Another year, another set of resolutions to make. New Year’s Resolutions are a popular way for people to convince themselves that the arrival of a particular day suddenly means they’ll have the motivation to make some long-awaited lifestyle change. But we all know that, at the end of the day, these resolutions are just a fad made up by hungry corporations looking to exploit participants of capitalism (but we’ll save that for another post). But that doesn’t mean we should just stop trying to do things that are good for us.
In the spirit of self-improvement, here are a few of our personal favorite apps and websites that might help you beat out the ever so predictable marketing schemes and actually maintain a New Year’s Resolution for once.
“I make the same resolution every year because it’s the only one I’ve ever fulfilled: go to more shows than last year. Concert Archives is a great way to keep track of all the shows you go to. You enter information about each show, and it creates a database for you to look through. If you’re unsure of any info, you can also search for shows through a connection with Songkick. Once you have shows in your archive, the website will keep track of which artists you’ve seen the most, which venue you go to most often, and more. There’s also options for multi-day events, which works well for festivals. One of my favorite features is that Concert Archives connects to Setlist .fm, so if you enter a show that’s in their database, Concert Archives will pull the setlist for you. There are still a couple of bugs in the site, but the creator, Justin Thiele, consistently looks for feedback and is always working on new features. Overall, Concert Archives was super helpful in keeping track of all the shows I went to this year (an even 20, beating last year’s 13). Hopefully an app version will be in the works soon!” –Samlin
“I actually never set a New Years Resolution, but towards the end of the semester, I noticed how much of a mess my life has become between running around for productions (all of which were in pre-production, production, and post-production at the same time thanks to my course load and outside-of-school production team), that I needed a way to organize and manage information in a better way. And that’s where Evernote comes in. It syncs between my computer and my phone to keep my notes wherever I need them. I can start a note on my computer, start writing an essay, and then finish my essay on my phone and print it. I can throw files in there and take PDFs on the go to read on the go. I can manage budgets by making charts and checklists–with hyperlinks!” –Melissa
“Habitica is great. You make your own goals and daily achievements and get points for checking off the dailies you set for your self. For example one of my daily goals is to meet the walking goal set by my fitness band. When I meet the goal I check it off and get points. There are also habits that you can mark as a positive or negative interaction for each time you do it. So for example a habit could be take the stairs/elevator. If you take the stairs you mark it as positive, if you take the elevator you would mark it as negative. These things all earn experience points and it’s a mini rpg game so your experience points will level you up and you can earn coins to buy your character armor and stuff.” –Claire
“I am an extremely busy, tremendously ambitious person, and with that desire to constantly be doing something productive often comes a habit to disregard my own stress levels and mental wellbeing. It’s important for everyone, especially those living with anxiety, to be able to take a break every now and again and catalogue how you’re feeling and assess how you can cope in a healthy way to battle negative thoughts. The handy app Pacifica is a little tool-belt that contains a mood tracker, guided relaxation, meditation, and breathing techniques to help you calm down, and a health tracker that logs, among other things, exercise, food intake, and, my major vice, caffeine intake. It aids in figuring out trends in the ebbs and flows in your mood and stress levels so you can manage your exposure to anxiety-inducing situations and deal with the method in which you approach things that may cause your nerves to flare up. When people discuss “getting healthy” as their resolution, they often mean exercising and eating clean, which, while important, often disregards the well being of parts above the shoulders. Mental health is extremely important and it’s so, so crucial that we take the time out of our lives, no matter how busy, to take care of ourselves.” –Alanna
“Personally, I think everyone’s resolution should be to be informed on key issues for the 2016 presidential election, and this app can definitely help. So many current issues directly impact younger generations who don’t necessarily watch the news or read a newspaper every morning, but the Breaking News app delivers all the necessary information of these sources in a convenient way that you can take on the go. It streamlines all major news outlets into one feed, and can send you push notifications for breaking and developing stories. You can also connect it to your social media accounts so you can easily share interesting and important stories. Although it was created by NBC, the app collects headlines from all different news sources, too, so your overly political relatives can’t claim you’re getting your news from biased sources quite as easily.” –Tori