New Year’s resolutions are much easier to make than to keep, and everyone knows how hard it is to keep them past the beginning of January. While technology can’t make anyone stick to their New Year’s goals, it can certainly go a long way.
There is no shortage of mobile apps available to provide the boost needed to keep those New Year’s resolutions. From fitness apps that give you even more reasons to stick to your fitness regime to journaling apps that ensure no goals slip in January, there’s plenty of software out there worth picking up in the new year.
Step: Goal tracking provides versatile habit tracking
Available on iOS ($4.99/month or $29.99/year)
Whether you’re trying to break a habit or establish a new, healthy one, a habit tracker will go a long way toward making it happen, and few come with more recommendations than Strides. While not cheap, the app makes up for it by offering almost all the features of similar apps in one place.
With a bulleted calendar to catch up on these habits, the ability to set deadlines and reminders, detailed progress reports and the ability to set a daily routine, it pretty much covers everything no matter what your New Year’s resolution is. In addition, the user-friendly design ensures that it does not feel overloaded.
Couch to 5K® gives users a clear goal to complete
Available on Android and iOS ($4.99)
One of the hardest things about keeping New Year’s resolutions is that goals like “stay fit” and “be more active” are too vague to get things going. Couch to 5K® from Active Network promises to provide the clear goals needed to get the user off the couch in the first place.
Not only that, but for $4.99 it provides a full 9-week program of daily activities to complete with the promise that the user will be able to run a 5K by the end. After that it’s up to the user to stay active, but it’s a great start to anyone’s fitness resolution.
5 minute journal makes journaling easy to access
Available on Android and iOS (Free or $4.99/month for premium)
For anyone interested in how journaling can help with self-improvement, but unsure whether it will work for them, there are two good reasons to go for the 5 Minute Journal. One is that it only asks for a commitment of 5 minutes per day, which anyone can do, and the other is that it also requires no monetary commitment, although premium features are locked behind a subscription.
That makes it perfect for anyone just dipping their toes in the journal app waters. It also has a simple and efficient user interface and prompts to get the user started when they need inspiration. For some, it’s an app they can’t live without.
Fitbit provides detailed feedback to make achieving goals feel good
Available on Android and iOS (Free or $9.99/month for premium)
Whether a Fitbit owner who hasn’t gotten the most out of it yet, someone wondering if the fitness device is worth buying, or just someone looking for an app that can track fitness stats in general, the Fitbit app could be the perfect answer. Although it works best with a Fitbit device, the MobileTrack feature means it can use a smartphone itself to collect data.
As an advanced Google product, it has the quality that users expect from the company. The main appeal of the Fitbit is how detailed the analytics are, so it’s best paired with an actual Fitbit device where seeing your detailed progress split into a bunch of different graphics can make staying fit more engaging.
MyFitnessPal is a fitness app with a focus on nutrition
Available on Android and iOS (Free or $9.99/month for premium)
Many of the best fitness apps available have a strong focus on exercise, but that’s only half of staying fit. Since many people have New Year’s resolutions centered around eating better after indulging during the holiday season, an app with a heavy focus on nutrition and better eating may be more appropriate.
MyFitnessPal is one of the most popular examples out there, with 2.5 million reviews on Google Play and 1.5 million on the iOS App Store, and for good reason. Described as “like having a nutrition coach, intermittent fasting tracker, meal planner and food journal with you at all times,” it promises to help anyone make lifestyle changes this coming year.
Headspace: Mindful meditation can help cope with stress
Available on Android and iOS (Free or $12.99/month for Headspace Plus)
For anyone who wants the coming year to be a little less stressful than the last, there are tons of apps that offer great ways to get into meditation and mindfulness. Headspace is one of the most popular meditation apps for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its promise to help you fall asleep.
With short meditation sessions that don’t require a lot of commitment, personalized recommendations based on the user’s activity and tools to track the entire journey, it’s perfect for anyone who worries that they lack the motivation to meditate. The only catch may be the $12.99/month or $69.99/year subscription fee to unlock all of the app’s features.
Streker provides a cheaper option for maintaining habits
Available on iOS ($4.99)
For anyone who wants a high-quality habit tracker but doesn’t like the subscription model of apps like Strides, Streaks is a great alternative solution to making and breaking those important habits. The premise of the app is incredibly simple – to add the joy of building an unbroken streak to things that might normally feel mundane.
It may not have all the features of Strides, but it hits all the important points for a habit-tracking app, including scheduled reminders, statistical breakdowns, and even the ability to connect it to the Health app and have exercise goals completed automatically. The simple and aesthetically pleasing user interface is the cherry on top.
Available on Android and iOS (plans start at $19.99/month)
While the New Year can often mean that there are many others chasing their own goals and keeping each other motivated, the sense of community that makes meeting goals fun can also quickly dry up. Therefore, it may be worth investing in an app where the community is a big part of it.
With plans starting at $19.99/month, the WW/WeightWatchers app is no small investment, but for that money, members get expert advice, a customized nutrition plan that adapts to the user’s diet, and a massive 24/7 support system. For people who get the most motivation from a sense of community, there is no better option than the WW app.
Way Of Life provides clean and easy-to-read habit tracking
Available on Android and iOS (Free or Premium from $3.99)
An option for keeping track of habits and maintaining New Year’s resolutions is Way of Life, and its strongest selling point is its simple but attractive design. Few tracking apps are better than Way of Life for being able to see exactly how well your goals are being met at a glance.
The only catch is that the free version only allows the user to add a few items to the “journal”, which means it’s just not a good representation of the app as a whole. Instead, the affordable premium version with unlimited items is probably the way to go.
OrangeTheory Live turns your home into a gym
Available at OrangeTheory Fitness (OrangeTheory membership required)
January is the month when gym memberships skyrocket, but all too often it’s a wasted purchase as people end up never taking advantage of it. Fortunately, OrangeTheory Live allows its members to take advantage of their gym membership even when they are at home.
The app provides a fully interactive experience, including classes run by expert trainers to keep users motivated while working out in their front room, and it also comes with the kind of stats and trackers you’d expect from one of the best fitness apps available.
NEXT: 10 Best Apps for Runners