If you are like many people, you think about making New Year’s resolutions, setting some goals for yourself and then find yourself struggling to stay consistent with those goals throughout the year. New Year’s resolutions can help us feel like we are getting a fresh start to change or eliminate habits we don’t like or develop new hobbies or habits. Keeping resolutions and developing new habits is no easy feat, but there are a few ways getting organized and tracking your progress can help increase your chances of success. Much of this can be done with your phone.
Keeping an organized calendar, schedule and to-do list can be one of the simplest ways to help stay on track with resolutions and goals. Take some time to go through your calendar for the coming year and evaluate important upcoming events or milestones. Perhaps one of your goals is to lose weight for a wedding or get in shape for a running race, ski trip or other vacation where you will be active. Figuring out how much time you have between the date you set your goal and the event will help you break down how to best achieve the results you want. Setting smaller, more manageable goals, such as by week or by month, can keep you motivated and help you feel less overwhelmed. Set events on your phone’s calendar with reminders for your weekly or monthly goal and how many more days, weeks or months you have until your big event.
Other phone apps can be downloaded to help you track your achievements on a regular basis. “Done” is an app that lets you create different goals and the number of times per week, month, or year you would like to accomplish those goals. For example, you resolve to “take vitamins” and set that event in the app for every day. You can also set goals where you are minimizing the number of times you do something, such as only buying a coffee or eating fast food once a week. You are then able to record each time you finish that goal. The app will show your accomplishments in the form of overall number of times completed, as well as with charts and graphs. This produces 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 or pay a few dollars for the full version of the app, which allows unlimited goals.
“Quit That” is another app useful for staying on track regarding 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. Smokers trying to quit are frequent users of this type of app. Enter “Smoking” as the habit to quit, the amount of money you typically spend each day on smoking and then the day and time at which you quit. Then anytime you log into the app, it will show how much money you have saved up to that very minute by quitting. 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 the habit and how much money you are saving.
There are many well-known apps for diet and exercise, such as “My Fitness Pal” or “Nike Run Club” that are worth looking into if your resolution is to have better fitness and nutrition in the coming year. These apps offer a variety of ways to use them, including linking with a fitness tracker such as Apple Watch or FitBit, or joining up with friends for accountability and challenges. They also offer blog posts on topics of interest, such as recipes or workouts, that could help you mix things up and increase your chance of staying on track with your goals.
If you are looking to incorporate mindful thinking or meditation into your new year, apps such as “Headspace” and “Calm” can help you down that path. Certain fitness programs, such as Peloton, also offer mediation classes on their app. With soothing sounds, guided programs and simple introductory activities to introduce you to mindful thinking and mediation practices, these apps can help you focus better and change your thinking. Developing a mindfulness or meditation practice can also help you achieve more of your goals overall by reducing stress or that feeling of being overwhelmed, making it easier to stay on track and not give into habits that may be soothing, but unhealthy.
There are apps for just about anything you are interested in, so if you have a New Year’s resolution you are serious about keeping, do a little research and see if you can find an app that fits your goals. Getting into the habit of recording your achievements will help keep you on track and foster a sense of accomplishment for your hard work as the year progresses. Good luck on all of your 2021 goals and resolutions!