People often look at the new year as a chance to improve themselves, make smarter choices and put their life on a better course. But most New Year's resolutions fail fast -- 80 percent are abandoned by the second week of February.
While the jury is out on how long it truly takes to form a habit, New Year's remains the time when many people have the will to make changes in their lives.
We've rounded up some apps that can help you on your journey to accomplish your most important goals in the new year. We've broken them up into categories, based on the most common items people put on their New Year's resolution lists.
Eat healthier and exercise
Changing eating habits and making time to work out is perennially at the top of the list for a lot of New Year's resolutions -- especially after holiday indulgences. Here's a few apps that can help you stay positive, lose weight in a safe way and get in shape. These apps are all free to download with optional premium upgrades. Knowing that you're paying for an app might make you more motivated to use it.
- MyFitnessPal (download for iOS or Android): This app is a great way to make healthier food choices, exercise and, most important, not feel bad about yourself. Instead of just counting your calorie intake, MyFitnessPal goes deeper and teaches you about nutrition and macronutrients, breaking it all down into an easy-to-understand pie chart. Another popular alternative is Lose It! (download for iOS or Android).
- Blogilates (download for iOS or Android): YouTube fitness star Cassey Ho designed this app to make getting healthy as easy as possible. The app includes recipes for clean eating, monthly workout calendars and dozens of videos. Ho, who leads all the workouts, is encouraging, upbeat and always honest about her own struggles with body image and confidence.
- Fitbit (download for iOS or Android): The Fitbit tracker/watch and app combination might be more of a commitment than other apps. The app can pair with other fitness apps for more in-depth tracking of steps, exercise and sleeping patterns. Plus you can log your food in the app to quickly view meal history. Of course, the popular alternative is the Apple Watch, but only for iPhone ($1,000 at Amazon Marketplace) users.
- Acorns (download for iOS or Android) is one of the most popular budgeting apps. It encourages you to save by rounding up all your purchases to the nearest dollar and investing the spare change for you. It offers its own debit card, and security in the form of 256-bit encryption. Take it to the next level by investing in small portfolios.
- Prism (download for iOS or Android) helps you keep track of your bills so you don't incur late fees and damage your credit. The app reminds you when your bills are due and gives you a comprehensive view of all your accounts, income, balances and monthly expenses. Another alternative is Mint (download for iOS or Android).
- PocketGuard (download for iOS or Android) connects all your financial accounts and calculates your budget based on your current spending habits. You can set daily, weekly or monthly spending goals -- and figure out where you can cut corners and lower your bills.
Read more books
If you're like me, you love to read, but there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get through more than a chapter. If you're really like me, you buy tons of books and struggle to read them all. If you want to incorporate more books into 2019, check out these apps:
- Goodreads (download for iOS or Android) connects you to a community of readers who share their favorite books. The app has a scanner that logs books for you on the go. You can organize books into "want to read" or "have read" categories. If you find the app overwhelming, you might try To Read (download for iOS).
- Audible (download for iOS or Android) works across platforms and gives you access to a plethora of audiobooks. The app has a timer if you like to fall asleep reading and you can also set the reading speed. After the 30-day free trial, the subscription is $15 a month for one book credit a month or $23 for two book credits per month. If that's not in your budget, check out Overdrive (download for iOS or Android),which syncs with your library.
- Litsy (download for iOS or Android) creates a book community where you can share photos of the books you're reading and discover what to read next. You can also follow your favorite publishers and keep up with the latest news. Litsy keeps track of how many books you've read and breaks it down into pages for extra bragging rights.
Get a new job
Whether you're looking for a fresh start at a new job or wanting to take your career to the next level, job hunting can be scary and challenging. Check out these apps to shoulder some of the burden:
- LinkedIn (download for iOS or Android) helps you find jobs, research companies and network with other people in your field. Apply for jobs in the app, message companies to follow up, create a professional profile and browse the latest listing and news about the job market. LinkedIn also has an app that's specific to job searches (download for iOS or Android).
- Monster Job Search (download for iOS or Android) is an easy-to-use Tinder-style app that lets you swipe jobs. You can filter by post date, salary and jobs near you. The messaging feature lets you keep track of your conversations with potential employers. And if you don't have a resume to import, you can create one in the app.
- ZipRecruiter (download for iOS or Android) lets you search and apply for your perfect job from anywhere. You can save to apply for them later. The app learns what type of employment you're searching for and notifies you when you might match with something.
Take up a new hobby
Developing a hobby makes you feel like you're using your time constructively, instead of just watching TV or scrolling through social media. While there are countless hobbies you could take up, here's a few apps to help you get started:
- Duolingo (download for iOS or Android) is a fun and effective way to learn a new language. The app offers more than 20 languages and is constantly adding more. All the lessons -- which cover varying levels of conversation, vocabulary and grammar -- are completely free. You can work toward comprehension by reading, writing, listening and speaking. It's also a very well-designed app that is fast, fun and simple to use. It's completely free to you because it sells translation services to big companies.
- Innit (download for iOS or Android) is a recipe and cooking app. It's ideal for meal planning, shaking up your dinner menu, eating more healthily or trying to cook more. Innit has quick meal information on the screen, easy to understand directions with step-by-step videos, syncs to your and makes shopping for ingredients easy with the shopping list feature.
- Smartplant (download for iOS or Android) is the perfect app to get you in touch with your green thumb. The app makes it easy to understand how to take care of your plants at any time of year. You can identify plants and harmful pests just by taking a picture. The display is easy to understand, whether you want a sprawling garden or just to keep your little succulent alive.
Follow Download.com on Twitter for all the latest app news.
- How to make a to-do list with Google Home
- Netflix makes the case for a stay-at-home New Year's Eve
- 9 best food tracking apps (Download.com)
- Best apps for book lovers on Android and iOS (Download.com)
- The best money-saving apps to keep you within your budget in 2018 (Download.com)
- The best job search apps for iOS and Android to help you get hired (Download.com)
- 5 technologies you'll get sick of hearing about in 2019 (ZDNet)
- What will the next year bring for developers? (TechRepublic)