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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Top ten apps to help you stay on track with your New Year’s resolutions

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From habit tracking to developing new skills, these apps will help you make the most of 2022.

We’re now into the second week of the new year, but how many of our resolutions have we dropped already? Studies show they’re mostly abandoned on the 18th of January, less than three weeks into the new year.

Thankfully, there are tools to help you stay on track to achieve your goals. We have gathered the top ten apps that can make sure you stick to your new year plans.

Habit tracking

[Habit Tracker app on the App Store]
Using a habit tracker is essential in keeping you on track with your resolutions. There are plenty of habit tracker apps on the App Store, and most do a good job.

After trying several of them, Habit Tracker stood out due to its home-screen widgets and sharing functionality. The widgets constantly remind you of the habits you need to do today, making you more likely to complete the habit. Couple that with flexible notifications, and you’ve got enough of a reminder to do what you want to do.

The app’s friends sharing features help you and your friends hold each other accountable if you’ve got a shared goal you’re working towards this year.

Habit Tracker is available for free on iOS with an optional in-app purchase to track unlimited habits. For Android, you can download HabitNow, which is also free with an in-app purchase.

[Duolingo, Blinkist and TED on the App Store]

Learn something new


Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.”

Often, people’s resolutions involve learning something new. Well, there’s an app for that!

Duolingo revolutionised language learning by breaking down large lessons into 5-minute sessions to do on the go. The app includes typing, listening and pronunciation exercises to give you an all-around learning experience. You can learn on Duolingo for free, with an optional subscription to unlock extra features and remove advertisements.

If you’d rather learn more about the world without learning a new language, then Blinkist may be the app for you. Blinkist condenses large books into short 10-minute summaries highlighting their key lessons. If reading more is on your new year’s resolution, we recommend you give Blinkist a try. You can check out our full review of Blinkist or download the app for free. The free version offers one hand-picked book summary per day; meanwhile, the premium version unlocks the entire library and offers audiobooks at a discounted price.

Perhaps you’d rather watch than read and were looking to replace Netflix time with something more productive. If that’s the case, you should check out the TED app. The app has an extensive collection of TED talks available for free. If you’re looking to watch videos on technology, education, or design (TED), then you should give the app a go. It might not entirely replace Netflix, but a video a day can ensure you learn something new every day.

[Headspace, Calm and Day One on the App Store]

Meditate


In the past few years, meditation grew from a small niche to a mainstream trend, and rightly so. Meditation helps people become more mindful, sleep better, and achieve more with just a few minutes every day. Several apps make meditation accessible and fun, and the two most popular are Headspace and Calm.

Headspace grew from a library of meditation exercises to a full-fledged daily (and night) companion. The app now includes meditations tailored for specific scenarios such as work, food, and anxiety. It also contains mindful fitness exercises, focus music, and sleep stories. While some exercises are free, Headspace requires a premium subscription to really enjoy the full experience. You may be able to get it at a deal through bundles such as a Spotify subscription.

An alternative is the Calm app, which won several awards for its user experience. Calm is tailored for more experienced meditators looking for lengthier meditation exercises. It also includes natural soothing sounds and sleep stories. Calm seems to have more free exercises than Headspace, but it will also require a subscription to unlock the full library.

Read more: Your next iPhone could detect if you’re depressed

We’d also like to mention Day One as a powerful journaling app. While Day One isn’t exactly promoted as a meditation app, journaling is considered a meditative experience as it helps us reflect and prepare for what’s to come. You can use Day One to note whether or not you met your goals for the day, and perhaps what you can do to make tomorrow even better.

Exercise

[Nike Run Club on the App Store]
Exercising helps improve both mind and body. Often, people will want to “get fitter” in the new year without making any solid plan to stick to. Thankfully, Nike Run Club can create a running plan for you. Let the app know how many times a week you’d like to run, and it will create a tailored plan based on your current fitness level. You can take advantage of the cooler temperatures in winter to go out for runs. You can switch to indoor workouts on a treadmill when we approach summer without breaking your plan.

Sometimes you’ll want to get fitter without committing to heavy exercises. That’s when the seven-minute workout technique comes in handy. The seven-minute workout is a series of movements performed in… you guessed it, seven minutes! There are many apps on both iOS and Android that guide you through the workouts. Most are free with in-app purchases to unlock further customisation. We recommend trying out the app Seven, which is available on iOS and Android.

Read more: Five apps to enhance your home workouts

Get organised

[Trello]
Last but not least, you’ll need to keep your goals organised to help you achieve them. For this, we recommend Trello, which makes it easy to track progress and automate tasks. The app implements the Kanban Board tool, giving you a visual overview of the goals you’re working to achieve.

Trello includes templates to help you get started, including a New Year’s Resolutions template. The app is available for free on almost all devices, including the web. An optional subscription is available, though realistically, you won’t need to get one for personal usage.

Read more: Procrastinating too much? Here are five apps to boost your productivity

There you have it; these are our top ten apps to help you achieve your New Year’s Resolutions. Remember, the resolutions are a marathon, not a sprint, so take your time and work towards them. A consistent slow effort may be more sustainable than overwhelming yourself in the first couple of weeks. Be forgiving to yourself. If you go off track, just gently bring yourself back to the habit, and work towards your goal again. What are your New Year’s Resolutions?


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