It’s February, and you know what that means: You’ve probably already given up on at least one of your New Year’s resolutions.
It’s not just you. According to this (self-reported, so take it with a grain of salt) 2002 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, over 35 percent of resolution-makers abandon their resolutions after a month.
If you’re already struggling with that resolution you made on January 1st, we’re here to help. Your smartphone is always with you, so what better way to motivate yourself to stick to your goals than with constant reminders and guilt-tripping via apps? Here are 10 apps that will help you lose weight, move more, save money, and even kick your tech addiction.
Resolution: Lose weight
Whether it’s five pounds or 50 pounds, losing weight is difficult, especially since the parade of holiday treats is gone and you’re now struggling to make “good” decisions when all you really want to do is dive into a bowl of pasta. The main key to losing weight is controlling your food intake, so you’ll need apps that can help you keep your diet in check.
MyFitnessPal makes counting calories and macronutrients a breeze.
MyFitnessPal is the best app for tracking just about everything diet-related, including calories, macronutrients, vitamins, supplements, and water. MyFitnessPal has a huge database of foods — including popular restaurant dishes and prepared grocery store meals — so it’s super easy to log what you’re eating with just a few taps (though the database is user-edited, so you should be wary of nutrition data that seems suspicious).
Fooducate is a great app to use at the grocery store. Scan that package before you buy!
If you’ve got a more specific diet goal, such as avoiding artificial sweeteners or trans fats, you’ll want to download Fooducate. Fooducate is a food and exercise-tracking app that will analyze your food’s nutrition. All you have to do is scan the barcode of the food you’re about to buy or eat, and Fooducate will spit back information on things like added sugar, trans fats, MSG, food colorings, and additives and preservatives.
Resolution: Work out more
I know what you’re thinking, but working out isn’t the same as losing weight (though they can be, and often are, related). A resolution to “exercise,” “work out,” or simply “move more often,” can mean anything from taking the stairs instead of the elevator to your fourth floor apartment to training for a marathon. But if you’re already starting to feel like sitting for 12 hours a day is not that bad for you, you’ll want to use these apps to get you back on your feet.
Nike+ Training Club is so loaded with workouts that you’re bound to find one you can stick to.
If you’re finding it difficult to fit working out into your busy schedule, download Nike+ Training Club. This Nike-sponsored fitness app has hundreds of pre-made workouts (designed by Nike-approved trainers and professional athletes) for every situation. Workouts are organized by level (beginner, intermediate, advanced), intensity, focus (strength, endurance, mobility), time, and equipment (none, basic, full). You’ll find everything from five-minute, beginner-level, no-equipment workouts to 45-minute advanced workouts that require a full gym’s worth of equipment. In other words, this app leaves no room for excuses.
Having trouble sticking to a workout schedule? Pact puts a dollar figure on missing workouts.
Maybe it’s not your schedule that’s keeping you from working out, but the fact that you’ve got every excuse not to go to the gym. If you’re skipping the gym because it’s raining or because you just started a new original Netflix series, do yourself a favor and make a real commitment with Pact. Pact is a gym-accountability app that forces you to put your money where your mouth is—with actual money. Here’s how it works: Make a weekly pact to go to the gym more often, and offer up a sum you’ll pay for each day you miss (between $5 and $50). When you do make it to the gym, you’ll check in via the app, and for each day you don’t make it, the app will charge you the aforementioned fee. If losing money isn’t enough incentive, you’ll also get money (from other Pact users who failed to hold up their pacts) for each time you keep your pact.
Resolution: Save money
Saving money is difficult, but there’s a solution: Apps! And I’m not talking about budget apps like Mint and YNAB, because there’s a big difference between learning how to spend your money responsibly and actually, well, saving it.
Digit will automate saving money for you.
