03 Jan 2014 Top apps to make your New Year’s resolutions a reality
Every week we bring you the FreshMinds picks – ideas to help you make the most of digital technologies and understand how they are helping brands to grow and innovate. This week we’re looking at the best apps to help you fulfill your New Year’s resolutions.
Although ‘resolution’ is the watchword for January, many people struggle to make their resolutions a reality. This may be due to the goals being too ambitious (think the annual promise “I will never EVER drink again!”), or it may be that you haven’t been making the most of the technology out there that can help you stick to your plans. While there are generalist apps such as Lift on the market that help you fulfil any goal by crowdsourcing motivation, we have pulled together some specific apps to support the five most common New Year’s resolutions.
Over indulging throughout the Christmas period leaves many people wanting to shed the extra pounds they have gained over the holiday season. For those wanting to stick to a diet, calorie counting apps such as MyFitnessPal, and Lose it! allow you to track your food intake quickly, easily and most importantly, on the go. Likewise some diet clubs, such as WeightWatchers, have their own apps to help you keep tabs on what you’re eating.
Whether you have committed yourself to a 5k race, triathlon or just want to improve your cardiovascular capability, there is an app on the market to support your plans. One of these is RunKeeper. Using GPS, it allows you to track any activity – be that walking, running or even cycling and record your route, distance and average pace. Not only does RunKeeper work with your smartphone but it can also be linked up to wearable technology like the Nike FuelBand. There is also GymPact, an app with aims to make sure you deliver on the promise of exercising, by actually paying you to go to the gym. An innovative idea, GymPact uses GPS to track your visits to the gym and then reimburses those who stick to the plan with the money from those who don’t.
Learning a new skill
Many commit to taking up a new skill or hobby in the New Year. While some choose to pursue free university level study by taking a MOOC (discussed by us in October), learning a language or how to code are very good alternatives. For those who want to brush up on their language skills, Duolingo gamifies the learning experience, letting you compete against yourself and others. Though it currently offers just European languages such as French, German and Spanish, users themselves are helping to develop and beta test the less familiar tongues, like Mandarin and Russian. Code Academy has just launched a new app, Hour of Code, which lets users learn the basics of programming, promising them they’ll be able to interact with code within the space of a single hour.
Sorting out your finances
Taking stock of personal finances after the expense of Christmas is facilitated by apps such as US based MINT and UK based Money Dashboard. MINT allows you to track, budget and manage your money all in one place, so you can see where you’re spending and where you can save, whilst Money Dashboard displays all your current, savings and credit card accounts, giving you a clear picture of exactly what’s happening with your money. Both have a user-friendly interface and let you set and keep to budgets easily and simply.
In recent years online dating has become extremely popular with one in four relationships now starting online. Mobile versions of sites such as OK Cupid and Match.com, allow you to meet and chat to new people and hopefully find a match with similar interests. New kid on the block Tinder lets you be even more fast and fickle. Designed for mobile, this app looks for people nearby and lets you swipe though profiles, putting a tick or cross next to potential partners. If successful, an online chat is set up through the app.