Now that we are a month into 2020, it may be time for those of us who have set New Year’s Resolutions to check in on how we are doing with our new goals. While it can be easy to abandon our goals due to work and personal obligations, the cold, dreary weather, or a number of other reasons, remind yourself that you made those goals for a reason and refocus your thinking on the ultimate reason for wanting changes in the first place. Perhaps you want to get healthier and in better shape so you can enjoy more activities with your children or grandchildren, you want to save money to take a dream vacation, or you want to reconnect with old friends, your faith, or a favorite hobby that you have neglected. Once you have taken some time to remind yourself what the end game of your resolutions are, the next step is to find ways that can help you keep on track with the actual tasks that will help you follow through on those desired achievements. Using apps on your phone can be an easy and helpful way to keep your goals, and the steps needed to achieve them, at the forefront of your mind and to give yourself some much desired encouragement and reinforcement on your progress.
The type of app that you want to download and use to further your success in your New Year’s Resolutions will depend on the type of resolution that you have made. One type of app is a personal productivity app. These are the most flexible and allow you to monitor your progress on pretty much any type of task or goal into your day to day life. “Done” is a great example of this type of app. Done allows to create an item where you describe any kind of goal that you want to set, and then set a number of times per day, week, or month that you would like to complete that task. You could set a daily goal to floss your teeth, take vitamins, mediate or journal, or take a 20-minute walk. You could set a weekly goal of doing a digital detox for one day, or calling a family member to check in and see how they are doing. You can create monthly goals like saving a certain amount of money, volunteering for an hour, or reading a new book. Done also allows you to set goals where you minimize the number of times you do something, such as to only eat dessert twice a week or to only log into Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter once per day. After you have set the goals and timeframes in the app, you can then record each time you completed the task. The app will show you how many times overall that you have completed your goal and tracks your achievements by overall number along with charts and graphs. This gives a good sense of accomplishment for even minor daily tasks and can help develop a habit to complete the goal and then record it. You are also able to set reminders for any of your goals, which will come through as a notification on your phone. You can set up to three goals for free, and then pay a few dollars for the full version of the app, which allows unlimited goals.
“Quit That” is another useful app for staying on track for resolutions. This free app lets you select a habit that costs you money, and then provides a round-the-clock calculation for the money you have saved by foregoing that habit. One of the most popular uses is for smokers who are looking to quit. By entering “smoking cigarettes” and the amount of money you typically spend on cigarettes, you then mark the date and time at which you quit. The app will then automatically calculate your savings from quitting the habit, from the minute that you first enter your quit time to the present moment. If you slip up, you can always reset. It is amazing how quickly the money adds up! This can be a great encouragement to quit undesirable habits both because you can see how long you have gone without that habit and how much money you are saving by quitting.
Diet and exercise apps are another popular tool to use to help facilitate successful New Year’s Resolutions. From well-known programs and apps such as Weight Watchers, My Fitness Pal, and Nike Run Club, to those that cater toward more specific plans, such as a Keto Diet or Intermittent Fasting, there are many apps that can help you stay on track with your diet and fitness goals. Most apps allow you to link with a fitness tracker such as Apple Watch or FitBit, which can help automatically input data that helps you get a better idea of where you are in your progress, and also allow you to link with friends or online communities for accountability and challenges. Many fitness apps offer blog or newsletter posts offering recipes, workout routines, or information on local fitness events that can help you learn new ways to stay on track and mix things up so you don’t fall into a rut.
Including and improving mindful thinking, meditation, and stress reduction into your life are also popular resolutions, and there are apps to assist with those as well. Apps such as “Headspace,” “Calm” and “Talk Therapy” can help you down that path. With soothing sounds and simple introductory activities to introduce you to mindful thinking and mediation practices, as well as more in depth suggestions of addressing symptoms of anxiety or stress, these apps can help you reduce stress and change your thinking. Of course, these are just starting points, and if you feel that you need more help in reducing your stress or dealing with mental health symptoms, you should always seek the assistance of a professional, but these apps are an easy and convenient introduction into some stress-reducing behaviors and can help those who may be nervous to try a new way of thinking and handling stress ease into dealing with those issues in a private and low-risk environment.
These are just some of the many apps available to help you make and stick to goals. With a little research, you can find an app for pretty much anything you are interested in. Getting into the habit of recording your achievements and reminding yourself of your goals will help keep you on track and foster a sense of accomplishment for your hard work as the year progresses. Good luck with all of your goals for 2020!