Life & Lifestyle

Digital Resources Help Your New Year’s Resolutions Get Off to a Better Start

Lose weight. Eat better. Exercise more. Read more. Binge less (movies or ice cream!). Connect more often. I hear more and more good intentions from friends and family for garnering new routines or banishing harmful vices at the start of the new year. The tradition of making resolutions to improve our lives is a practice still held by many, especially those grounded in family traditions where mom and dad used New Year’s Day as a launch date for finally getting around to doing something. Embracing technology can assist and even empower folks to set realistic resolutions and track and accomplish them successfully.

Track Apps

  • Strides— is an app that tracks your progress on goals using streaks to motivate you.
  • Joe’s Goals— is an old-school webpage where you enter your goals, track them, and monitor your daily “score.”
  • Habitica— allows you to “gamify your life.” You select a little avatar that grows and gets rewards when you complete real-life tasks. When you do not meet them, you get a punishment. You earn in-game currency that you can redeem for rewards.
  • Way of Life app is a nicely designed, intuitive habit tracker.

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Health and Wellness Resolutions

Fitness apps tailored to different fitness levels and preferences can provide personalized workout routines. Wearable devices such as smartwatches can track physical activity, heart rate, and sleep patterns, offering valuable insights into one’s overall health. These tools motivate individuals to stay active and foster a sense of achievement as they witness their progress.

Nutrition tracking apps assist in monitoring daily food intake, suggest healthier alternatives, and promote a balanced diet. Smart kitchen appliances with features like recipe suggestions and nutritional information can make the cooking process more accessible and enjoyable.

  • Cronometer tracks nutrition, not just calories.
  • Pedometer++/Google Fit or Step Tracker will help you walk your way to a new you.
  • Water Minder tracks your hydration levels.
  • Seven includes over 200 seven-minute daily workouts.
  • MyFitnessPal provides nutrition information, intermittent fasting tracking, meal planning, and a food diary. 
  • MyNetDiary is an excellent free app for eating management, as are the regular features of Nutrition Coach.

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Learning and Personal Growth

Individuals can use online platforms to pursue lifelong learning goals. Virtual courses, webinars, and educational apps let folks explore new subjects, acquire new skills, or delve deeper into existing interests. E-books and audiobooks make reading more accessible, catering to various learning preferences and schedules.

Boost your reading record with Book Tracker.

  • The Google Arts & Culture app will increase your fine arts knowledge and experiences.
  • Coursera, Harvard, Stanford, Kahn Academy, OpenLearn, and Alison offer free online courses.

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Social Connection and Emotional Well-being

Maintaining and nurturing relationships is another common resolution, and investing time in social media platforms allows individuals to connect, share experiences, and stay updated on others’ lives. Video calling applications bridge geographical gaps, enabling face-to-face conversations and fostering a sense of closeness even when physically apart.

Mental health is equally essential; meditation and mindfulness apps can guide individuals through relaxation techniques and stress management exercises. These tools contribute to emotional well-being by promoting self-awareness and providing tools to navigate life’s challenges.

  • Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube are the most popular platforms among older adults.
  • Daylio tracks your moods and introduces you to quick journaling.
  • Insight Timer, Mindfulness Coach, and UCLA Mindful apps are free, as is the Meditation Minis Podcast, whose archive has a variety of timed and themed meditations.

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Financial Stability and Planning

Budgeting apps help track expenses, set financial goals, and provide insights into spending habits. Investment platforms, equipped with user-friendly interfaces, make exploring investment opportunities and planning for retirement easier. Additionally, online banking and financial management tools provide secure and convenient monitoring of accounts and transactions.

  • Intuit Mint is free, and NerdWallet has several free features. 
  • PocketGuard and Goodbudget have limited free access, while YNAB, EveryDollar, and other financial management apps charge monthly fees.  
  • AARP has a free online budget builder.
  • Online brokers like Charles Schwab, J.P. Morgan, and Fidelity offer investing tools worth exploring.

Whether the goal is to improve health or embark on a learning journey, technology offers a wealth of resources and support for your New Year’s resolutions.


Broc Sears

Broc Sears is an assistant professor of professional practice at TCU’s Bob Schieffer College of Communication and also works with the Texas Center for Community Journalism. He has more than three decades of experience in the news, advertising and marketing industries and earned recognition from the Society for News Design, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, APME of Texas and the Dallas Press Club. He and his wife enjoy the best days of their lives here in Dallas with their family.

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