The transition from 2020 to 2021 may be the greatest in recent memory, and there has never been a better time to put things in order. Things like your health, your habits and your goals. But that ̵
Keep track of responsibilities: Google Calendar
It’s hard to keep track of your goals and responsibilities, especially if you’re always chasing your pants. A good calendar or planner can help you straighten your time and give you the confidence to achieve short and long-term goals.
We love Google Calendar because it’s free, easy to use, and available on all platforms. It sends notifications to remind you of your plans and it integrates well with apps such as Gmail, Google Fit and Slack. It even works with smart home products: you can view and manage your calendar from a Google Nest Hub, or automate smart home events with Google Calendar and IFTTT.
If digital calendars aren’t your thing, consider buying a paper planner instead. They don’t cost much, they come in all shapes and sizes, and they can help you manage your time without getting overwhelmed.
Train and track your health: FitBit
There are tons of fitness bands on the market, but nothing beats the Fitbit. It’s the best health and fitness tool whether you’re hitting the gym, taking a leisurely walk, or taking a dip in the pool (every model of the Fitbit is swim-proof, minus the Fitbit Ace for kids). Most Fitbits can even track your heart rate, and the device’s sleep monitoring features can help improve your bedtime routine.
With Fitbit’s robust, ever-expanding app, that’s a no-brainer. Again, there are other options out there. Even the Apple Watch makes for a mean fitness tracker. But a good Fitbit, like the affordable Inspire 2 or the smartwatch-style Versa 3, has so many features and is incredibly easy to use. They are just what you need to hit those health and fitness goals.
Work out and monitor your health
Quit smoking: QuitNow!
Cigarettes are a difficult habit to quit. Withdrawals are hell, and the routine change that comes with quitting can take months (or sometimes years) to get used to. But smoking cessation apps can make things a little easier. In any case, they give you a sense of perspective. They count the number of days you became smoke-free and usually let you know how much money you have saved since you quit smoking.
If you’re trying to quit smoking in 2020, consider trying the QuitNow app. It’s much more elaborate than other smoking cessation apps, with its built-in performance, health gauges and optional “community” feature.
Editor’s Note: I smoked for fifteen years and quit ten years ago. I got the best quitting advice from my boss at the time. He told me that if you have a desire, you have two choices: you can smoke to make the desire go away, or you can wait about 60 seconds and the desire will go away. And he was right. More than anything, that got me through those tough desires. I hope it helps you too.
Food tracking: MyPlate
The new year is a good time to start eating healthy. But what does that mean, healthy eating? The answer is different for everyone and it can be difficult to figure out what your body needs.
That’s why the MyPlate app exists. It’s a nutrition app that plays the long game. When you first use MyPlate, you will be asked for basic information about your lifestyle (height, weight, activity, etc.) and some of your nutritional goals (lose or gain weight, get fit, stay hydrated, etc.).
Then some basic goals are set and you are asked to keep track of what you eat. You don’t have to read food labels or anything else. MyPlate has a database of nutritional information and you can even specify the amount of food you ate (for example, half a banana). Over time, the app gets better at suggesting a diet for your needs, giving you the opportunity to observe and learn how to eat well for your body. You can also integrate MyPlate with some other apps, such as Apple Health and Google Fit.
MyFitnessPal (iOS / Android) is also a great alternative to MyPlate. It’s more fitness-oriented, and it plays well with Fitbit, Samsung Health, Google Fit, Apple Health, and a variety of other fitness apps.
Shorten your screen time: SPACE
According to a market study by Nielsen, the average American spends about 4 hours every day on their smartphone. That is time you could spend on your hobbies, your family or your friends. And let’s face it, all this time hunched over a phone is probably awful for your attitude.
SPACE is the go-to app for cutting down your screen time and staying focused. It is built with a ton of features such as an activity tracker, phone unlock counter, notification blocker and daily target system. All these features are optional, of course, so you can customize SPACE to suit your needs.
If you’re an Android user, we’re also big fans of Google’s Digital Wellbeing activity tracker. It’s simple and effective – the kind of tool we love. It is very similar to SPACE in what it does; the main difference is that it integrates directly into Android. It should be available on all modern Pixel phones and others running Android 10.
Read more: audible and wireless earbuds
Reading is not always easy. It takes a lot of time and focus – two things that are scarce these days. So if you’re trying to become a bookworm in 2020, consider adding Audible to the mix. It is an affordable, reliable audiobook streaming service. While you may prefer to read from an old-fashioned book, Audible makes it easy to read while cleaning, cooking, exercising, driving, or lounging around.
Do you know what makes Audible even better? A good pair of earplugs-wireless earplugs that don’t all make you uncomfortable and distracted while listening to a classic novel or spicy autobiography. Even the cheapest wireless earbuds have a battery life of over 4 hours, and they’ll help you become an audiobook freak.
Achieve goals and build habits: Way of Life
Habit trackers are grossly undervalued. They encourage you to take real, organized action, and they can be great tools for building habits. Plus, habit trackers can be tailored to suit all of your New Year’s resolutions or even your life goals.
We like the Way of Life app because it keeps things simple. It’s not attached to some distracting mobile game or anything; it’s just a goal-oriented habit tracker with a built-in journal and statistics page. Since it’s an app, you don’t have to spend time writing a list every morning and can see how your habits have changed over time.
If the Way of Life habit tracker sounds a bit too complicated for your needs, consider using a simple to-do list app instead. We especially love Todoist (iOS / Android) and Google Keep (iOS / Android).