brace yourself 2021... Here. I. Come."
Still January: "Life is hard."
If it sounds like something you’re already going through, don't feel bad. This says only 9% are successful in achieving their resolutions.
What's the issue and how do we improve?
Well, life is in fact very hard. We have priorities. We have needs. Food tastes good. Working out is a commitment.
What could help?
You've heard the saying "out of sight, out of mind," right? So, then do the opposite.
Meaning first, put your resolutions out there for others to see. Tell your friends your goals, update your family on progress, etc. These are great first steps in your journey towards staying motivated for the new year, and achieving that "new you" you so badly covet.
Why? This holds you accountable. How? Because the only thing worse than failing your resolutions is telling anyone willing to listen about your lofty goals one week, and then completely going off the rails the next. You’ll be seen as crying wolf, making it all the more difficult to earn support in the future.
Second, do whatever you can to keep resolutions top of mind—throughout your day—rather than only thinking about them in times of vulnerability.
For instance, it’s tough to turn down pizza when you’re starving, and it’s tough to get up in the morning for the gym when you’re tired.
But instead, if you’re using an app to track your calories during the day, you’re mentally setting yourself up to know you only have 500 of them left for dinner—taking pizza completely out of the question before you even have time to consider it. Likewise, if you’re tracking your sleep habits and buying into daily progress, you’re more likely to go to bed at 10PM instead of Netflix-binging past midnight.
What I’m really saying is, you don’t have to be part of the 9%! First, set a goal, then tell people about it, and last, find a helpful app to keep you on pace.
The first two steps are easy, and we are here to assist with the third.
With a suite of worthy mobile apps just begging to be downloaded, you’ll soon be on your way to eating healthier, reading more, exercising regularly, and/or picking up a new passion, goal, or even career.
Let technology make your life easier in 2021.
- MyFitnessPal (to eat healthier)
- Couch to 5K (to get active)
- Any.do (to become more organized)
- Headspace (to be "present" more)
- DietBet (to lose weight)
- Skillshare (to find a new hobby)
- Strides (to achieve a specific goal)
- SimpleHabit (to meditate)
- Indeed (to find a new job)
- Mint (to save more money)
- Scribd (to read more)
- Babbel (to learn a new language)
- HabitBull (to quit a bad habit)
- Endel (to get better sleep)
- New Year's Resolution Tracker (to track resolutions)
MyFitnessPal (iOS & Android)
If you want to eat healthier, you must first understand what you’re currently consuming. MyFitnessPal tracks daily meals and snacks to help you reach your goals. You can record exercise activities, track daily/monthly progress, see a breakdown of the day’s nutrition, and set measurable goals. (Warning, you’ll be shocked at how much sodium is in basically everything.) Download: iOS or Android
Couch to 5k (iOS & Android)
Experts say the best way to achieve a goal is to break it down into smaller steps. That’s just what this app does! With Couch to 5k ($2.99), anyone—yes, anyone—can train to run a 5k. You start small (think alternating rounds of jogging and walking) with thrice-weekly workouts that last about 30 minutes. By the end of the nine-week plan, you’ll be jogging through the finish line. Download: iOS or Android
Any.do (iOS & Android)
Track your tasks, and then get them done. With Any.do (free), you can add reminders, notes, and files that are accessible on all devices—meaning you can manage your to-do list from home or on-the-go. The clean and simple interface makes it easy to get started, which is one of the hardest parts of completing any goal. Premium plans are available. Download: iOS or Android
Headspace (iOS & Android)
According to the app, “headspace is a gym membership for your mind.” In reality, it offers guided meditations that last ten minutes; perfect for busy parents. The app is lauded for helping reduce stress and anxiety while improving creativity and focus—all benefits of meditation. After completing Take10, the beginner’s course, you can upgrade to a paid plan. Download: iOS or Android
DietBet (iOS & Android)
You can tell what a person loves by looking where they spend their money. DietBet uses money to motivate people to make healthy decisions. The concept is simple: bet money on how much weight you think you can lose, and get paid for meeting your goals. According to the app, “96% of players lose weight, and winners take home an average of $58!” I like those odds. Download: iOS or Android
Skillshare (iOS & Android)
With literally thousands of classes on everything from using Photoshop to designing T-shirts to painting a cow with acrylics (yes, really), Skillshare makes it easy to discover a new hobby or brush up on old skills. Watch classes via the app for on-the-go inspiration. While some classes are offered for free, you can upgrade to monthly or annual plans for complete access. Download: iOS or Android
Perhaps 2021 will be the year you finally travel to Iceland to see the northern lights. Or the year when you finally learn to change your own tires. Whatever your goal is, you can achieve it with Strides (free). Track goals and habits, review your progress in the form of fancy graphs, and accomplish anything you’ve set out to do. Users especially love the application’s clean, user-friendly appearance. Download: iOS
SimpleHabit (iOS & Android)
SimpleHabit, the self-proclaimed meditation app for busy people, offers free, five-minute exercises that are easy to squeeze into tight schedules. Designed by meditation experts, the app contains a range of meditation and mindfulness resources. Users can select from a variety of situations, moods, and times of day for customized guided meditations. Download: iOS or Android
Indeed Job Search (iOS & Android)
Among the many different job search apps, we recommend Indeed's entry simply because it boasts the most comprehensive search engine for jobs. Browse local gigs, and apply with your Indeed Resume if a specific job catches your interest. Now if only there was an app to walk you through the interview… Download: iOS or Android
Mint (iOS & Android)
Money might not grow on trees, but the fact that Mint costs absolutely nothing means there’s still good in the world. Seriously though, there are few tools as robust and simple to use as Mint. Log into the app to see your current financial snapshot, create and manage budgets, track savings goals, and ensure the water bill gets paid. Backed by Intuit, Mint is the real deal. Download: iOS or Android
Scribd (iOS & Android)
For those seeking a more literary 2021, Scribd is a great app and subscription service for books, magazines, newspapers, and audio content. Scribd has content for every reading and listening preference with a wide selection to choose from. With Scribd, it’s never been easier to get your hands on your next great read! Download: iOS or Android
Babbel (iOS & Android)
New year, new language! This platform provides expert, interactive language learning curriculum designed to fit into your day. Choose from dozens of languages and embrace the joy of learning something new or building on those rusty high school skills! Download: iOS or Android
According to Lifehacker, HabitBull “packs all [habit-building tricks] in a gorgeous, free, cross-platform app.” Use the mobile application to track goals (and habits you want to quit), set up notifications, and participate on the forums. View your progress in handy graphs that motivate you to keep moving forward. Download: iOS
Endel (iOS & Android)
Sometimes, a good night’s sleep can feel more valuable than gold. Endell offers tools, resources, and exercises designed to help get better sleep, increase focus, and generally find a moment to chill in a hectic world. With Endel, everything from plane rides to a 10-minute break during the workday can become more peaceful. Download: iOS or Android
New Year’s Resolution Tracker (iOS)
Yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like. This highly-rated app will help you track, customize, and reflect on your road to success. As one user noted, this tracker is an excellent “accountability partner” and opportunity to make progress in a way that’s authentic to you. Download: iOS
If your resolution isn’t listed here, don’t let that stop you—there really is an app for everything.
But with that little nugget said, there is always a better way to build a mousetrap.
If you have a child who is interested in developing mobile applications, be sure to check out our various online classes in coding, including Java, Python, and more.