10 Free Apps to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
For many people, it’s time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the coming one. In fact, about 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions every year, but only about 8 percent manage to successfully keep them. Fortunately, technology may be able to help resolution-makers improve those odds.
No matter what your New Year’s resolution is, there’s an app that can help. We rounded up the best apps for ten of the most common New Year’s resolutions. Each of these popular and highly rated apps puts the tools and motivation you need right in the palm of your hand.
Resolution: Lose weight, eat healthy, or exercise more
Apps: MyFitnessPal, Fooducate, Fitocracy
Health-related goals are always at the top of the list of most popular resolutions. If your goal is to get healthy this year, these three apps are some of the best out there.
For people looking to lose weight, MyFitnessPal is an extremely popular solution. This calorie and exercise tracker has an extensive food library making it easy to log calories for individual foods and even restaurant meals. You can also track your exercise, weight, measurements, and other statistics, and view your progress over time. This free app is available for iOS and Android, and also includes a web tool and large online community for support and advice.
If you’d like to eat healthier in the new year, Fooducate is an easy way to change your habits and find healthy options. Fooducate rates grocery products and restaurant and fast food items on a scale of healthiness, including nutritional content, calories, sugar, and other factors. Just scan a package or search for a type of food, say cereal or yogurt, and Fooducate will show you a rating and suggest healthy products, saving you time reading nutrition labels and comparing products in the aisle.
If exercising more is your goal, Fitocracy is a fun and free exercise tracker to try. The app makes hitting the gym into a game—users earn points for exercises logged and can unlock badges and special achievements. It also suggests workouts, lets you track tons of different exercises and view progress, and offers an active community for support and motivation.
Resolution: Improve finances—save more, spend less
Mint is one of our favorite apps for parents, but it’s great for anyone to use. The app is linked to your accounts and lets you track expenses, set budgets, work towards financial goals, and see all your transactions in one place. Mint is available free for iOS and Android devices and also includes a web-based dashboard.
Resolution: Learn something new
Lifelong learning is so important, so it’s no surprise that education-related resolutions are popular. Learning a new skill is fun, but it can also be valuable to your career. Learning a second language is always a good idea and is often valuable to employers in this increasingly connected world. Duolingo is one of our favorite language learning apps for both kids and adults. It’s free for iOS, Android, and Windows phones and offers a good basic intro to nine different languages.
Coding is an increasingly important skill, one many experts say everyone could benefit from learning. Even if you’ll never be a developer, it’s not a bad idea learn a little. Not only will many jobs in the future require coding, but learning to code can also improve problem-solving skills. If you’d like to try learning a programming language, Codecademy is a great place to start. Just sign up and then try their free online lessons.
Resolution: Break a bad habit (or start a good one)
Many people resolve to break bad habits, like quitting smoking. Or they aim to start new ones, such as flossing or drinking more water, sticking to a new exercise program, or practicing a new skill every day. Coach.me uses the power of community to motivate users. Sign up for a few goals and connect with others who have the same goal. Users can track their progress and share encouragement and motivation and can also access plans offered by expert coaches.
Resolution: Stop procrastinating and use time better
Billed as the to-do list for procrastinators, Finish is an iOS app that’s easy and satisfying to use. Adding and checking off tasks is simple, plus you can assign time frames to activities, making it easy to prioritize tasks.
Resolution: Manage stress
Breathe2Relax is an app to teach diaphragmatic or “belly breathing.” This type of deep breathing is proven to help with stress and anxiety and can help to improve mood and anger control. Free for iOS and Android devices, the app guides you through breathing exercises to help you learn this type of breathing and implement it during stressful situations.
What are your New Year’s resolutions? Will you use an app or another tool to help you reach them? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Ashley MacQuarrie began writing professionally more than ten years ago and has covered education, technology, current events, pop culture, and other topics. A former homeschooler, she studied English and Film & New Media, graduating with a bachelor's degree from San Diego State University. Ashley has classroom experience working with children who have autism and other special needs. She has also tutored students from kindergarten through college and taught English to teens and adults at a language school in London.