It’s a new year, and it’s time to embrace some new technology that can help make it your best year yet. Behold: habits apps. Sure, you’re probably tossing around all kinds of resolutions—you have a long list of things you want to do better, or stop doing for that matter. But deciding you want to break a bad habit can only go so far. Yes, resolutions are an important place to start. But you need the right tools to actually make change happen. It’s time to ditch the resolutions and instead focus on the actual solutions. As Psychology Today reports, according to Seattle-based psychotherapist James Ullrich, “a desire to reach your goal is key, but it’s only one ingredient needed to break a bad habit. What you also need is a thoughtful, logical action plan that takes into account the psychological realities of the challenge.”
And we’ve got good news: it’s 2015, and those solutions are only a couple clicks (and sometimes a small download fee) away. Yup, you guessed it–you’ve got a problem…there’s an app for that. Don’t get us wrong; breaking a bad habit can be really tough. Even with the right intentions and the right tools, it will be hard work. But thankfully advances in technology and some really smart app-developers have found ways to help you. Here are 5 of the best habits app ideas to help you get started on breaking habits this year.
1. If You Want to Get Organized (and be more efficient) Raise your hand if any of these statements apply to you: your home is a mess, your closet is a disaster, you can’t find your favorite t-shirt, you spent all day working but got nothing done, your to-do list is overwhelming and you wish there were an extra 6 hours in every day. Us too. Maybe it’s not the length of the day that’s a problem, but how you are using your time that isn’t working. Enter your new favorite app: Things. This habits app is available for your computer, iPhone or iPad, which means no matter where you are you have no more excuses. It helps make you more efficient (and less freaked out) by breaking all your tasks down into manageable steps. It helps organize everything from recurring commitments (take out the trash) to projects with urgent deadlines (finishing that work presentation). Plus it syncs with the iCloud so your lists are updated across all devices.
Read Related: Change Your Mind, Change Your Habits
2. If You Want to Get in Shape Losing weight was the #1 New Year’s Resolution in 2014 and we’re willing to bet the numbers won’t change much for 2015. And while part of losing weight is learning to eat better (we’ll get to that), getting in shape is a huge part of the process. That said, motivating yourself to go the gym can be hard, especially when it’s cold out and you haven’t been near a treadmill in ages. What you need is an app that not only encourages you to get moving, but also connects you with other people enduring the same struggle. Say hello to Nexercise. This app turns getting in shape into a game. It tracks your workouts and allows you to compete with others while also offering encouragement and support. Plus you can earn rewards for your sweat sessions.
3. If You Want to Eat Better The second part of losing weight is learning to ditch the chips and instead embrace a balanced diet. It won’t be easy–after all, eating junk is more than just an indulgence, for a lot of people it’s an addiction. But the Eat This, Not That app can help. It works on several levels: first, it tracks your calories and takes into account the calories you burn. But be honest! If you lie about what you eat you’re only hurting yourself. Second, it allows you to enter the foods you want to eat, and it suggests a healthier alternative. Third, the restaurant survival tool helps you make smart choices when eating out. And lastly, it tracks your progress.
4. If You Want to Quit Smoking Smoking is perhaps one of the toughest addictions to kick, but not for lack of trying. There are patches, gums, pills and support groups, but sometimes you need a little push and a constant reminder to keep you on the smoke-free track. The app Quit It, which we think is one of the best habits app out there, offers motivation and positive reinforcement to keep you from lighting up. It calculates how many cigarettes you smoke, but more importantly how many you do NOT smoke. It shows how much money you save by not smoking and updates you on the health benefits you are experiencing as you quit. Some mind-blowing stats, a reminder that you are saving money and some positive information about your health might be just the ticket to kissing your smoking habit goodbye for good. Breaking habits never felt so straightforward.
5. If You Want to Spend Smarter With the holidays behind us you are probably dealing with a little bit (or a lot) of buyers remorse after the gift-giving madness of last month. Over-spending is a common habit and we only realize we’re doing it when it’s too late. But it’s a new year, which means it’s a great time to make goals for about your spending, and your saving. With Mint you can manage your personal finances easily by consolidating your accounts, tracking how much money you are spending/saving, and alerting you when bills are due. It allows you to set financial goals and presents that data with easy-to-follow charts. Plus, it offers tips that are customized for you based on your spending, so you can make improvements to your budget throughout the year.