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How Smartphones Can Help With New Year’s Resolutions

Every year, we come together as a nation to engage in a communal event: the making and breaking of New Year’s resolutions. We all start the New Year strong: This is the year we’re going to lose weight, learn a new language, exercise more, eat better, or master a hobby.

We generally stick to our guns through January, maybe lapse a little in February, and stall out sometime in March. And when midnight rolls around on the 31st of December, we resolve to do the whole thing over again.


Why Do New Year’s Resolutions Fail?

It’s common to think New Year’s resolutions fail due to lack of willpower. That isn’t entirely true. Most New Year’s resolutions fail due to the inability to make and track goals properly. For instance, if Jim wants to lose weight, that’s great, but what does losing weight mean? Five pounds? Twenty pounds? Without a specific benchmark to measure his progress against, Jim has no way of knowing how well he’s doing, and his resolution is more likely to fail. When you make a resolution, be specific.


It helps to break large goals down into smaller achievements. Let’s say Jim decides he wants to lose 30 pounds. He knows it’s healthiest to lose no more than two pounds of weight a week, so he decides to lose five pounds a month every month for six months. That’s six little goals instead of one big one. As long as he tracks his progress, Jim’s much more likely to lose weight.


Using Your Phone as a New Year’s Resolution Tracker

You can use your phone to monitor your New Year’s resolution progress. The phone’s calendar makes it easy to set deadlines for goals and check in on how well you’re doing. Phone alarm clocks and timers are ideal for timing exercise regimes and reminding you when it’s time to focus on your resolution.


Adding the right apps to your phone really turns it into a New Year’s resolution tracker. As with everything else in life, there’s an app to help you meet your goals. Here are some of the best.


Apps to Help You Stop Smoking

If you’ve resolved to quit smoking this year, good for you—there are few things you can do that will have such a positive effect on your health. Below are two apps to help you succeed.


The MyQuit Coach for iOS allows you to choose a nonsmoking strategy that works for you, whether it means going cold turkey or slowly reducing your nicotine consumption. The app lets you track cravings and cigarette use, and connects you to a supportive community of people also working towards cigarette-free lives.


Cessation Nation is an Android app that helps when cravings hit. You can choose to play a distracting game, check your personal stats, the health improvements you’ve made, and even see how much money you’ve saved by not buying cigarettes.


Weight Loss Apps

Weight loss apps include recipe databases, calorie counters, and food diaries, all of which are well-suited as News Year’s resolution trackers. MyFitnessPal is available for Android, iOS, and PCs, and includes a database of over 11 million foods for easy calorie tracking. The app can be integrated with fitness apps to provide an overall comparison of calorie intake and calorie expenditure.


MyPlate Calorie Tracker, also available for Android and iOS devices, helps users set and stick to daily calorie goals and water intake. You can create custom goals for specific nutrients, and set meal reminders.


Get Ripped with Fitness apps

Don’t have time to get to the gym? No problem. The Nike Training Club (Android/iOS) app acts as your own personal trainer, with over 185 video-guided workouts including aerobics, strength training, and yoga.

The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout app is for those who have limited time to exercise. Available for Android and Apple, the app offers a range of 7- to 32-minute workouts, with videos showing you how to perform each move.

Learn a New Language in the New Year

Becoming bilingual opens up a world of social, cultural, and career opportunities, but who has time to take a language course? You do if you use Duolingo or Drop.


Duolingo teaches English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese in ten-minute lessons, with an interactive interface that helps you remember each lesson. If you prefer to play while you learn, Drop uses games to teach over 31 different languages.


It’s a brand new year, filled with possibilities. So choose a New Year’s resolution, download the apps to help you succeed, and go for it!