Back in November, I wrote about my struggles to find time to workout while working fulltime. So like innumerable other Boston hopefuls, one of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to find more time to be active. (Cue collective eye roll.) It’s a nebulous goal, I know, with no defined guidelines or definitive end result. My chances at success–whatever that may be–are slim. But while many contend that New Year’s resolutions are bullsh*t, I, my friends, am an optimist. I think New Year’s resolutions give people something to root for as the turning of another conclusive calendar page looms. But I’ll be the first to admit that I need help. Good thing there’s an app for that. (Cue second collective eye roll.)
That said, if your News Year’s resolution is to “hit the gym more”–well, you won’t. At least not past February. And the universal tendency to fall woefully short of our yearlong goals is not limited to the realms of fitness or health, either. You may want to earn better grades, move out of your parents basement, or finally apply to grad school. Perhaps your girlfriend of nine years is long since wondering when you’ll pop the question. Or this is the year (you swear) that you’ll visit the Great Wall of China or the Great Barrier Reef.
These are all admirable New Year’s resolutions. But posting a sticky note to your fridge that reads “Go to China!” is not going to get your flights booked or your bags packed. You need help. These motivational apps and websites can help. Read on, Intrepid Go-Getter, and may 2013 be your best year yet.
Just launched by three Boston businessmen, Goals Happen is a website that encourages social interaction around goals, sending email reminders to both the goal-setter and his or her online network, leveraging motivation through social accountability. Goals are achieved via milestones. For each milestone you hit, you’ll get encouragement from your friends. For each milestone you miss, well, that depends on your friends. Availability: Free, website.
Gravy deems itself a “mood-based what’s going on” app. With the swipe of a finger, you can find activities, classes, movies and more near you to match your mood of the moment. With buckets ranging from “Get & Stay Fit” to “Playtime,” “Brainy” to “Free and Discounted,” there’s sure to be a channel to fulfill every resolution on your list. Since no two days will be the same, variety may just become the spice of your new life. Availability: Free, iOS and Android.
They may claim that New Year’s resolutions are BS, but that doesn’t mean RunKeeper doesn’t want to help you achieve them. The popular fitness app employs training plan and social accountability features in an effort to make working out fun, social and easy to understand. Plus, it’s now integrated with GymPact, meaning you may be told to put your money where your mouth is. Nothing like a friendly wager to increase motivation. Availability: Free, iOS and Android.
It’s time to stop blowing every paycheck at Sissy K’s. With Mint, you can quickly and easily pull all your finances into one streamlined interface, which will then help you track spending and save money. Set a budget and check in daily to make sure you’re staying on track. Over 10 million users are already on board. We’ve even given it props before–it’s just that good. Availability: Free, iOS and Android.
Leveraging our collective competitive nature, DietBet operates on a simple premise: Users join a four-week weight loss program with the goal of losing 4 percent of their body fat. Everyone puts money in the pot, and the total fund is split only between those who lost the weight. For example, there’s currently “The BIG New Year’s DietBet,” which requires a $300 buy-in and has 17 participating members. If all 17 lose the weight, everyone gets their money back. If someone slacks, everyone else wins.
Here’s a final look at the 5 best apps to help you achieve your New Year’s goal. Tell me your thoughts or what I missed in the comments section below.