The New Year is always a clean slate for many, with most of us making bold and brash declarations to make the incoming year the best ever. When the smoke has cleared from the all-night revelry and the alcohol has left our system, we mark the first day of the calendar with an unshakeable determination to break our bad habits and reinvent ourselves into our best versions yet.
But an article published in The New York Times quoted studies that showed how most people’s resolutions don’t come to fruition, with some of them getting derailed as early as the end of January. This phenomenon is not limited to those with a perceived lack of willpower; as a matter of fact, even those who have great self-control end up taking themselves out of the resolutions race.
Remember, the race to outrun your bad habits is not a sprint; it’s a marathon that requires tools—both internal and external—to keep you going towards that elusive finish line.
One way to keep you on track in keeping your resolutions is to make them public. “Pre-committing,” or declaring to friends on social networks your good intentions is a start (saving face has always been a big motivator). Check out StickK (www.stickK.com), a website that lets you create “commitment contracts” to help you achieve your goals.
In the same article, it was observed that people who “outsource” their willpower, e.g. hire personal trainers to motivate them, often obtain successful results. For those of us who do not have Napoles-sized bank accounts, there are the more affordable smartphones/tablets that we can rely on in a crunch. Check out these apps to help you achieve those New Year’s resolutions at last.
Resolution 1: Lose weight/Eat healthier
The Walk—Fitness Tracker and Game ($3.99, iOS/Google Play)
If you easily get bored while exercising and would rather sit on the couch and play video games, then this might be the app to get you moving. “The Walk” integrates a game and story which you can only unlock after meeting certain fitness goals. The game lets you “walk in the real world to move in the game,” which may just make you feel like Link in the Zelda games of old.
Zombies Run! ($3.99, iOS/Google Play)
From the same makers of “The Walk,” this app makes your heart pound in all sense of the word. Fans of “The Walking Dead” will love this zombies-themed running trainer, as the game immerses you into a zombie-filled environment. If you were able to try Outbreak Manila and loved the adrenaline rush you got from escaping the brain-eating undead, then you’ll love this. It’s like Outbreak Manila for your phone, all day, everyday.
Fitness for women: workouts and exercises ($2.99, iOS)
This app was designed especially for women. It features various workouts for specific goals, e.g. “Drop a size” or “Superlight,” (for those who want to take it easy.) The workouts are also divided according to difficulty level, so beginners are more than welcome to get started. The app can also create customized workouts based on your goal, body type, or problem areas that you’d like to work on.
Resolution 2: Be more productive
2Do: Tasks Done in Style ($9.99, iOS, $6.99 Google Play)
More than a to-do list, this full-featured project management app helps you keep track of everything you need to do. Arrange tasks according to priority, categorize them and create detailed step-by-step sub-tasks to help you accomplish each to-do. The user interface is extremely easy to use, while the app’s tools follow the natural flow of your thoughts to help you create organized to-do lists.
Resolution 3: Break/start a habit
Habitat—Daily Habit Tracker ($1.99, iOS)
This app uses the “Don’t break the chain” productivity method where you’re given a visual display of your daily activities. You can use the app to track your daily progress. Example: If you want to quit smoking, you can get a visual calendar of how long you’ve gone without cigarettes. As the “chain” progresses, you’re less likely to feel like breaking the headway you’ve already made.