January. A time when just about everyone you know has set themselves a brand spanking new plan for 2020. Your social media feed is awash with #cleaneating; John from the pub reckons he can do Dry January, and you’re desperately trying to avoid an elderly relative who’s asked you to explain Tinder.
As the saying goes - the best laid plans of mice and men… well, they don’t often last beyond January 6th, do they?
So, for 2020, we’re allowing ourselves to get just a little bit geeky - as we round up our favourite goal-smashing apps. Guaranteed to keep you on track. Until February at the very least.
For breaking bad habits, or building new ones: Strides.
Strides is a multi-purpose habit tracker. Boasting a hugely user-friendly interface; it’s accessible and easy to use – no matter how app-savvy you might be.
Strides includes pre-set templates of common habits to track, so simply browse through the categories - and pick something you’d like to work on. Whether it’s drinking more water, aiming for a specific amount of sleep, preparing a homemade lunch, or even texting a friend for a catch-up; the app will allow you to create clear targets, build timeframes, and set reminders.
Once you’ve completed the task - you can check-in, and over time, it will build visual representations of your progress. If you need more specific goals, you can create your own, and we appreciated the focus on building positive habits – with suggestions including family time, stepping outside, or ringing your good old mum. Isn’t that nice?
For budgeting: Mint.
Mint has been around a while, and for good reason – it’s one of the most popular budgeting apps out there, and typically on-brand – it’s free. Link your bank, loan and credit card accounts, and this clever little app will suggest budgeting ideas; showing you the potential savings you could make – a classic carrot on a stick for days when you might need that extra bit of motivation. More recent additions include Mintsights – personalised, data-driven recommendations.
For meal-prep: Mealime.
Mealime is the recipe book of the millennial age. With just a few simple clicks, it will produce a personalised meal plan for the week (including a shopping list) - and allows you to choose how many meals you’d like to cook, and for how many people. Mealime will also tailor the menu; so those that are low-carb, vegetarian or even vegan are covered. For picky eaters, it allows you to remove the ingredients you (or your kids) will absolutely not touch; and for the Greta Thunbergs – Mealime includes plans with estimated zero food wastage. Best of all? Most recipes can be cooked and on the table in around 30 minutes.
For your mind: Smiling Mind.
If you didn’t hear about mindfulness in 2019 - you missed out. Sudden popularity is supported by the research; which shows mindfulness practice to be a powerful force against preventing, and alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety. Smiling Mind comes from an entirely not-for-profit group from Australia who is simply aiming to make mindfulness accessible to all. It’ll ask you a couple of questions, before producing a suggested programme of guided mindfulness exercises. From short SOS stress sessions to those focused on mindful eating – there’s plenty available to choose from, and from the ones we tried – they were surprisingly fuss-free, pragmatic, and easy to listen to – all with an Australian twang, of course.