Let's be real - For a lot of things in life, we turn to technology. The big things, like looking for a new house or searching for a new job? You turn to tech. Friday night take away - You turn to tech. And now January is here and we're making potentially life-changing new years resolutions, so why wouldn't we turn to technology to help keep them?
It's great to start the year well and really try hard to keep our resolutions, but as the time passes it's easy to slip back into old habits, which is why these little digital delights are here to help us stay on track. A whopping 80% of new years resolutions aren't kept according to U.S. News and World Report, with the majority of people having abandoned their self-improvement plans by February. So let's make 2018 different!
What are some of the most common reasons that people fail to follow through on their new years resolutions? - Forgetting them - Too 'busy' - Setting an unachieveable goal - Losing motivation
So if you mean business about making those life transitions easier, here are some of the most common New Year's resolutions for business owners and the innovative tech that can help you achieve them
Improve attitude and increase motivation
Perhaps the standard resolutions people tend to make at the beginning of a new year are those that focus on minimizing stress and boosting their motivation. As it's such an important theme of self-improvement, there is naturally an abundance of health tech out there that's all focused on improving mental health.
Happify: Let's get 'appy! Happy employees are up to 12% more production (University of Warwick) so being happy and encouraging your employees to increase their happiness could be very beneficial for your business.
The aim of the Happify app is to help people to become more resilient, more grateful, and better equipped to overcome stress and negativity. According to Happify, and based on user happiness scores from before and after using the app, "86 percent of frequent users get happier in 2 months."
This app is science-based app and starts by assessing users and giving them a "happiness score." The information the app gathers is then used to design and create a tailored program which intends to boost happiness through games, tools, information and coaching. It will help you to gain perspective and focus on the positive, and aims to boost happiness long term.
The Mindfulness App: You don't have to be a meditation pro to start being mindful, and with that in mind, this app could be the perfect introduction. Begin with a five-day guided intro to meditation and dozens of guided and silent meditation sessions. With times ranging from three minutes to 30 minutes, there's no excuse for not fitting in one of these during your day. The Mindfulness App isn't just an excellent fit for those new to the world of mindfulness and meditation, but also for veteran meditators who want to guide their focus a little bit. Not only does it help you meditate when the moment is right, but you can set up mindfulness reminders and receive affirmations when you might need them most.
This is probably one of the biggest new years resolutions there is, and certainly something you would be conscious of as a small business owner. It's probably no surprise that saving money is a popular New Year's resolution. The new year is the ideal time to get serious about saving and thus there's a lot of resources out there to help.
YNAB: Now you might think that shelling out cash on an app to help you save money sounds like a bit of a contradiction but with an average user saving of $600 by their second month, it might well be money well spent. YNAB - You Need A Budget - is a popular online money-saving program and teaches you how to stop living month to month, pay to pay, but to also budget in saving some money for the future. It's not only a tool you can use for tracking your spending, but it's great because it also provides an educational program that teaches you how to budget, how to prioritise spending and saving, and how to cut expenses you don't really need. You get the first month free with YNAB and then it's $6.99 a month thereafter.
Mint: Mint is a a great tracking tool which connects to all your financial institutions to make it easier to watch all your finances in one centralised location. You can see where you spend your money and are given helpful visual charts which break down your spending. Not only that but it can also track and pay bills – you can even set alerts and reminders for bill-paying. In addition to this, you can also monitor other areas of your finanaces such as checking your credit score and get tips for improving it, and set savings goals yourself.
Healthy employees are productive employees so it's lucky for business owners that one of the top new years resolutions is to get healthier. This ranges from losing weight, becoming more active, getting more rest and sleeping more and eating a healthier diet. For those who already consider them healthy, new year goals might also include more specific fitness goals such as running a marathon or decreasing one's body fat percentage by a specific amount. Whichever group you fall into, these techy treats will help get your moving.
MyFitnessPal: This one is great for both the healthy-already and the must-get-healthier. Essentially a calorie counter, this is one of the most popular ones around. MyFitnessPal is easy to use; throughout the day you can log the food you eat. The app has a huge library of foods for you to use as well as the ability to scan barcodes and also create your own customised recipes that you cook at home. For the healthy-already there is also the nutrition factor - MyFitnessPal can also calculate your daily vitamin or nutrient intake.
Fitness Blender: This free website is bound to get you off the sofa and trying a whole range of new physical activities. The site has thousands of fitness videos that can be easily sorted by what you want to focus on: body, duration, difficulty, equipment and much more. As with a lot of these kind of sites, there's also an online Fitness Blender community, so you can connect with others similar to yourself and post about your goals, ask questions, and share tips.
Fitbit: This is the gold standard of wearable fitness bands. There is a lovely range of varied designs and sizes in terms of the band itself, and the Fitbit app is excellent. Through the app, you can track physical activity and calories burned, log weight, log food, and even view trends over time, including sleep trends. Not only that but you can buddy up! There's no motivation like having someone in it there with you, and with this you can team up with a friend who has a Fitbit too and can engage in physical challenges with them. And even if you don't have anyone that you can buddy up with, there are plenty of new fitness friends to be made in the Fitbit forum; a great community to keep you motivated.
Maybe not such an obvious one as the aforementioned resolutions, but still a popular one nonetheless. After all the meditation, healthy eating and physical activity, there's nothing quite like settling down with a good book for a bit of true down time. The following 3 tech tools will help you get that first page turned.
Kindle: If you don't have a Kindle already, then you might want to consider getting one. Whilst there's something to be said for an actual physical book, with everyone being more on the go nowadays than ever there's really no easier way to download library books, buy books and stay on top of all your favorite publications in one convenient (and lightweight) place. Great to keep in your bag.
Audible: More and more people commute a long way into work nowadays, and if you're driving then reading is obviously not an option! Enter, Audible. It's a brilliant app for discovering and listening to audiobooks, whether you have a long driving commute, or maybe just prefer to consume your books auditorily. For 30 days you can give Audible a try for free, with subscriptions starting after that at just £7.99 a month.
GoodReads: A social network for book lovers! For people who are wanting to get more into reading, this is a great place to start as you can discover books you might like, review books you've read and follow friends (and celebs) to see their book recommendations. Brilliant for New Year's resolution readers!
So there's a little selection to get you started! Whatever you new years resolution is for 2018, we wish you good luck with sticking to it - our biggest reccommendation would be to reach out and find a little techy something that can help you achieve your goal!