How tech can help you keep your New Year’s Resolutions

We’ve all heard the old phrase “New Year, New Me.” While this philosophy still applies this year, 2020 marks a fantastic opportunity to start creating some great life habits that will bring lasting benefits for the rest of the decade—and beyond.

With that being said, below are some common New Year’s resolutions, as well as suggestions on technologies that can help you follow through and stay on top of them!

Stop smoking or drinking – through the power of the App Store!
Quit That! – Habit Tracker is a habit-tracking smartphone application following the “don’t break the chain” philosophy, which allows users to break bad habits by seeing a continuous log of progress in a certain area. Whether you’re trying to give up—or reduce— your nicotine, alcohol, or caffeine intake, this app can help you go a long way in correcting bad habits.

The app is extremely simple to use. First, it asks the user what they’re trying to quit. This could be practically anything, or a combination of several things. Then the app asks how much money that product costs. From there, the user simply logs their intake, and the app shows detailed counters for how long they’ve gone and how much money you’ve saved.

Being a healthier, more productive YOU – Your own life assistant
Strides is the grand prize of the New Year’s resolution seeker. While it’s another habit tracking application, this app does so much more.

Strides helps users get organized, build routines, and stay motivated toward goals with four main tracker types:

1. The Habit Tracker allows users to track both good and bad habits by keeping a log of how many times they did, or did not, do to something over a chosen period of time.

2. The Target Tracker helps users meet all types of daily, weekly, or monthly goals. For example, if someone wanted to walk at least 10,000 steps per day, they could actually type in that specific number. The built-in Pace Line feature assists users in meeting these goals.

3. The Average Tracker is something relatively unique to Strides. It allows users to see rolling averages for an infinite number of habits—including amount of sleep, visits to the gym, and money spent on drinks—to name a few. This is also a useful feature for tracking things you may not necessarily have specific goals for… Yet.

4. The Project Tracker allows users to set simple milestones, organize them in to categories, and pursue them with information like pace and dates for the project.

Strides is an incredibly user-friendly and customizable app, and the added Apple Watch compatibility ensures incredibly accurate tracking for health goals.

Losing weight – Use a Smart Scale to stay on track
To stay on track with fitness goals, you should weigh yourself every day. A smart bathroom scale can connect to your phone and assist you with various goals you’ve already set in fitness apps. Smart scales can improve results from these apps through increased accuracy and convenience. The Wirecutter recommends.

Being safer every day – Turn on Do Not Disturb when driving
Checking your phone while driving is a habit that’s dangerous to others, as well as yourself.

If you have this problem and you have an iPhone, go to Settings > Do Not Disturb and scroll down to “DO NOT DISTURB WHILE DRIVING” and then choose “Automatically.” That means that whenever you’re driving and you try to look at your phone, you will see a warning that says, “It looks like you’re driving.”
If you’re not actually driving, you can tap “I’m not driving,” and the phone will resume its regular functionality.

Here’s what else happens when you turn this function on:

• Text messages are silenced and won’t appear on screen.
• All notifications are silenced (except emergency alerts, timers, and alarms).
• Phone calls will come in only if your phone is connected to your car’s Bluetooth speakers.
• Siri will read and reply to all your replies and the screen will stay dark.

NOTE: Your phone will also automatically respond to text messages with an auto-reply that says you’re driving. You can turn this off or customize your reply.

While sometimes seen as an obstacle in many of these areas, hopefully this article has taught you that tech can be incredibly effective in a number of areas—including health, fitness, spending, motivation, and general organization.

Without further ado, TDS would like to wish you a Happy New Decade!

By Garrett Seymour, TDS Communications Intern

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