Now that the holidays have come and gone, it’s time to look forward to the new year. And you know what that means — 2024 New Year’s resolutions!
I know that we all try to make some resolutions each year, but it’s hard to stay on top of it. Whether it’s trying to eat healthier and exercise more, managing your budget better, or even just trying to form better overall habits and break bad ones, there are apps to help you stay on track.
New Year’s resolutions will be different for everyone, but sometimes, the best way to go about it is to start with small habits. Small habits can range from just eating better and cooking more to dropping smoking or alcohol.
One of the best apps for this is Streaks. It’s been around for a good while now, but it’s still a great app to help you with your resolutions and then some.
Streaks is basically a to-do list that helps you form those good habits each day. You can create up to 24 tasks that you want to do daily, and once you complete them, you mark them as done. The app will also remind you when you need to complete something, and keeping your streaks in the app will help reinforce these good habits. There’s also a negative habits option for breaking bad habits, such as going sober, eating too much junk food, etc.
One of the reasons Streaks is so good is because it’s a beautifully designed app. Seeing your progress each day is done in a simple and streamlined way, and it’s easy to use. There are even interactive widgets available on the home screen to help you stay on top of things without having to open the app.
Streaks is available on iOS for a $5 one-time payment.
If you want an app like Streaks that takes things a step further, then you may want to consider Way of Life.
With Way of Life, you’ll create a “chain” when you achieve a habit each day. You’ll want to see how long you can keep that chain going, reinforcing the habit-building. But Way of Life takes things a step further than Streaks by also providing a journal space for each habit, so you can jot down notes on how things are actually going and make note of your progress. And despite the simple design of the app, Way of Life also provides detailed analytics for you.
Though Way of Life is free to download, you can only track three habits with it. This is a good way to try it out and see if it works for you. If you do want to stick with it, then a $6/month subscription lets you have unlimited habits.
With the start of a new year, one of the best resolutions you could try is to budget better if you don’t already. YNAB (short for You Need A Budget) is one of the best apps for the job.
With YNAB, you can connect your bank and credit accounts automatically or do it manually if you prefer. Once you have your accounts in there, you can begin setting budgets for specific categories and keep track of just where your money is going. You can even share budgets with up to six people, and YNAB will also keep track of your expenses so you can adjust your budgets in real time.
YNAB is also great for paying off loans. You can calculate the time and interest saved with every dollar that’s paid on your loans. For credit cards, YNAB can help you determine whether or not you can pay them off; if not, the app will help you plan to get to that point. YNAB is not only an app to help you plan a budget, but it will also teach you good ways to manage your money.
While YNAB is free to download, it’s basically a one-month free trial. After that, you’ll have to get a subscription, which is billed either monthly or annually. You can try it out for 30 days to see if it will suit your needs.
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to learn a new language? If so, then you need Duolingo.
Duolingo provides bite-sized lessons for over 40 languages. These lessons are more like games and can help you practice speaking, reading, listening, and writing in many different languages. Some of the most popular languages learned from Duolingo are Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, German, English, and more.
You can easily keep track of your progress in Duolingo, and it will encourage you to do a lesson or two each day. Duolingo is also free and one of the most popular apps to help you learn a new language. If that’s your goal for the new year, make sure to download Duolingo if you haven’t already.
One of the most popular resolutions is to eat better or lose weight, though you typically need to do both. If that’s one of your goals, then MyFitnessPal is a must.
MyFitnessPal has been around for years, but for good reason. With MyFitnessPal, you can set your goals for weight and various things like calories, fats, carbs, and protein each day. Once those are set, you can log your meals manually by adding items from the app’s massive food library, and packaged foods can be added just by scanning the barcode. You can also create custom recipes for meals you cook regularly.
In MyFitnessPal, you can keep track of your daily calorie and nutrient intake. It’s a must-have app for anyone who wants to eat better.
Another habit-building app, Productive, has been one that I’ve used in the past because I love the design and interface.
