The new year is well under way, and it’s the perfect time to revisit those 2015 resolutions you made just a few short weeks ago.
Whether you want to learn something new, organize your finances, or travel more this year, that initial process of setting goals and planning can leave you ready to tackle any challenges that come your way. But then, something changes. Maybe one day you skip a workout you had planned — it’s no big deal, you’ll pick it back up tomorrow, right? But then another day goes by… and another.
Feeling frustrated? Lost that initial excitement? That’s normal — and it’s not too late to get back on track. Fortunately, we live in an age where technology can help you monitor your goals, find a quick dose of inspiration, and connect with a community of like-minded people. And many of the best goal tracking apps are free to download, so there’s no excuse not to give them a try!
Here are five goal tracking apps we love, along with some helpful tips for how to keep your resolutions even when you’re struggling:
If you’re worried about being “that girl” or “that guy” on social media, consider this: experts agree that writing down your goals and sharing them publicly have a big impact on your success. A series of studies by UK psychology professor Richard Wiseman, for example, found that women in particular are 10% more likely to achieve their goals if they share them with their family and friends. If you’re struggling, consider finding a community of people who have set similar goals with the Coach.me app. Set your goal and connect with other users and coaches, or hire a one-on-one coach through the app. It’s a great way to hold yourself accountable and get added support.
Before embarking on a goal, arming yourself with the right resources is essential. Do your research beforehand, but also keep it handy for times when you find yourself floundering! If your goal is to learn guitar, for example, signing up for private lessons is a fantastic start — but you’ll also need chord and fretboard charts, tutorial videos and books, and so on.
Not interested in guitar? This idea is the same no matter what your goal is. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is losing weight, and part of that process is empowering yourself with knowledge about specific exercises to do and how to eat right. For the latter, we love Fooducate, which offers the pros, cons, and nutritional information for tons of different food products. Use this app to make informed decisions about what you’re eating, track your progress, and get daily tips to stay motivated.
If you’ve fallen off the wagon with your goal, don’t stress! Being hard on yourself only makes it that much easier to give up. Instead, stay flexible and learn to respond to setbacks in a healthy way. If your goal this year is to manage your money, Mint has been at the forefront of tracking apps for several years now. Once you’ve connected your bank statements and credit cards, Mint automatically displays everything you need to keep your finances in order, making it one of the best goal tracking apps available. But one of its best features is the tool for setting and adjusting specific budgets. Overspent on groceries this month? Don’t beat yourself up — simply adjust your budget for the month, and see what other areas you cut back.
If you set a lofty resolution like “lose weight” or “get healthy,” it’s normal to feel like you’re not even getting close. Instead, simplify your goal by dividing it into measurable steps and milestones. You might start, for example, with something as easy as a daily habit you want to add to your routine, like drinking a glass of water first thing every morning. Here’s where an app like Habit List comes in handy — enter in the habits you want to establish, and the app will help you stay focused with reminders, badges, and weekly and monthly reports on your success.
If intrinsic motivation isn’t doing it for you, it may be time to raise the stakes. Several apps and websites have cropped up in recent years that enforce financial consequences when members don’t reach their goals, and Stickk is one of our favorites. How does it work? Define your goal, and pledge however much money you’d like to put on the line. You can even add a “referee” (a friend or family member, for example) to hold you accountable. If you achieve your goal by the deadline you’ve set, you get your money back. If not, you forfeit your pledge to either your referee or a charity. When real consequences are at hand, you’ll feel much more motivated to succeed!
What other goal tracking apps do you use? Leave a comment below and let us know!