10 Apps to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
If Your Resolution Is to… Make Better Habits
HabitBull helps you overcome bad habits, from annoying (nail-biting) to dangerous (smoking)—just choose which you’d like to log and check in daily to monitor your success through the app’s easy-to-read interface (it’ll remind you if you forget). You’re not restricted to simple yes-or-no tracking: the app can also log things like “number of drinks” and “workout length” to monitor your progress over time.
To buy: HabitBull; Free, iOS and Android, habitbull.com.
If Your Resolution Is to… Eat Healthier
MyFitnessPal is the granddaddy of the calorie-tracking apps, and for good reason. More than five million foods are stored in its nutrition database, covering everything from a banana to the richest dessert at your favorite restaurant. Point your camera at your favorite food’s barcode (usually found on the packaging) for instant tracking. If you can’t find your dinner in the database, the app can determine the calorie count of any recipe on the Internet—just copy and paste the recipe’s URL, and it will automatically calculate nutrition facts.
To buy: MyFitnessPal; Free, iOS and Android, myfitnesspal.com.
If Your Resolution Is to… Learn a New Language
Still regret skipping French class in high school? Duolingo promises to catch you up with fun lessons that feel like games. Squeeze in exercises while you wait in line or before you fall asleep, and keep an eye on your progress with the app’s tracker. Currently, the app offers 14 different languages, with dozens more on the way.
To buy: Duolingo; Free, iOS and Android, duolingo.com.
If Your Resolution Is to… Save Money
Dreaming of a wedding or a long trip to Hawaii? Tired of peeking in your savings account only to find it half-empty? Digit promises to help you keep up with your goals, transferring money to a safe account. The app evaluates your spending to determine how much it can siphon away—between $5 and $50 at a time, depending on your habits—and promises never to push you into an overdraft in the process.
To buy: Digit; Free, iOS and Android, digit.co.
If Your Resolution Is to… Recycle More
Recycling goes beyond throwing paper and plastic into the proper bin—more than 350 materials can be recycled, including electronics, batteries, paint, and hazardous materials. Don’t just dump them in the trash: iRecycle tells you how and where to find recycling centers that will dispose of your excess waste in a safe and eco-friendly way.
To buy: iRecycle; Free, itunes.com and play.google.com.
If Your Resolution Is to… Be Positive and Happy
The winter doldrums can hit hard and fast. If happiness is one of your 2016 resolutions, don’t feel bad about giving yourself an electronic booster like Happify, a science-based app that offers activities and games to perk you up. Once you’ve signed up, fill out a short survey about your stressors and it will pick a track for you, like “Conquer My Negative Thoughts” or “Cope Better With Stress,” each with unique daily tasks.
To buy: Happify; Free, iOS and Android, happify.com.
If Your Resolution Is to… Get in Shape
Forcing yourself to go to the gym can be difficult, even if you’ve sworn this year will be different. If you struggle knowing exactly what to do once you’ve arrived (after all, you can only do the elliptical for so long until it gets boring!), try Skimble’s Workout Trainer, which offers thousands of video workouts to make gym time more interesting.
To buy: Skimble; Free, iOS and Android, skimble.com.
If Your Resolution Is to… Declutter Your Closet
Give your closet a facelift and finally get rid of all those old, out-of-fashion outfits you’ve been hoarding. Even better: Do it without opening your computer. Poshmark allows you to buy and sell clothing from your phone—snap a photo, set a price, and go. Just try hard to resist the temptation to buy more than you sell. You don’t want to be stuck with the same overflowing closet in 2017.
To buy: Poshmark; Free, iOS and Android, poshmark.com.
If Your Resolution Is to… Manage Your Time Better
Busy bees, pay heed: You don’t have to spend your days in a panic, trying to remember when your kid’s karate lesson starts or where tonight’s dinner is scheduled. If the stock calendar on your smartphone hasn’t helped to keep you organized, try Cozi (also owned by Real Simple’s parent company, Time Inc.). Create an account that you can share with the whole family—you can manage everyone’s calendars and set reminders, take your shopping and to-do lists on-the-go, and record memories and photos in your family journal.
To buy: Cozi; Free, iOS and Android, cozi.com.
If Your Resolution Is to… Get Smarter
Don’t make the mistake of letting your mind go to waste as you get older—regular training (yes, brain training) can keep your cognitive abilities sharp with age, according to a study from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Study. Elevate offers game-like workouts to keep your comprehension, focus, and critical skills sharp.
To buy: Elevate; Free, iOS and Android, elevateapp.com.