You can add tasks in Productive to help you become healthier, happier, and more productive. Once you set your habits and goals, you can track your progress by marking them as complete daily. But Productive also lets you stop or pause habits as needed because, sometimes, unexpected things happen.
Productive also has programs and articles for healthy habit-building tips, reflection check-ins, and even motivational prompts to help reinforce your habits. There’s also a gamified element with challenges, letting you improve your routine with guided tasks and competing with other users. And if you like to check how you’re doing, there are also analytics about your progress.
Again, the app is beautifully designed and intuitive to use. You will have limitations with the free download, and to get the most out of Productive, you’ll have to get a subscription. But you can try it out to ensure it works for you before committing.
In addition to eating better to lose weight, you’ll want to get some exercise. But not everyone can do hour-long workout sessions, but what about seven minutes to spare? That’s when Seven comes in.
Seven is perfect for beginners and experienced athletes alike. All of the workout routines in Seven take only seven minutes to complete, and there are over 200 workouts in total. The best part? None of the exercises need any extra equipment, and you can do them pretty much anywhere and anytime.
The app also helps with motivating you to do a seven-minute workout session each day with the everyday workout challenge, and you can see your progress in your tailored fitness plan. You can also compete with friends for encouragement, and there’s an interesting range of instructors like the Drill Sergeant or Cheerleader, among others.
Though Seven is free to download and use, there is also the 7 Club premium membership. This gets you access to all workouts and 200+ exercises to help you vary your routine. You’ll also have a certified personal trainer and hopefully see faster results.
One of the best things you could do for yourself is journaling. This lets you privately express your feelings, vent, and reflect on your life. Doing so can give you a very satisfactory feeling once you want to look back at your memories. For this, Day One remains a personal favorite.
I’ve been using Day One for several years now, and though I don’t always keep on top of writing every day, I’ve been doing better and plan to keep it up in 2024 and beyond. I have Day One Premium, and I think it’s been well worth the cost.
With Day One, I have multiple journals set up for various reasons. My entries usually just reflect on what I did each day, but I also have some templates and even prompts if I have writer’s block. Day One also lets you add multimedia, such as photos, videos, and even audio clips, to your entries. All entries can be tagged for organization, and geolocation data can be added so you can even have a map of your entries (perfect when traveling).
When I want to reflect, I love looking back at my entries in Day One. There is even a cool feature in Day One that lets you see past entries “On this day,” so if you ever feel nostalgic, it’s a great way to take a trip down memory lane.
Day One also has a dashboard on the main screen with a “streak” counter, so you can see how many consecutive days you’ve logged an entry.
Trying to get more reading done this year? Give Bookshelf a try.
Bookshelf is an app that will help you track everything you need relating to books. That means what you have, what you’re reading, and books you want to read. Thanks to valuable insights and trend reports, it will improve your reading habits. You can set reading goals, make streaks when you log your reading every day, and set reminders to read in case you forget to. The app also helps you remember what you read by letting you write and review notes and memorable quotes.
Some cool features include chatting with the AI librarian to generate summaries and flashcards, reviewing key ideas and concepts in a title, and more.
Reading is always a good thing, and Bookshelf will help you read more (and better).
All living things, including humans, need water to survive. But sometimes, we just don’t remember to stay hydrated. On average, men need about 13 cups (three liters) daily, while women need about nine cups (over two liters) each day. And even more is needed if it’s hot or when you’re working out. WaterMinder is an app to help you track your water intake.
WaterMinder gives you a visual of your water intake throughout the day. As you log how much water you drink, you’ll see the visual fill-up with water — your goal is basically to fill it up by the end of the day. The goal is set by your weight and activity level, so it will differ from person to person.
To make things a bit more fun, there are challenges, progress sharing with friends, statistics, and insights into your hydration levels. There’s also an Apple Watch app to make logging even easier, and you can add various home and lock screen widgets to see your hydration without opening the app.
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