Posted 20th January 2015 | By Philippa Gosling, Account Coordinator

This week marks the average cut-off point when most of us fail on our new year’s resolutions – Friday 24th Jan has been dubbed “Fail Friday”, as our collective will-power is broken and we slip back into old habits. Unsurprisingly this has sparked a trend for useful apps all designed to help us keep on track. Here I look at some of the top apps to help us with our most commonly broken resolutions…

Exercise more: MyFitnessPal (iOS and Android, free)

MyFitnessPal-app

So many of us start the New Year with renewed enthusiasm for our fitness regimes, but that can quickly dwindle. MyFitnessPal is extremely popular to help keep track of progress as this user-friendly app combines several fitness apps in one. You can input your food to get a breakdown of nutrition and calories, and log a plethora of activities to track calories burned. Users can set weight loss goals and monitor their progress, even making it public if they’re feeling especially proud. It’s a great all-round tool to keep motivation up and goals on track.

Quit Smoking: Smoke Free (iOS and Android, free)

 Smoke-Free-app

Quitting smoking is a hugely popular New Year’s resolution, but one that’s proven to be especially hard if you don’t get any help. Smoke Free comes with all the expected information, helpful techniques and support, but also visually tracks your journey, helping to encourage smoking cessation. Each day users are encouraged to complete a super quick diary entry that can then be used to help others stop – so you’re contributing to the success of future quitters as well as your own.

Get Out of Debt and Save Money: Money dashboard (iOS and Android, free)

 money-dashboard-app

Money Dashboard is designed for those who want to manage their finances, save money or get out of debt. It tracks your spending across all of your accounts and displays the info in colourful charts and graphics, which makes the whole idea of tackling your finances less daunting. The tagging system lets you see exactly where your money is going on a daily, weekly or monthly basis; all this is designed to encouraging you to make better decisions on how to spend.

Be Less Stressed: Headspace (iOS and Android, free)

headspace-app

For those who found 2014 just too much, and want to make 2015 a calmer, less stressful year, Headspace is the app for you. The simple exercises on meditation and mindfulness ease you into a more relaxed way of life, and the app boasts proven techniques to train your mind for a healthier, happier and more enjoyable life.

Drink Less: Drink Control (iOS and Android, free)

drink-control-app

After the excess of Christmas and New Year parties, it’s not surprising that drinking less is high up on the agenda for many. Drink control helps you cut back on the booze by tracking and converting your alcohol intake into standard units, and lets you know when you are going over the limits. Scarily, it also tracks how much you’ve spent on drinks, and also your alcoholic calories, giving two more reasons to think twice before ordering that extra pint or pinot grigio. All in all it encourages you to stay within ‘healthy’ drinking guidelines – meaning you don’t have to give up your favourite tipple altogether!

Change Careers: Jobsite Jobs (iOS and Android, free)

jobsite-jobs-app

New Years is often when people start thinking about completely fresh starts, and often with that, comes a new job. Jobsite Jobs, for those who fancy a change in career, is designed to take the ‘work’ out of job-hunting by allowing you to apply for jobs directly through the app, and setting motivational reminders. Like popular dating app Tinder, just a single swipe is all it takes to reject vacancies you don’t like the look of, or save the ones you do fancy.

Hopefully you’ll find at least one of these apps useful and will inspire you to stick to your guns and make it through the year without breaking your resolutions. And if all this screen time is getting you down, to end with I’ve come across an app for those who want to spend less time on their phone!

Less Screen Time: ( OFFTIME ) (Android, free)

 offtime-app

If you’re constantly checking your phone, can’t keep off social media and addicted to your emails, and you want a break from it all then ( OFFTIME ) is the app for you. This is the first app I’ve come across that actively encourages you to use your phone less, which it does by restricting certain apps the user has selected, without fully disabling them. Users can select certain contacts for the app to send an automatic response to, and all the while the app keeps a log of everything you’ve missed during your scheduled break away. Of course you can quickly disable ( OFFTIME ) whenever you’re in dire need to check your Facebook feed…

Written by Philippa Graham, Lead Online Editor at ExtraMile Communications.

At ExtraMile we try to take an hour out each week to look around us at what others do and to gain inspiration and to admire people's creativity. Each post in this series is one staff member's take on the world of web, design and things online. We hope you enjoy it.

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