Some apps to help you with that New Year's resolution
Whether it's trying to exercise more or trying to save money, today's apps can help
Thursday, January 3, 2013
This year, my New Year’s resolution is to not make any New Year’s resolutions, because most times they’re never kept and by the time February or March rolls around you’ve already forgotten what you wanted to change about yourself.
But for those who are brave enough to take on a resolution this New Year’s, you may want to get a little extra help by way of a mobile device app, which could definitely make it easier for you while you’re on your quest for self-improvement.
Saving money is usually among the most popular New Year’s resolutions for consumers, so to help, the Account Tracker app lets you keep track of all your different bank accounts, including your credit cards.
It also lets you keep a close eye on your daily spending habits, including those costs attached to vices like smoking, eating fast food or buying alcohol, which many people are trying to give up this coming New Year.
The idea behind this app is to give people a direct incentive to budget and let go of certain spending habits that have kept them from reaching financial goals in the past, and sometimes being able to have a visual reference that shows all of your purchases will keep you from buying a bunch of frivolous items, since you’ll be documenting those purchases and seeing exactly where your money is going.
The Account Tracker differs from just being able to look up your bank account information on your smartphone, as it pulls all of your financial data into one digital location regardless of the type of account, the financial institution or the type of credit card you use.
The app also sends users certain alerts, like when bills are due or when you’re account is overdrawn, and it even generates a financial report so you can store all of your past transactions and compare how well you’ve been saving.
It also lets you set financial goals, so while you’re entering your daily transactions into the app, you’ll also be able to see just how close or far you are from reaching your desired target.
Account Tracker is available free in the Apple Apps Store.
And for those looking to increase their fitness in 2013, the Workout Trainer app allows users to access personal trainers on their mobile device and each trainer teaches a wide array of exercise routines, while giving you instruction on how to maximize a particular workout.
The app is good for those folks who want to start or continue an exercise regimen, whether it’s weight training, aerobics, calisthenics or whatever.
The Workout Trainer also lets you sync your favorite music to workouts, so as you’re being instructed by a professional fitness expert, you can stay motivated by your own play list, while also receiving additional motivation from the virtual trainers.
Another cool feature on the app is its ability to let you edit the workouts, just in case you would rather focus on a specific part of the exercise instead of going through the entire routine, and you can even have a virtual consultation with one of the exercise instructors so specific workouts can be shaped around a specific goal.
The Workout Trainer is for Android devices and can be downloaded in the Google Play store.
Quit ... for good
Another Android application that’s perfect for New Year’s resolutions is Quit, which is an app designed for smokers looking to break their cigarette habits once and for all.
The makers of the app say it uses statistical data from other users who quit and carves out a specific plan around your smoking habits.
The app also asks a series of questions to users to determine just how heavy their addiction to nicotine is and it tracks the amount of cigarettes you decided not to smoke.
It also tallies the amount of money you’re saving from not purchasing cigarettes and tells you how many years you’ve added to your life by avoided each cig, which can only serve as good motivation.
In addition, the Quit app sends useful information like the chemicals you’re avoiding by not smoking, and it also sends you motivational statements that are supposed to remind you of why you decided to quit in the first place.
Users will also receive what the makers call an achievement list that you’re supposed to unlock one by one each time you pass a certain mark during the process.
Just like the Workout Trainer, the Quit app can be downloaded in the Google Play store.
Let’s face it, New Year’s resolutions are as hard to keep as any other personal challenge we set in front of ourselves, because many times it’s much easier to keep a promise to another person than it is to keep a promise to ourselves.
And obviously, there’s no guarantee that any of these apps will get you over that resolution hump, but they should provide some assistance while you're journeying towards an improved you, especially since the help is right at your fingertips on your mobile device or smartphone.