On average, around 80% of New Year’s resolutions have been given up by February. They’re new and exciting challenges for the first month of the year, but research shows that it takes 66 days for a habit to form automatically, and the 31 days of January just aren’t enough. Life gets in the way, and suddenly those diet plans, fitness programmes, and guitar lessons get pushed aside.
So whatever your NY goal, here’s the app that will help you stick to it.
FREE - offers in-app purchases and premium subscription at £9.99 monthly
MyFitnessPal is an all-in-one weight-loss, health and fitness, habit-changing, diet-planning app that’s been rated #1 for Health and Fitness on the Apple Store for 4 years. Its focus is primarily as a logging journal, for you to track and record the food, water, and exercise you’re doing each day.
- Over 6 million foods in the database so you’ll easily be able to enter what you’ve been eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks to calculate your caloric and nutritional intake
- Recognises over 4+ million barcodes so you can scan your product instead of entering it manually
- Recipe importer so you don’t have to separately enter each ingredient in what you cooked
- Insightful analysis to help you make healthier food choices based on your meals
- Water tracking to ensure you drink the necessary amount per day
- Goal-targeted so each recommendation that is made is tailored towards what you entered as your goal in the beginning e.g. weight loss, weight gain, weight maintain
- Choose from 350+ exercises to enter into your journal to calculate calories consumed more accurately
- Connect with other health apps like Fitbit, Strava, the Health App, and more
- Reports keep track of your progress and let you know how you’re doing as you continue with the app
For more fitness and weight loss apps, we’ve put together a list of the 11 best apps out there. If you’ve been struggling with exercise due to Coronavirus, we’ve also put together a guide for staying fit during lockdown.
FREE - offers in-app purchases
Most people pledge to learn a new skill for the new year, and for many that could be learning a new language. You might be going abroad somewhere and want to be able to engage in the local dialect, or simply wish to add a new skill to your CV. Whatever the reason, Duolingo is one of the best apps on the market for languages.
- Choose from 35 languages
- Learn your chosen language through a series of reading, writing, listening, and speaking activities
- Practice your pronunciation, spelling, and recognition skills
- Advance through the game-like lessons, starting with ‘Basics’ and graduating to full conversations.
- Track your progress
- Receive awards and gems for hitting weekly streaks and daily targets
- Join 300 million learners in a community dedicated to exploring other cultures
Duolingo is also suitable for children. Here are some more educational apps you may wish to explore and download on your iOS or Android device.
FREE - offers in-app purchases and a premium subscription for unlimited play
If you’re looking for a musical start to 2021, you may want to start learning a new instrument.
Designed by expert music teachers, Yousician offers feedback as you play your instrument in real-time. At the moment, it only helps you learn how to sing, play the piano, guitar, bass, and ukulele.
- Step-by-step video tutorials to guide you through each lesson
- Suitable for any level, from beginners to professionals
- Contains a database of over 1,500 missions and exercises
- Each tutorial is dedicated to helping you improve a relevant skill, such as reading sheet music, chords, strumming, melodies, fingerpicking etc.
- You have the chance to get involved with a weekly challenge to compete with the millions of other app users worldwide
- Listens to you playing and gives you instant feedback
Are you looking to travel more after lockdown? Skyscanner makes booking holidays much easier. You can get inspired, plan, and book your entire trip on the app, finding the best travel and accommodation with amazing discounts.
- Search and compare hundreds of flights for the quickest and cheapest way of reaching your new destination
- A colour-coded calendar and chart views allows you to see which dates will be cheaper, and which days spike up the cost of flying to your chosen location
- Set up a price alert to be notified if the cost of your date changes
- Compare thousands of prices for hotels, apartments, hostels, rooms, and resorts
- Explore the car rentals on offer, filtering for times, vehicle type, fuel type, and additional features
- If you don’t know exactly where you want to go yet, tap the ‘Explore’ tab to check out a list of destinations with deals currently on offer
- Filter your search by flight time, airline, stops, and business/economy/first class
- Save your flights and holiday destinations if you’re not ready to book yet
- No booking fees
If you don’t like the sound of Skyscanner, there are a number of other travel apps available to download on Android and iPhones.
FREE - offers in-app purchases
We’re only human, and that means we can have a tendency to form bad habits. How negative your repetitive behaviours are depends on where you want to be in your life.
Do you want to stop smoking? Are you drinking too much caffeine? Do you need to exercise more? Eat more fruit and veg?
While this app can’t get rid of your bad habits (only you can do that), it can help you to form better, healthier ones.
- Create your own habits and colour-code them for easy categorisation
- View your habits on a calendar to see which ones you’ve been doing each day, and which ones you’re neglecting
- Engage with friends who are also using the app and send each other reminders to do a habit when it gets low
- Set your own reminders and customise the sound so you know what it’s for
- Include a timer on habits if you need to get them done at a specific time of the day
- Safety lock with TouchID or FaceID
- Review your habits by month and year in an easy chart
Clear your mind of the complications and simply learn how to form new habits with this easy interface.
FREE - you do pay money with this app
If your NY resolution was to be more charitable, here’s the perfect app for you. ShareTheMeal was created by the United Nations World Food Programme to allow people around the world to easily donate money that feeds a hungry child.
Did you know there are 20 smartphones to every hungry child? ShareTheMeal’s mantra is if everyone with one helped out just a little, we could end child hunger. Over 3 million children are fighting hunger globally.
- 82 million meals have currently been shared
- Meals are delivered by the United Nations World Food Programme
- Share your meal by tapping the screen to donate and see where and who your food has gone to
FREE - offers in-app purchases
If you’re more environmentally conscious and are wishing to contribute to nature whilst being more productive, the Forest app is a double win. It helps people stay focused and keep working while also planting more trees around the world. Marked #1 for productivity in 136 countries, you can join over 4 million users who are planting trees by simply staying off their phones.
If you commit to your task and stay focused (i.e. off your phone), you will be planting a tree in the real world. Over 800,000 have been planted through the app so far.
- Unlock more than 60 tree species
- Earn rewards by staying off your phone, or risk your tree dying if you try to get on before the timer is up
- Plant with friends - if one of you fails, everyone’s tree dies
- Categorise your tasks and allocate a set amount of time to each so the app knows how long you need to stay off your device for
- Track your progress daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly and understand more about the way you focus
FREE - offers in-app purchases with a premium subscription of £11.51 monthly
Calm is the #1 app for sleep, meditation and relaxation. Life can get pretty stressful at times, producing a big load of anxiety and stress, but meditation is one of the best ways of reducing these negative emotions.
- 3 - 25 minute sessions to guide you through a meditation
- The freedom to choose when to meditate throughout your day
- A long list of mindfulness topics tailored towards targeting certain insecurities or goals, such as: relationships, breaking habits, gratitude, self-esteem, body scan, forgiveness, non-judgement, mindfulness at work, calm kids, and so much more
- A Daily 10-minute meditation designed to help you ease into the day with a happy and productive start
- 7 and 21 day programmes for all skill levels
- Music and soundscapes (30+ sounds) to help calm you in times of duress
- Sleep Stories to help you fall asleep at night (100+ to choose from)
- Track your progress with daily streaks and mindful minutes
Calm is one of many meditation apps available to download.
So as we welcome 2021, we welcome the chance of a new start. Learn a new skill, give back to the world, and create a better, healthier version of yourself.
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