It may seem cynical, but we’re not telling you something you don’t already know: New Year’s resolutions can be hard to live up to. That’s not to say that they, like chugging Pedialyte and donning your sunglasses at brunch on New Year’s Day, don’t deserve a place in your January 1st regimen. Even if your New Year’s resolution becomes a mere shadow of its former self by mid-January, we still think it’s crucial to commit to at least one goal for the coming year. This sort of goal-setting states intention, and requires a bit of authentic self-reflection—which should do you a world of good no matter what time of year it is. Yes, diligently working out four days a week for 52 straight weeks is nice, but what’s more important is your focus on self-improvement. Good pep talk, everyone.
To kick off 2019 on solid footing, here are a few apps and tools to help keeping you on track. If at any point you decide that training for an ultramarathon isn’t as satisfying as you anticipated, we’ll be here for you…probably re-watching old Breaking Bad episodes instead of going to the gym. It’s the little things, you know?
To-do lists have long been considered one of the most valuable tools of successful people. Like New Year’s resolutions themselves, much of the magic lies in simply stating your intention, putting your goal out into the universe by writing it down (or telling someone else about it), even if that objective is as mundane as limiting yourself to one Jamba Juice smoothie a week (not that we relate to that or anything). For some, the classic pen-to-paper method goes a long way, but for the digitally-natured, Todoist has our glowing endorsement as the best modern list-maker out there. It tracks and counts the days you don’t mark the task as complete, guilting you potentially in perpetuity (or at least until you accomplish the task). It’s also incredibly organized, allowing you to sort your to-do list by more granular projects. Plus, it also limits you to an ongoing list of “only” 200 current tasks, which means that you’ll feel extra guilty when you’re so bad at accomplishing the goals that it literally cuts you off. Ambitious? Yes. A little too ambitious? Absolutely.
For those of us who don’t trust ourselves to accomplish our New Year’s goals, Coach.me introduces another variable to the equation: someone else. With Coach.me you are literally opting into an accountability system by connecting directly with a coach to help you achieve whatever it is you’re looking to do. Granted, your coach isn’t one of your friends, nor your therapist, so it’s hard to say how much they’ll actually care about whether or not you achieve your resolutions. However, at the very least, they’ll be able to provide another perspective on the steps to take to grow your career, to focus on self-awareness, or to use our earlier example, to consume less Jamba Juice. (That last one might be a bit below your coach’s expertise, but if you’re willing to pay the $15 monthly fee, we’re pretty sure they’ll have at least something constructive to say about your weird smoothie addiction.)
For those of us eager to get back into our <25-year-old bodies, running more may well be at the top of that resolution list. Some people claim the runner’s high is a thing, but so is The Walking Dead reruns high, and the second one requires a little less equipment and laundry detergent (most of the time). Unless, of course, you could combine the two. That’s right—Zombies, Run! is a fitness app that encourages running by helping you run away from something (kind of). The app incentivizes you to keep pace with a gripping story and series of missions, much like a video game. You’re relatively safe most of the time, but when it’s time to pick up the pace, digital zombies will start catching up to you to give you a slightly better reason to actually run. There’s still no word as to when Zombies, Run! Is going to integrate real zombies, but technology is moving at an alarming rate, so here’s hoping...