It's almost that time of year again where we feel compelled to start thinking about the year ahead, and trying to be the best versions of ourselves as possible. We also know that we'll have abandoned most of our objectives by February, so this time we need to consider the best way to keep up with what we want to achieve.
1. Lose weight
It's one of the most popular diet and fitness apps out there because it allows you to not only track your calorie intake, but also your macros, exercise and weight loss/gain journey. There's no more scrutinising the backs of food packets and trying to work out what you've eaten based on how many calories are in 100g because the app does it all for you, and you'd be hard-pushed to find a food that isn't recorded on there. You can also save recipes and meals so you don't have to include every ingredient in your favourite dishes every time you make it.
2. Quit drinking/smoking
I Am Sober
If ever there's a time for excessive drinking and other indulgences, it's December. So it's no surprise that after a month of hangovers some of us decide that enough is enough when it comes to binge-drinking and chain-smoking, and it's time to start looking after our bodies - particularly as we get older. A great way to track your sobriety progress is I Am Sober which gives you milestones to reach, encourages you to make daily pledges and even lets you know how much money you have saved from kicking those habits. You can also record your feelings and thoughts to reflect on later.
3. Learn a language
Learning new skills is a big dream for a lot of us in the New Year, and one of the top things we want to learn is a new language. Whether you are just starting out or already have a little knowledge of a language, Duolingo is a great way to get fluent without spending lots of money on tutors or sacrificing your time to studying. Commit to just a few minutes a day (depending on how serious you are) of exercises that will test your comprehension, your dictation, your speech and your translation skills. What's more - it's totally addictive!
4. Read more
When there are so many streaming services with endless TV shows and movies, it can be hard to find time to get stuck into a good book. But the New Year is a time for motivation and many of us want to find time to broaden our literary journeys. One way to keep track of all the books you want to read, the books you've already read and the ones you're reading is Reading List. You can also see how far into your books you are at a glance, and create lists such as best-sellers and recommendations, as well as organise your books by genre.
5. Spend less money
Budgeting doesn't come naturally to everyone, and those to whom it does still get frustrated trying to update their finance spreadsheets every week. But there's an easier way for everyone to keep track of their spending and that's Yolt. You simply add your accounts to the app (there's bank level security on there, don't worry) and it automatically assigns your income and outgoings to different categories e.g, bills, groceries, housing, shopping, drinks, leisure etc. You can see how much you have overspent or how much you have saved on each category, as well as your total savings, each month.
6. Stay focused
Whether you want to sleep better, focus more, learn to meditate, tackle anxiety, increase your self-esteem, improve your fitness or all of these things at once, Calm has everything you need to manage it all. It lets you track your mood on a daily basis, gives you breathing exercises and meditations to help you relax and concentrate, and includes audio-based "sleep stories" to help you drift off, all told by famous people like Stephen Fry, Matthew McConaughey and Nick Offerman. There's calming music including ambient remixes, lullabies and nature sounds, and you can even link the app to Apple Health. Unfortunately, you need the premium version to get the most out of the app, but it's less than £30 a year and so worth it.
7. Stay organised
After downloading all these apps and setting up all your 2020 goals, you're probably feeling a little overwhelmed by the organisational pressure you've put yourself under. But you can manage how well you're doing with everything at once and remind yourself to stay on track with a very simple app called Habit. You add all your habits in a list and check off every day you've completed a goal. It gives you a great visual representation of how well you're doing but without all kinds of different features to confuse you.