Enlist technology to help conquer your resolutions

New Year’s resolutions come in all shapes and sizes. Millions make them each year and many will break them before the year is done. Using technology to achieve New Year’s resolutions is an excellent way to keep on track and stay focused. While many apps exist to help with everything from staying organized to losing weight, the following seven are the best of the best currently on the market for 2014.

Lose it!

Like many other diet assistants on the market, this app is available for iOS, Android and most computer browsers and is the complete package for a New Year’s dieting resolution. The program comes complete with a calorie tracker, barcode scanner to check pre-made foods while shopping and more of the standard dieting tools you would expect. But the app also comes with a customizable goal setting and challenge area for a more personalized experience. In addition, the dieter will find links to online support groups, blogs and tons of secondary links including information on local restaurants. The standard program is free on Google Play.

Fooducate

This app is perfect for those not necessarily planning to diet for the New Year but wanting to just eat healthier. The app is based off guidelines developed by nutritionists and dietitians and takes into account the nutritional density of daily foods. Simply scan a bar code while shopping and the app will produce a score from the letter A down to a D to assist shoppers in making better eating decisions. This program is free on Google Play for iOS and Android.

QuitSTART

The resolution to quit smoking is not one of the most common made but also one of the most difficult to stick to, so the Tobacco Control Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute came up with a free app for iOS and Android to help individuals stay on track to a smoke-free life. The app will assist in tracking cravings and moods to help develop a plan of action for quitting as well as determine “triggers” that entice a smoker to light up. It will also monitor small goals and milestones along the way.

Breathe2Relax

Stress during the school year can become overwhelming if not kept in check. This app helps combat stress, anxiety and frustration with the most basic technique – breathing control. Using diaphragmatic techniques it can assist in decreasing the body’s stress responses, stabilize moods and help control even anger and anxiety. An excellent addition to the app collection during midterms and exams it is available on Google Play for iOS and Android.

StrictWorkflow

Much of the studying and research done by students these days is on the computer and the distractions are endless. For those who find themselves sneaking a peek at Facebook when they are supposed to be researching for a paper, this app is an excellent way to keep focused. It works in 30-minute intervals, blocking access to all popular sites for 25 minutes and rewarding discipline with a 5-minute break. This is a great assistant for those who have resolved to use study time more wisely in the New Year. It is available for iOS and Android but is recommended for any web browser such as Google Chrome and Firefox.

And the funniest app for 2014…

The winner of this category, hands down, is a new app for iOS and Android entitled RUNPEE, and its title gives a hilarious hint to its usage. When watching a movie in the theater and you feel nature call but don’t want to leave your seat and miss the best part, this little app analyzes the movie you’re watching and actually tells you the best times to get up and head to the bathroom. While going to the bathroom more regularly isn’t your average New Year’s resolution, it could come in handy when summer blockbuster season hits.


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