How are you going with your New Year’s resolutions? Personally I didn’t make any as I think 2013 is my “work-in-progress” year and lots of positive changes will happen as a result. However, if you did make some resolutions I bet they fell in the following few categories
1. Eat better/lose weight/exercise more
2. Sleep more
3. Better work/life balance or less stress
4. Drink less
Some of these things are hard to measure and it means they are hard to stick to. So this is when your trusty phone comes to the rescue! I am somewhat of a smart phone addict. I may or may not have had a bit of breakdown when I lost my phone while driving across the Nullabor. So, I reckon why not use your phone to help you? (I’m a bit of an Apple head so the following recommendations are from the Apple App Store, but I’m sure a you can get similar things for Android and Microsoft phones or tablets.)
1. Eat Better/lose weight/exercise more
I have 3 awesome apps for this. At the beginning of last year I lost 7.5 kilos (6.5 of which I have kept off!). The Apps that helped me most with this were My Fitness Pal, Monitor Your Weight and Nike Training Club.
My Fitness Pal lets you set a calorie goal per day. Then you add everything you ate for the day to see how you are tracking. It has a huge database of foods from Australia, you can scan barcodes to add food and you can create common meals to make tracking food easier. This thing is fantastic. It takes a little bit of work to set up but then it is really easy to use.
Obviously losing weight also means ramping up your exercise regime. The Nike Training Club app is like having a Personal Trainer in your pocket. There are 15, 30 and 45 minute training sessions that target the whole body at different levels of fitness. You can even play your own music while you train and you get points and extra downloads the more often you do it. When I lived in Sydney I had about a metre to work out in and I could still do this. And it’s free. There are no excuses!
With all this hard work you want to track your results, right? I really like Monitor Your Weight. It is really easy to use, looks like your scales at home and has some fabulous graphs to keep you motivated.
2. Sleep More
If sleeping is a problem then definitely try Sleep Cycle. It uses the accelerometer in the phone to track your movements during sleep to see how restful it is. It wakes you up gently within 30 minutes of when you need to be awake. You can track your morning moods, whether you ate late, drank alcohol, worked out, drank coffee, had a stressful day – this will help you understand what helps or hinders your sleep. I already know that I sleep much better when I have exercised. You can also use a sleep aid function that plays a soothing sound to help you fall asleep.
4. Better Work/Life Balance or less stress
Juice is a cute little app which tracks your energy levels, sleep, exercise, nutrition, mood, balance and stress. It takes about 2 minutes each day and will even give you tips to help you improve these aspects of your life. You can add notes that will get saved and you receive weekly reports. It’s bright and fun which for me already reduces my stress levels!
4. Drink Less
I don’t know any apps that will do this. But join FebFast! It’s a great way to give it up for a month and cut down for a while after that.
I probably wouldn’t recommending adding all of these now and trying to do them all at once. That’s going to make you more stressed and there is no point in that. Decide what is most important to you and try that one first. Remember that these will take a while until they are a habit for you. Try one for 2 weeks. If it’s not motivating you or improving your life then try something else. Or not…