12 Apps That Will Make Sure You Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions
Need help conquering your resolutions? These apps can help.
For the next few weeks, there will be no escape from magazine covers that champion a "New Year, New You" (or friends who have vowed to start green juicing). But whether you're the type who makes and breaks resolutions quickly or has steadily improved your life year after year, you're probably resolving to resolve something.
Resolutions are generally the same year in and year out: lose weight; volunteer to help others; quit smoking; get a better education; get a better job; save money; get fit; eat healthy food; manage stress; manage debt; take a trip; reduce, reuse and recycle; and drink less alcohol. But how do you make like Mark Zuckerberg and make sure this is the year you finally conquer them?
How about an app? PCMag has come up with one to help you with each of the top 12 resolutions. Because a lot of these apps have a social component, you most likely won't be journeying down the road alone, particularly if you're on a treadmill surrounded by the hordes of people who just joined your gym this month.
Lose weightYou'd be hard to come by a better friend in your weight loss than MyFitnessPal (iOS and Android). It makes calorie tracking easy, with a database of over 5 million foods. If something's not there, enter it manually or scan a UPC code. But it's the integration with fitness trackers and apps that really makes it a winner and gives users an overall picture of calories in, calories out.
If you just want to tone up, forget the jokes about gym fees gone to waste. Pact (iOS, Android) puts your money directly on the line by paying you when you go to the gym and taking money out of your pockets when you don't. If slimmer thighs don't motivate you, a slimmer wallet will.
Eat healthy food
The only way to know exactly what you're eating is to make it yourself. You should also make it delicious. Do both with SparkRecipes (iOS, Android). You can search the database of over 500,000 recipes to find the ones that fit your taste and nutritional needs. If you're not skilled in the kitchen, there are video demos and plenty of tips.
Quit smokingAside from the fact that it's difficult to text and smoke at the same time, your phone can help you put down that cigarette for good. MyQuit Coach (iOS) creates a personalized plan for you to quit smoking. Android users can do the same with Quit Smoking.
For additional motivation in the form of meditation, supplement a stop-smoking app with Quit Smoking With Andrew Johnson (iOS, Android). The Sean Connery-sounding hypnotherapist is soothing and effective.
Get a better education
There's no wisdom like the wisdom of experience. At TED Talks around the world, experts in every field showcase their experience in easily digestible segments. You can get that directly on your phone (iOS and Android) to get smart on the go.
Get a better job
Mid-winter is the time when you're most likely to feel stuck in a rut. The new year brings the possibility of a new outlook and one of the best ways to ride that feeling is to find a new job. LinkedIn (iOS, Android) lets you manage how employers see you and puts you in touch with colleagues and employers past, present and future. It also lets you job hunt without tipping off your current boss.
You'll want to make sure that your resume is in top shape if you do get a call. Use Resume Star (iOS) to make sure it -- and you -- look your best on paper (or as an attached Word doc). You won't have to worry about format, fonts or anything except filling in what you're best at. Android users can try My Resume Builder.
If your connections and resume snag you an interview, make sure you're prepared by reading up on what interview questions you're likely to get asked and even the scoop on whether the company's a place you want to work. Glassdoor (iOS, Android) has reviews of workplaces from current and past employees, salary ranges and the lowdown that it might otherwise take you months at the water cooler to learn.
Manage stressStop stress before it starts with Pacifica (iOS, Android). This app helps you track and analyze your mood each day and guides you through ways to improve it. If you need support, you can share with your friends, family or therapist and even join the Pacifica community of users.
Breathe in, breathe out. Andrew Johnson will also help keep you Stress Free (iOS, Android) with some meditation. We also have a roundup of some other apps that will help you stay calm and get some sleep and even apps that connect you to therapists.
Manage debtHaving debt can drag you down mentally. Feel free in the new year with a plan to pay it down with Debt Free for iOS. Android users can do the same with Debt Payoff Planner.
Take a tripGet out of here. No, really. Go see the world. Travelocity (iOS, Android) provides inspiration and gets you deals on flights and hotels.
Once you know where you're going, get the best places to go while you're there with Trip.com (iOS, Android). The app's community has recommendations for where to stay, what to eat and the best things to do in over 20 countries.
Reduce, reuse and recycleClimate change is for real. Do your part to inhibit it by finding out where you can recycle just about anything with iRecycle (iOS, Android).
Drink less alcohol
If you want to cut down on the booze, a good way to start is by drinking more water. Waterlogged for iOS is the way to keep your resolution afloat. Android users can download WaterDrink Reminder for similar benefits.
If you want to take things a step further, then track your alcohol consumption with DrinkControl (iOS, Android). Seeing how much you've had over the course of a month can have a sobering effect all on its own.