Many of us consider the start of a new year as the perfect time to set fresh goals for the future and make positive changes to our lives.
As is generally the way, we start off January with heaps of enthusiasm and optimism about our New Year’s resolutions. But then, there comes a point – usually mid-way through the month – that our motivation takes a hit.
The odds really aren’t in our favour: stats show that around 80% of us fail at our resolutions, with most giving up entirely by the middle of February.
But why is the failure rate so high? Some put it down to the actual word ‘resolution’. It puts too much pressure on us, like there’s no room for failure. Then if we were to slip up, we feel disappointed in ourselves and sometimes even ashamed.
Others set goals that are just unreasonable or unachievable. We’re talking about resolutions that require you to drastically overhaul your life and make a whole host of changes. Do this and you’ll be setting yourself up for a fall.
Far better is to make one, meaningful change, or a few realistic resolutions you’re confident you can achieve over the next 12 months and beyond. This will guarantee you the greatest chance of success – and you’ll feel all the better for it!
There’s an app for that!
Are you currently working hard at your New Year’s resolution (or resolutions)? If so, you don’t need to go it alone! Whatever goals you’ve set yourself – whether they’re money, career, health-related or otherwise – chances are there’s an app that can help you to achieve them.
But the app market is a bit of a minefield; there are hundreds of thousands of apps available for both Android and Apple devices. That’s why we thought it would be useful to share a handy guide on best apps for helping you achieve your resolutions.
Before we get to the list, and before you load up your phone or tablet with apps, you need to check that your gadget is covered with insurance.
Gadget Cover can help you to protect your device by setting you up with a gadget insurance policy. It will cover things like accidental damage, liquid damage and unauthorised usage, with the option to add cover against loss for an additional fee.
There are many benefits of taking out gadget insurance with Gadget Cover, including discounts on policies paid annually, the first month of cover free for policies paid monthly & unlimited claims.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best apps to help you achieve your goals and resolutions for 2020 and beyond.
Resolution #1 – Get fit, exercise more
Many people vow to ramp up their exercise regime in the new year. We all know how important regular exercise is to our general health and wellbeing.
The NHS recommends that adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise, each week.
An app favoured by people wanting to give their fitness a boost is the NHS’s Couch to 5K. It helps running newbies to gradually work their way up to a five-kilometre run in just nine weeks.
You’ll be expected to run three times a week, with a day of rest in between, and there’s a different schedule each week to keep things interesting.
A narrator – Laura – will guide you through each session, and there’s music to keep you motivated as you’re clocking up those miles!
Resolution #2 – Eat more healthily
Eating healthily doesn’t mean counting calories. It means making sure your body is getting enough of the good stuff (i.e. essential vitamins and nutrients) and cutting out the bad stuff.
Created by the Vegan Society, VNutrition can help to make sure you’re getting your five a day with its useful diagrams, and you can track progress and receive tailored tips to help you reach your diet-related goals.
It’s also got plenty of useful information on different food groups. Over time, this will help you to make healthier and more informed decisions about what you put in your body.
Resolution #3 – Lose weight
The resolutions to eat more healthily and exercise more go hand in hand with the resolution to lose weight. Chances are, improvements to your diet or exercise regime will naturally cause you to drop a few pounds (or more), but if losing weight is your main goal then it could be useful to download an app that monitors your calorie intake.
After all, losing weight is a case of ‘less calories in, more calories out’.
MyFitnessPal is a fantastic, all-in-one app where you can log what you eat every day (its nutrition database has over six million foods) and it’ll work out your total intake (including your intake of different nutrients). You can enter goals (like weight loss) and it will help you to reach them, plus you can log your daily exercise and get support and motivation from the app’s active community forums.
Resolution #4 – Drink less alcohol
If your New Year’s resolution is to curb the amount of alcohol you consume, the Drink Less app can support you in your journey. It lets you track your drinking, set goals and targets and get feedback on your progress.
The app has a mood diary which can help you to better understand the impact your drinking has, and comes with games designed to strengthen your resolve to drink less booze. You can also create detailed plans for dealing with situations where alcohol plays a major part – for instance, Friday nights at the pub.
Drink Less was designed by researchers from University College London – by downloading and using it, you’ll be helping them to better understand how to support people in drinking less alcohol.
Resolution #5 – Reduce stress
Modern life is hectic at the best of times. If we don’t take time out for some R&R, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and for that to lead to stress.