Digit is a free money-saving app that saves money for you. Here’s how it works: You connect your bank account to the app and Digits analyzes your income and spending habits. Armed with this knowledge, the app transfers a small amount of money (usually no more than $17) into a FDIC-insured Digit savings account every few days. The app “never transfers more than you can afford,” and features a no-overdraft guarantee for extra assurance. And you can transfer money out of your Digit account at any time, there are no minimums or fees.
Trying to save long-term? Acorns rounds up purchases and puts them into ETFs.
Acorns is similar to Digits, but with a twist (and a fee). This app connects to your credit card and collects “round-ups”; it rounds up each purchase you make to the nearest whole dollar, and then transfers the leftover money from your account into an Acorns account and invests them for you.
The app calls itself a “micro-investing” app, which means you can basically get some money in the stock market without having to set up a whole portfolio. In addition to round-ups, Acorns also allows you to set up a recurring daily, weekly, or monthly micro-investment that gets transferred from your bank account. Unlike Digits, Acorns charges a nominal fee: $1/month if your account balance has less than $5000 in it, and 0.25 percent/year if your account has more than $5000.
Resolution: Curb your phone addiction
Are you a compulsive phone-checker? Don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone. But if pure will power isn’t enough to prevent you from reaching into your pocket, you might want to try an app (or two).
Addicted to your phone? There’s an app for that, of course.
If you think you’ll be swayed by numbers and statistics, BreakFree is a free app that tracks your phone usage and gives you an “addiction score.” BreakFree tracks just about everything, including which apps you use, how often and how long you use them, and how frequently you unlock your phone to check it. The app will warn you if you’re spending an excessive amount of time (over an hour) on a single app or if you’re sending out too many texts or making too many phone calls. BreakFree also has other features, such as the ability to block your phone’s data connection for a certain period of time, but if you really need those features you’ll want to try the next app…
Still have no self control over your phone use? Flipd locks you out for a time.
Flipd is a more intense version of your average phone-addiction distraction blocking app. Flipd lets you lock your phone for a set period of time, and once it’s set, you can’t un-lock it. At all. Not even if you restart your phone. (You’re still able to make emergency calls and receive incoming calls when your phone is locked. They’re not monsters.)
Resolution: Stick to a new habit
Most resolutions are about forming new habits (such as flossing twice a day or getting up with your alarm) or getting rid of old ones (such as smoking). If you don’t see your particular resolution on this list, never fear. There are general habit-tracking apps you can use for just about any resolution.
Trying to form a new good habit? Habitbull tracks and provides feedback.
HabitBull is a simple, streamlined app that will get you excited about forming new habits — and it can even give you some ideas for new habits to try out. To get started with this app, you’ll need to sign up and add your first habit to the chart. HabitBull features a variety of categories to choose from, as well as a variety of ways to track each habit (a yes/no each day, a number that you’ll manually input, or data gathered from Google Fit). Each habit gets its own color, and then you simply tap each day when you finish your habit. HabitBull also lets you set target dates for success (according to the app, it takes about 66 days to form a new habit), set up reminders, and see your progress over time.
Turn habit-forming into an RPG-style game with Habatica. Grind your way to a better you!
Forming a new habit or kicking an old one is tough, especially if your only motivation is “because it’s my New Year’s resolution.” Habitica is a free app with a unique take on habit-forming: It turns the entire process into an RPG-style adventure game. The app turns habits, daily tasks, and to-do items into monsters that your character needs to defeat in order to gain experience points, gold, and unlock additional content.
I like this app because it allows you to track both positive and negative habits, as well as daily or semi-daily tasks and immediate to-do lists. Each time you complete a task, cross something off of your to-do list, or keep up with a new positive habit, your character gets XP and gold, which you can then use to purchase armor, weapons, and health potions. If you fail to keep up, your character loses health points (and if your character “dies,” you’ll lose some of the progress you’ve made). For extra incentive, Habitica also lets you add friends to your party, join public guilds, and take on bosses and compete in challenges for special prizes.
This story, “10 apps you need to get your New Year’s resolutions back on track” was originally published by Greenbot.