Most of January 2017 is officially in the books, and I just wanted to check in and see how everybody’s doing with those resolutions. Did you start smoking again yet? Did you getcho ass a job? How about that gym membership—how’s that going?
Listen…it’s all good, guys. I get it. I told myself I was going to sack 15 pounds by March 1, but I literally ate a cheesesteak at 2 o’clock in the morning last night.
Nevertheless, here’s the deal: You set resolutions, and by hook or by crook, I’m going to help you keep them. Here are the 10 best apps self-improvement apps, and ones that can definitely help you keep those New Year’s Resolutions. So, put down that goddamn fork, fatty! It’s game time.
Lose Weight, Eat Healthier
Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal
One of the most popular weight loss apps for both the iOS and Android markets, Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal is pretty much exactly what you think it is: a comprehensive and exceptionally accurate way to keep track of the calories you’re consuming (and burning), without any of the bullshit or fuss of other apps. It has the largest and most accurate food database, the most intuitive user interface and it’s completely free to use.
The Daily Burn is essentially a video-streaming service, but for motivational workout videos. It’s free to download, and the videos aren’t the typically lame, overly produced stuff we’re all used to. They’re easy to follow, but take effort to accomplish. The app’s coolest feature is that it now supports streaming to devices like Chromecast and Apple TV, so whether you’re at home, at school or out of town on business, you’ll be able to keep up with your daily workout plan.
Get Better Rest
You’d never make the comparison, but the older you get, getting good rest is a lot like fighting a war—it begins and ends with strategy. That’s where SleepCycle comes in. SleepCycle is an “intelligent” alarm clock that wakes you up in your lightest sleep phase, in order to ensure that you get optimal rest every single night. More than that, it uses your phone’s accelerometer to offer detailed statistics on your sleep patterns so that you can improve your habits and cycles. If you’re looking to win the war on sleep, this is how you do it.
If you’re anything like me, booze and inhibitions go together like oil and water—or scotch and hot sauce. Whatever. The point is, if your New Year’s resolution is to stop being that asshole at the bar who empties their wallet on the good gin, DrinkControl is a sobering reminder of what the word “moderation” means. Not only does it track your booze intake and compare it with the standards of moderate drinking guidelines, it also reminds you—quite painfully—of how much money you’re spending on your booze, and how many calories you’re consuming.
Skiplagged bills itself as the airfare app so good its founder was sued by United Airlines. Essentially, Skiplagged takes advantage of things called “hidden city” fares. It’s a complicated process that utilizes a brilliant algorithm to find these flights, but essentially, the process is this:
Skiplagged tracks flights that are ordinarily cheaper because of they come with an annoying connecting flight. Only, rather than put you on the connecting flight, you literally just get off after the first leg of the journey. So, let’s say you wan to go to Chicago from New York.
A regular flight might cost you $450, but a flight to from New York to San Francisco—with a layover in Chicago—is only 390 bucks. Skiplagged finds that $390 bucks, and just books that, instead. The only caveats are that you can only book one-way tickets, and you can only bring carry-ons (that is, unless you want your luggage ending up in San Francisco instead of Chicago.)
There probably isn’t a single person on the planet who doesn’t resolve to travel more in the New Year. Unfortunately, so few of us actually take the leap and make it happen. Why? Aside from the fiscal weight (which is covered above), it’s also intimidating to the inexperienced traveler. Why spend hours or even days coming up with a half-baked itinerary when you have no idea what the hell you’re doing?
Well, don’t worry boyo, because now you have TripIt, a travel organizer that’ll take all your travel plans—hotel accommodations, flights, shows, tours, whatever—and create a master itinerary that you can access via email, smartphone or even import directly to your calendar. All you do is forward your confirmation emails to the designated email address, and TripIt does the tough work.
You spent the whole year running up bar tabs, ordering sneakers and spending all your money on shit you honestly just don’t need. You want to make sure that, this year, the money you have leftover from rent and bills goes into savings. Digit monitors your spending habits and transfers leftover cash to a secure bank account (insured by the FDIC!) that you can access at any moment. If you’re the kind of frivolous spender that simply doesn’t care about what’s good for you, DigIt does.
Learning how to responsibly invest is something we all dream about, but never really dedicate the time to doing. Aside from taking a lot of research and effort to learn, stock brokerage accounts typically take a decent chunk of change to get rolling—minimum balances, transfer fees, trade surcharges.
Robinhood makes investing free and easy for everyone at the click of a button. No costs to start an account, no minimum balances and no fees or surcharges. Just pick the stocks you want, and rock and roll. If you want the ultimate package, check out StockFlare—a free app that provides users with in-depth stock information to help make building a solid return portfolio easy.
Eat Out Less
Are you noticing a trend here? You’re spending too much money and you’re out of shape, and chances are, a lot of the reason for it is because you can’t stop eating fast food. We defer to sandwich shops and fast food joints because they’re quick and easy, but they completely ruin our bellies and our wallets. BigOven is a massive cookbook app that features more than 350,000 recipes, complete with photos, detailed instructions and everything you need to finally stop dumping your money into Big Macs and milkshakes.
More than that, it also features a grocery list feature. So, if you come across a recipe you want to try, you can add individual items to a shopping list to make sure you have everything you need to make your dream meal. You can also plan menus and share recipes with friends, if you’re feeling so inclined.
Learn A New Language
Chaque année, je me dis la même chose. Ce sera FINALEMENT l’année où j’apprendrai à parler français.
Nah, I’m just kidding everybody—I don’t know a word of French. I typed that shit into Google translate. But, if you want to spend part of your New Year finally learning that new language you’ve promised yourself for the last 10 years, Duolingo is an excellent (and free!) app that’ll give you everything to need to at least learn the basics. The games and lessons get increasingly more complex as you go through them, which makes learning another language about as comprehensive as it gets.
For more self-improvement, here are 10 of the best fitness apps currently available.
- Main Image: le21eme.com