You Will Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions With These 5 Apps

This time of year is famous for its flux of wild promises, optimistic dreams and well-meaning goals, which are spouted by just about every person on the street. We all strive to make a change, yet somehow time slips away from us, and we don’t always quite get around to doing what we know we should.

That’s where these five friendly apps come in. Easy to use, beautifully streamlined and impressively intuitive, these smartphone essentials might just be the extra encouragement you need to get started on making those self-imposed changes; whether you wish to get fit, be more mindful, cook more, or brush up on your time keeping. Of course, your own resolutions may be a little more unique, but with the development of keystone habits having a proven effect on making long-term changes, there’s no denying these apps will make a difference.

1. Cook with Zest.

Whether you’re hoping to learn the basics of cooking this year, want to start eating a cleaner diet, or are a novice cook looking for ways to organise and share your recipes, Zest is for you. This is an app that allows you to import endless recipes from numerous sites and will guide you through adding unfamiliar recipes to your collection. Using the photos and instructions, Zest will walk you through the cooking process whilst in the kitchen, and its built-in cooking timers will help to minimise the potential for mishaps.

Once have got your ingredients from your local supermarket and cooked a new dish, you can share your own photos with others to show how it turned out. You can also tag your recipes based on ingredients and meal types. Quantities and ingredients can also be edited as you tweak your recipes to produce better results.

At the moment, Zest is free whilst in the testing stage, but it’s likely that certain features will become premium at a later date.

2. Self-Reflect with One Sentence Diary

Many people make the claim that they will become more mindful in the next year of their life – more aware; more conscious. One of the sure ways to do this is by writing regularly, the benefits of which have long been praised by bloggers, authors and non-writers alike. This can be a daunting task though for those who are not natural writers, and people are often deterred by questions of how much they ought to write, and how often.OneSentenceDiary-screenshot

With One Sentence Diary, however, the habit of recording one’s thoughts or feelings need not be so intimidating. By offering a 300 character-limited textbox for each day of the week, users don’t have to worry about producing reams of writing. And as there’s no editing allowed after five minutes, this reduces the temptation to over-speculate one’s words.

3. Get Fit with Fitocracy

fitocracy-screenshotIf you feel that your workouts were getting a little dull before the New Year, or indeed need some motivation to start working out altogether, Fitocracy can help. By awarding points, setting ‘quests’, and allowing you to unlock achievements, this free app aims to make fitness more like a game than a chore. Log your workouts and track your progress, and if a little healthy competition is your kind of thing, you can challenge friends in the same vain as an RPG, whilst being part of a supportive Fitocracy online community.

With the friendly, positive tone of Fitocracy’s text commands, it’s also difficult not to feel encouraged when you accomplish a new exercise.

4. Spend Less with Home Budgethomebudget-screenshot

If you feel that your finances have been getting a little out of order lately, Home Budget is the ideal way to kickstart them into an organised state following the hectic festive season. With its bold, colourfully pleasing interface and clear icons that help differentiate you various budgets and accounts, you’ll have all of your regular expenses and outgoings right where you can see them. Once you’ve input all of your current account balances, along with your salary and monthly expenses, Home Budget will take care of the rest. It allows you to see just how much you have left over at the end of each month to spend on recreation, and generates graphs to display the peaks and troughs of your expenditure.

Normally free, Home Budget can also be synced with other devices for £2.99 so your partner or housemates can keep track of joint expenses too.

Tempocalendar-screenshot5. Be On Time with Tempo

Tempo Calendar helps to ensure you’ll never miss an important birthday or appointment again, by recording all of your important dates and commitments and reminding you well in advance of where you’re supposed to be, and where. A free app, it syncs nicely with your Google Calendar, iCal and Facebook events to keep all of your social life in one place, with its beautifully simplistic and minimal interface allowing for quick and easy readability.

Tempo is not just for everyday life, but can be used to organise anything during your year – lists, agendas, projects and general routines from day-to-day, week-to-week, or even a month-to-month basis.