You’re not the only one who thinks resolutions are tough. Research indicates that 92 percent of them fail. Part of the problem may be how you’re thinking about your goals. Whether it’s losing weight or saving money, we’ve got ideas on how to make (and keep) your New Year’s resolutions. But you don’t have to go it alone. Sometimes, it’s necessary to call for backup.
We tested loads of apps and found the best ones to help you get back in shape, eat right, sleep better, and kick every bad habit. The best part: They’re all cheaper than maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle.
Cost: Free for iOS and Android
Resolution: Drop the pounds.
Although Health Mate works best if it’s synced to a Withings Pulse fitness tracker, it’s just fine solo, too. Named one of Apple’s top apps of 2014, Health Mate gives you daily reminders to exercise and weigh yourself. Enter your weight and target goal, and the app will display your progress in easy-to-read charts to help keep you motivated.
Couch to 5K
Cost: $1.99 for iOS and Android
Resolution: Hit the pavement.
If you’re trying to get into running, Couch to 5K is a great place to start. The popular app guides you through a simple, easy-to-follow regimen. Log your workouts, track your times and pace, listen to your playlists, and receive audio cues from your virtual trainer. You'll be crossing the finish line in no time.
Resolution: Improve your diet.
Eat, cook, and shop smarter. Fire up Yummly to search for new recipes, add ingredients to your shopping list, and bookmark your favorite meals by category. Log what you’ve cooked, and the app will sync up with MyFitnessPal to keep your calories in check. Bonus: When searching for new recipes, you can compare nutritional information to find the healthiest options.
If you need more motivation to cook at home, we have just the thing. Take the 2015 Cooking Streak Challenge and commit to cooking at least one meal at home every day for the rest of January.
Resolution: Save some dough.
Check rounds up every bill, loan, credit card, and bank statement all in one place. You can pay bills directly in the app, and be reminded when payments are due. With all your finances mapped out for the month, you'll see how much money you’ve got to spend and save.
Cost: Free for iOS
Resolution: Log more shuteye.
Tell Pillow how much sleep you want to get, or when you want to wake up, and the app will nudge you to wake up during your lightest stage of sleep. Pillow can also help you power-nap effectively, so you don’t rise after 20 minutes feeling like a zombie.
You shouldn’t just be monitoring the length of your sleep, but your sleep positions as well.
Cost: Free for iOS
This app measures your daily caffeine consumption, with helpful afternoon reminders to log your intake. Using your weight, height, gender, and self-reported caffeine sensitivity, Up Coffee estimates how long the stuff will be in your system – and whether you'll be wired by your ideal bedtime or dozing off again at 2 p.m.
Cost: $4.99 for iOS
Resolution: Ease up on the booze.
See how much you’re drinking in terms of cost and calories. Drink Control also calculates when you’ve crossed the line from moderate to binge drinking, to help you keep your weekends in check. Plus, the app probably costs less than a craft beer.
For Android users, try AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker, a similar app with comparable features.
Cost: $3.99 for iOS
Resolution: Quit smoking.
There are as many apps to help as there are reasons to quit. Our favorite: Butt Out, which helps you log your cravings, cigarettes smoked, and money saved (from skipping a cigarette when you crave but don’t cave).