If you’re struggling to stick to your New Year’s resolutions, perhaps you could do with a bit of help from technology. Among the most popular and effective smartphone and tablet apps are programs that can help to instil and encourage good habits – these can involve anything from doing regular exercise to eating more healthily or getting your finances in better shape.
We’ve tracked down four easy-to-use apps that can play a big part in helping you meet your goals for the new year.
How to keep your New Year resolutions
The fitness app: Daily Yoga (free; available for both Android and iOS devices)
The basic version of Daily Yoga costs nothing, but – as with many apps these days – you can pay extra to get an advert-free edition as well as for access to a greater number of exercise programmes.
At the basic level, however, Daily Yoga offers a wide range of yoga-related exercises with varying degrees of difficulty and strenuousness. There are illustrated step-by-step instructions for all the moves you need to carry out, and there are more than enough exercises to satisfy experts as well as beginners.
The different types of yoga
The healthy eating app: MyFitnessPal (free; iOS and Android)
Despite its name, this app mainly focuses on keeping track of what you eat: the idea is that, by logging everything you consume, you will have a better chance of identifying unhealthy eating habits and sticking to daily calorie limits.
MyFitnessPal will give you an idea of how many calories you should be consuming every day based on your age and height, and the cleverest part of the app is its database of thousands of foodstuffs, which means it is easy to keep an extremely accurate record. It is even possible to scan barcodes on food packaging in order to make a note of what you have eaten.
The app to help you stop smoking: NHS Smokefree (free; iOS and Android)
Smokefree is a four-week programme created by NHS professionals to help smokers quit their habit. The app has a number of strategies to help you stop: there are daily motivational messages, rewards for making progress – whether it is going for a number of days without smoking or simply cutting down – as well as a savings calculator to show how much better off you are financially as a result of giving up.
There is even a “craving button” which will try and distract you whenever you feel your resolve might be weakening.
10 less-known reasons to give up smoking
The money-management app: Money Dashboard (free; iOS and Android)
Money Dashboard is a neat solution to the problem of having a number of current and savings accounts spread among different banks and building societies: it brings all your accounts on to a single, secure platform, so you can see exactly what your financial status is at any given time. What the app also does is enable you to see how much you are spending on various items, for example household bills or grocery shopping, every month, making it much easier to spot potentially wasteful financial habits and stick to a budget.