‘Smart’ Ways to Keep Your New Year Resolutions: There’s an App for That

Got a smart phone? Here are some handy applications to help you reach your 2013 goals.

So you got a smart phone for Christmas. Like you, I held out. Not wanting to succumb to those pesky data plan fees.

Then one day I was planning a lunch date with a friend. She whipped out her iPhone and quipped, “Aren’t you going to get out your pencil and paper?” We had a good laugh and I won’t waste time here defending the myriad of uses for pencil and paper.

I will, however, attempt to help you start the New Year off right by suggesting ways to utilize your handy new device. If we’re going to be one of those people with our heads down, eyes entranced by the screen glow of an assimilation cyborg, let’s at least click on more productive apps than Angry Birds.

Eat Better

The Eatery lets you crowd source your food choices. Photograph each meal, rate how healthy it is and track your intake. It’s a social app. So friends can see what you’re eating, give their two cents on its nutritional value and keep you accountable to healthy nutrition goals.


Fitness Buddy provides exercises and stretches that can be tailored into your own personal workout plan. It includes an exercise log to track your progress.

Get Organized

The smart phone function I use most is the calendar. (Ahem, see above.) But I’ve also discovered Paperless. It’s a list app that allows me to keep running lists of everything from groceries, movies, office supplies, action items, etc. It replaces all those scrapes of paper and is always with me. So whenever I pop into Target for a jumbo pack of toilet paper, I can easily see what other items I might need while I’m there.

I’ve heard rave reviews about Evernote as a great app for organizing notes, recipes and saving websites. It’s on my list to try this year. If you use it, please share your review in the comments.

Read More

Goodreads is a great tool for recording books you’ve read or want to read. You can read and write book reviews and share what you’re reading with friends.

The phone app has a handy barcode scanner to quickly record a title for future reference. So go, now, and be my friend on Goodreads.

Calm Down

I’ve recently read about apps that can help with stress and anxiety. In this amped up world of packed schedules and looming deadlines, an app that provides moments of mental health seems worthy of attention.

Mayo Clinic offers a Meditation app to relax and refocus and an Anxiety Coach app to assist with a wide range of fears.

Unstuck is like having a life coach in your pocket with a variety of tools to help overcome many of life’s problems.

Sleep Better

Getting adequate quality sleep seems an increasingly difficult problem for many people. Sleep Cycle is an app that tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you at the most optimum time in the morning. I’m thinking it’s not noon. So don’t get your hopes up.

Quit Smoking and Drinking

If 2013 is your year to overcome these dreadful addictions, I’m in your corner, praying for your long-term recovery.

Hopefully these handy apps—Live Strong My Quit Coach and AA Companion—can help you along the way. Because no amount of diet and exercise apps can improve your life more than winning the battle with nicotine and alcohol.


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Amber Gehring January 08, 2013 at 02:19 PM
I really like the Goodreads app. It allows me to put in books that I want "To Read" so that I can remember them! Otherwise there is no way that I would recall which book was next to pick up at the library or download for my Nook!
Angela Johnson January 08, 2013 at 02:27 PM
I agree Amber! I often check that list while bookstore browsing. It alleviates my frustration of trying to remember titles when I'm shopping. Best part, my lists are always with me.
Kris Janisch January 08, 2013 at 03:06 PM
I'm not sure about the app for Target lists... I go in there for paper towels and deodorant and end up spending $100 somehow.
Angela Johnson January 08, 2013 at 03:21 PM
That's what great about a list! Stick to the list. Save $$ :)
Amber Gehring January 08, 2013 at 03:23 PM
I also like AnyList for shopping lists! I'm not sure the cost on it, but it was free when I got it!
yomammy January 08, 2013 at 06:02 PM
maybe if people had their face less glued to a screen of some sort, reaching goals and resoultions would be less of a problem.
Angela Johnson January 08, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Fair enough. But these are useful tools available to help people do something productive with those screens. Happy New Year :)


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