Determined to stick to those New Year's resolutions this time round? Here are the apps you need to make 2016 the year that bucks the trend...
Whether we admit it publicly or not, we all make them – our New Year’s resolutions are little promises to ourselves that we’ll do better next year, though they’re often forgotten by February, or even earlier. But does it have to be that way?
With the world of apps out there, it’s really never been easier to dream up a goal and see it through, especially with the software keeping track of your progress for you. Ready to make 2016 the year that bucks the trend? You’ll need a smartphone, a dollop of determination, and a selection of these top apps…
Resolution: ‘Be more organised’
Think of Evernote as a digital notebook with limitless pages, tabs and indexes all synced to the cloud across your devices. Exactly what you do with it is up to you, but with a mobile app that lets you write, make lists, record voice memos, and take and attach photos, the possibilities are near endless.
You could use Evernote for everything from jotting down the odd note, to planning and writing the next best-selling novel, to meticulously scanning and filing every important document you receive in 2016. The more you use it, the stronger an organisational tool it becomes.
Resolution: ‘Read more’
We all want to become more well read, but time is a big issue. If you’re short on hours and big on ambition, you can still tick off those literary classics and modern chart toppers alike by listening to them while you get other things done.
Amazon-owned Audible is the best way to go about doing just that, letting you purchase audio versions of millions of titles to listen to on your commute, or while making dinner, or in the gym, or wherever. You can either buy audiobooks up front, or opt for a subscription that lets you listen to one or two books a month (£7.99pm or £14.99pm respectively).
Resolution: ‘Get in shape’
App: 7 Minute workout
Can you get fit in just 7 minutes? Recent science seems to suggest it’s possible. Whilst an hour at the gym is obviously likely to have a bigger impact, the idea of the ‘7 minute workout’ – in which you bust a gut for 420 seconds – is said to be as good for you as a much longer workout done at a more stoic pace.
What’s more, the 7 Minute workout app doesn’t require any equipment – just a bit of space in your living room. Dubious? Do it once a day for a month and you’ll see some serious results.
Resolution: ‘Quit smoking’
App: Smoke Free
The genius of Smoke Free is that it plays off of your desire not to let yourself down. Every year, month, day, hour, minute and second you go smoke-free are totted up on its dashboard, each one visually accumulating as you watch.
And that’s really powerful for going cold turkey, because a single cigarette will wipe all that lovely progress – sending you back to square one. It also lets you see how much money you’ve saved by not smoking, which means you get an extra excuse to treat yourself to something every now and again.
Resolution: ‘Develop a new hobby’
App: 21Habit (iOS, Android)
In the 1960’s, Dr Maxwell Maltz published a book called Psycho-Cybernetics, in which he relayed a startling discovery: it takes 21 days for new habits to form. That’s the thinking behind the 21Habit app – opt to spend a bit of time on your new hobby once a day for 21 days, and it’ll become a solid part of your daily routine.
The app lets you keep track of multiple hobbies at once, and will give you notifications to help make sure you don’t miss a single day.
Resolution: ‘Eat healthier’
Ask any fitness instructor or dietitian and they’ll tell you the same thing: the secret to losing weight is to burn more calories than you take in each day. It’s that simple. But knowing how many calories you’re eating and drinking isn’t easy unless you have the right app to help. And the right app? Definitely MyFitnessPal.
With years of experience in the calorie counting game and a library of millions of items of food and drink, it’s the easiest way to set yourself a daily limit and add in what you munch through every 24 hours.
Resolution: ‘Be more mindful’
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the stresses of everyday life. That’s why a short amount of mindfulness practice every day – in which you slow down, calm yourself and think meditative thoughts – can do a world of good. The Headspace app is one of the leaders in this space (as recommended by Emma Watson, no less).
It lets you create custom meditation programmes that help you work through everything from relationships to creativity. And best of all, it can take you as little as 10 minutes per session.
Resolution: ‘Save more money’
GoodBudget, formerly EEBA, takes the age-old idea of dividing your monthly income into separate envelopes – one for food, one for travel, one for going out, etc. – and digitises it. Take the time on first setup to fully organise your allocated budget for each envelope, and you’ll then be able to easily subtract each expenditure in a few taps.
What’s more, the app will show you crystal clear charts and progress bars throughout the month, and also let you share budgets with your partner via the cloud.
More top apps… If your NY resolution is to become the next big UK blogger, you’ll need these apps in your arsenal.