More than 80 percent of people fail at their New Year’s resolutions by mid-February, and while everyone certainly has their own contributing factors, there is one really big reason at the root of it all: Most people set bad resolutions.
But it is possible to set good ones.
New Year’s resolutions are, in essence, goals, which means they should be set like goals, not vague, wishy-washy hopes. The key to setting good goals is to make then SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-constrained. In other words, your resolutions should be clearly defined, challenging but within your reach, possible to achieve with everything you have going on right now, and with a firm time-limit attached. If you want to write a book next year, your resolution shouldn’t be to write a book—it should be to write 1,000 words (specific, measurable, achievable, a realistic commitment) a week (time constrained) until you’re done with a first draft.
Once you set resolutions like this, they get a lot easier to stick to—especially when you use the right apps to keep you on track. Whatever your resolution, there are tools available to make it easier to achieve.
Build a Habit
Whether you want to make your bed, brush your teeth, cook more often, or hit the gym three times a week, building a habit requires commitment—and an app to track it can really help.
The idea behind Streaks is super simple—the more often you’ve successfully completed a habit in the past and built a “streak,” the harder it is to break it. It’s easy to configure, seamless to use, and best of all, looks good.
Price: $5 each for the iOS and Mac apps
Way of Life
Way of Life takes things even further than Streaks. As well as building up “chains,” each habit gets a journal so you can take notes on how things are going, and there are also detailed analytics so you can see how well you’re sticking to your goals.
Price: Free to track up to three habits; $6 for Premium and unlimited habit tracking
Run (any Distance)
During the pandemic, running boomed. With gyms and fitness studios closed, what were people to do except jog like it was 1979? If you’re looking to join the latest incarnation of the original fitness trend, there are a few apps for you.
If you haven’t run since you were a kid, it can be genuinely terrifying to get started. Running can be really uncomfortable—especially if you push yourself too hard at the start.
That’s where Couch to 5K comes in: it’s an eight-week plan that gets you from sitting on your couch to running (or walk-running) your first 5K in three 30-minute workouts per week. While you don’t need an app to follow along, C25K Trainer makes it even easier to stick to by guiding you through each run and tracking your route, distance, and pace.