By the time the ball has dropped and the confetti has settled on New Year’s Eve, most people have already given up on their resolutions. With the help of technology, however, you can overcome the hurdles and funnel your good intentions into action. Don’t give up just yet! Here are some of the most common commitments made around this time of year and the new mobile tools that will help you achieve them.
Year after year, Americans’ most common resolution is to get in shape. Sure enough, plenty of new technology has risen to meet the demand.
When it comes to fitness, scales are out and apps are in. Look for apps that integrate multiple wellness indicators — from physical fitness to sleep cycles — to give you a more comprehensive look at your overall health. Apple’s newest contribution is its Health app, which both monitors activity and syncs up with a host of third-party fitness apps to move all your health-related data to one dashboard. These apps are customizable, so you can tailor them to your unique goals. Want to get more sleep? Check. Train for a marathon? Check. Eat healthier? There’s that, too.
These fitness apps are a game-changer for exercisers. Not only do they keep you accountable by tracking your progress against your previously set goals, but they automatically keep your data organized — no more gym notebooks. Your energy should go toward achieving your resolution, not counting calories or tabulating your physical activity.
Be more productive
A lot of apps promise to be the single tool you’ll need to organize your life. There are plenty of great ones out there: Basecamp, Asana, and Clear, to name just a few. Sometimes, though, the trick isn’t staying organized, but finding more efficient ways to accomplish the things you already do.
The answer might be to use an automation tool. This is software that allows you to program commands that link together two separate digital entities — websites, social media channels, the weather report, anything — so that an operation in one triggers an action in the other. They can be built into long chains of commands that require just one input in order to accomplish a lot — think of them as input augmenters. The operation may sound complicated, but once you begin using it, nothing could be simpler. Tools like IFTTT (short for “if this, then that,” and pronounced like “gift), CloudWork, and Zapier perform for you the tasks that you already do for yourself.
Another great way to improve your productivity is to increase your content consumption – in other words, read faster. My favorite app for this is a revolutionary tool called Spritz, a widely-imitated technology that uses a stationary display to stream words in front of your eye faster than your eye would be able to find them linearly. The method allows you to read the news, your emails, and even books faster, saving you time so you can get to the next item on your to-do list.
After the gift-buying binge of the holiday season takes its toll on your bank account, you’re probably looking for ways to keep more cash in your pocket. This resolution in particular is one you can’t afford to skimp out on.
Apps like Mint and Spendee are already popular, but they offer an ever-growing palette of features that tell you exactly where your money is going. They can help you track multiple bank accounts, input receipts, and even set up reminders when bills are due. These apps help set goals and hold you accountable for putting money towards them. Whether you’re saving for a new car or paying off loans, real-time progress reports make managing your finances much simpler.
So no matter what your resolution, yes — there’s probably an app for that!