Maybe you spent too much of last year feeling stressed and have vowed to tackle that this year. If so, you need to download Headspace.
It claims that it will help you to lead a healthier, happier and more well-rested life, with the app packed with hundreds of themed sessions on everything from stress and sleep, to anxiety and focus.
Its bite-sized meditation guides mean you can no longer use the ‘I don’t have time’ excuse! And, there’s even a range of SOS exercises when you need to de-stress, fast.
Resolution #6 – Get better at budgeting
If 2020 is the year you get better at money management, the Mint app is what you need. It lets you track your spending and create budgets, plus you can link it to all of your credit and debit cards so that you have a general overview of all your incomings and outgoings.
Receive alerts when you’re near your limits, and get tailored tips on how to take greater control of your finances. If you’re looking for more finance-based inspiration, take a look at our ‘Top iPhone apps to help with home finances’ article.
Resolution #7 – Be more organised
Whether it’s at home or at work, many people will have made it their mission to get more organised this year. And when it comes to organisation, you simply can’t knock the humble list in helping you to visualise what needs doing (and make sure that no task slips through the net).
We’re sure you’ll agree: there’s something incredibly satisfying about ticking off completed tasks and seeing that list get shorter and shorter.
Wunderlist is one of the best list-making apps out there – create to-do lists in seconds, access them from your phone, tablet or computer, and share with colleagues, family and friends.
If you’re using the app for work, it’s good to know that you can attach PDFs, presentations and photos to your lists. You might find our other blog – The top tools and apps for working from your phone – useful, too!
Resolution #8 – Reduce my impact on the environment
We all need to do our bit to protect the environment – making just a couple of small, positive changes to our lifestyle can have a big impact over time.
If you’ve made it one of your goals to ‘be more green’, the JouleBug app can help. It will help you to make more sustainable decisions at home, in the office and out and about by giving you so-called ‘green actions’ to carry out and get rewarded for.
You can compete in national and local challenges to see who’s the greenest, and follow friends and family to see the ways in which they’re making a positive difference. See your green progress over time with career stats and watch your Trophy Case grow! This interactive app makes helping the planet fun.
Resolution #9 – Get more sleep
Many people resolve to get more sleep in the new year – we should all be aiming for around eight hours a night in order to feel on top form the next day. But maybe in the past, life has got in the way of your snoozing – or you simply spent one too many nights staying up late to binge your new favourite Netflix series!
Sleep Cycle is a great app for monitoring your sleep to make sure you’re getting enough of the stuff.
Track how long you snooze each night and get analysis that will help you to get a good sleep night after night, leading to better overall health.
The intelligent, in-built alarm clock is designed to wake you up gently while you’re in your lightest sleep phase, and there’s a detector which shows you how much you snore!
Resolution #10 – Learn a new language
Whether you want to be fluent in French, master Mandarin or perfect your Portuguese, Duolingo is a fun and addictive app that will help you learn a language in next to no time!
The app is smart in that it tailors language lessons based on your individual learning style. You’ll see instantly which answers you get right, and when you miss a challenge you’ll receive constructive tips on how you can improve.
Duolingo works so well because it turns language learning into a game. You’ll earn virtual coins, be able to unlock new levels and see your fluency score rise as you master new words, phrases and grammar.
According to a study, 34 hours of using Duolingo is the equivalent of one entire university semester of language courses. And the best bit? The basic version of the app is free! You can upgrade to the Plus version, which will remove ads.
Whatever your New Year’s resolution, having an app or two downloaded onto your phone or tablet can inspire and motivate you to achieve it. This is especially the case with apps that track your progress over time; seeing how far you’ve come will encourage you to keep going. You can do it!
Protect your tech with Gadget Cover
If you’re using your phone or tablet for apps to support you in your New Year’s resolutions, that’s one more reason to make sure your tech is protected with gadget insurance.
Gadget Cover can set you up with a policy that suits your device, your needs and your budget. To take out a policy through us, you’ll need to make sure:
- Your phone is in good condition and full working order prior to purchasing the policy
- You can provide evidence of ownership
- The phone was purchased new or refurbished (if purchased directly from a mobile network provider or manufacturer)
- The device is less than 18 months old at the time of taking out the policy
Ready to protect your tech? Get a free, no-obligation quote today!