I've seen a lot of gibberish out there talking about how making New Year's resolutions is so cliché.
What better time than when the earth begins a new orbit to look inward. It's a perfect moment to discover what we lack that would make us a better person. But let's not make resolutions in vain. Let's actually become more whole human beings.
The discovery will be different for everyone, but no dream of improvement — no matter how large or small — will be wasted. The beauty of 2017 is that there are so many technologies to help us achieve our thoughtful goals. All of us can get help to achieve some of the most common and worthwhile New Year's resolutions from our gadgets. It's more than likely that one of these three goals is on your list. Use these resources to make it easier to stick to it.
Staying fit and healthy is almost always the No. 1 goal people have for their new year. There are many apps out there that help you keep detailed lists of how much you exercise and the calories you consume. If you are a seriously fit person, it's likely you are already using one of these apps. But if you struggle to even put on your workout gear, this app below is for you. You may have heard the buzz over the past couple of years about short, high-intensity workouts. Well, the creator of that movement, Chris Jordan, C.S.C.S., is the man behind The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout(free iOS and Android). You can stick to the original seven-minute workout on the app, or choose a more advanced, longer or more intense workout. You can also personalize the experience by selecting which exercises you want to be included. The app learns your preferences to give you a workout perfect just for your fitness level. There are almost 1,000 workout combinations, so you'll never get bored and you may just get a six-pack.
Research from UC Davis shows that people who keep gratitude journals reap all sorts of goodness. They reported more energy, better sleep quality and faster progression toward their goals. The Gratitude Journal app (free iOS) asks for just five minutes each day to become more aware of the positive things in your life. In time, you will more naturally think about the good things in life, and not dwell on negativity. The app has prompts so you don't forget, stores what you write on the cloud and is private unless you choose to share on social media. One of my favorite non-techie gratitude ideas is A Year of Gratitude. The box comes with 52 thank-you notes and a gratitude journal. The idea is to document your thankfulness and then write one thank-you note each week. But there is no reason why this idea can't go hi-tech. As much as I am a champion for the handwritten thank-you note, some people will never pick up a pen. If that is you, then why not put a reminder in your phone to send a thank-you text to someone once a week instead? Keep your digital gratitude journal, and send digital thank-you texts. Not quite as good as a beautiful handwritten note, but it's better than nothing.
Many parents struggle to keep calm as they wrangle kids to get them out the door every morning. It is awful for your child to go to school with thoughts of you yelling at them to hurry as your last communication. I always hear the answer is simple: wake up earlier. But what if we turned the morning routine into a game? Happy Kids Timer (free iOS and Android) helps your children manage their time in the morning while encouraging some independence. The app has a list of chores the kids need to finish — making beds, brushing teeth — with timers attached. When the child is finished with the task, they push next and get rewarded. Parents can include rewards if they want and can possibly avoid nagging their kids to get dressed every five minutes. Let the app do it.
Best wishes as you begin this new year with hopes of becoming a better you. May more exercise, gratitude and patience be in your future and may technology help you achieve your goals.