Life support: the best Android and iPhone apps for keeping New Year’s Resolutions

Make it a New Year’s revolution with these fantastic apps, and actually keep your resolutions beyond the first week of January
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We know how it goes. You stumble out of bed on 1 January, grab a coffee, and decide that this year will be different. But a week or two later, all your amazing resolutions lie in tatters.

Make things different this year by arming yourself with these amazing apps, which should help you blaze your way to December, achieving all the things you want to achieve. Or at least managing to get up on time, and do the odd push-up every now and again.

Sleep better: Sleep Cycle

You probably need more sleep. Moreover, you probably need more better sleep. Sleep Cycle uses sound or vibration analysis to track your snoozing, and supplies you with wiggly graphs the following day that provide insight into your sleep patterns. It’ll also attempt to wake you during the lightest phases of sleep, so you’re ready to bound out of bed, rather than blunder like a zombie into the nearest wall.

Get Sleep Cycle: Android (£free+IAP)/iOS (£free+IAP)

Get up earlier: Alarmy

You want to get up earlier, but that snooze button’s so tempting. Alarmy’s having none of it. This app has you shake your phone dozens of times – or stomp about in a daze until you manage to snap a photo of your toilet – before it’ll shut up. It’s hugely annoying and you’ll hate it, but Alarmy will help you stop being late for work.

Get Alarmy: Android (£free+£2.39)/iOS (£free+99p)

Form good habits: Habitca

Infusing good habits into your routine is tough, whatever pursuit you have in mind. Habitca can help by transforming goals and to-do lists into an RPG. Check off tasks and you level-up. Join with friends to give monsters a kicking, powered by your good deeds. Yes, it turns out all you need to be truly motivated is a tiny hero clutching a sword.

Get Habitca: Android (£free)/iOS (£free)

Save more: Pennies

Saving more or spending less. Chances are one of those will be on your list at some point. But tracking money is a tedious, thankless task – unless you’ve got Pennies installed. This app is budgeting designed for actual humans, marrying usability with flexibility. And it totally won’t judge you when you buy a massive new Lego kit.

Get Pennies: iOS (£3.99)

Eat better: Kitchen Stories

According to the Kitchen Stories folks, anyone can cook. But it’s not a magical skill you acquire by osmosis and randomly hurling ingredients at a saucepan. Instead, use this app to peruse food features, delve into how-to videos, and follow recipes. Handily, said recipes provide step-by-step photos, so you can keep track of your progress and ensure you won’t abruptly find yourself staring at some ‘not food’ and pining for a pizza.

Get Kitchen Stories: Android (£free)/iOS (£free)

Exercise daily: Streaks Workout

Do exercise. Get fit. You’ve been meaning to for ages, and installed loads of apps. But some need kit, and others require going outside into the wet and cold. Bleh. With Streaks Workout, you only need a floor. Choose the exercises you’re happy with, and let the app rip. Just be aware the 30-minute routine is called ‘Pain’ for a reason.

Get Streaks Workout: iOS (£3.99)

Reduce stress: Smiling Mind

There are loads of apps to help you fulfil a resolution to regularly take a bit of a breather and de-stress. And then they ruin it all with anxiety-inducing wallet-thumping subscriptions. Not Smiling Mind – a meditation app created by a non-profit, and designed to help you relax even if, on a typical day, you only have a few minutes to spare.

Get Smiling Mind: Android (£free)/iOS (£free)

Improve focus: Forest

It’s easy to get distracted, but Forest can help you stay focussed and be present. It gamifies having an attention span, by having you set a timer, whereupon a little tree starts growing. Switch apps and Forest warns you; stay away and it’ll murder your tiny sapling, leaving a sad little stick. Succeed and you build an isometric forest – and feel smug in your newfound ability to not check Facebook every eleven seconds.

Get Forest: Android (£free)/iOS (£free)

Learn a language: Lingvist

We get it – you’re busy. That’s why, even though learning a new language has been on your list for years, you’ve never got beyond ‘Où est le pub?’ Lingvist is designed to shoehorn mastering French, German or Spanish into odd moments, welding a new language to your brain by way of repetition and machine learning. It works très bien.

Get Lingvist: Android (£free + IAP)/iOS (£free + IAP)

Discover new music: Bandcamp

Discover Weekly in Spotify and For You in Apple Music are great for helping you unearth new bands and albums. But also give Bandcamp a look. It favours properly indie artists and labels, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to find new and exciting tracks. And if you nip off to the site and buy an album, you can be sure whoever made it will get the bulk of your payment.

Get Bandcamp: Android (£free)/iOS (£free)

Boost your brain: Tinycards

If your head’s mostly full of useless trivia, yet you don’t know where Peru is located, or think the periodic table is something you can buy in IKEA, get Tinycards. This little flashcards system infuses useful facts into your brain by way of speedy tests that fit into odd moments. And if you want to learn about something obscure, you can make your own deck and inflict it upon the world.

Get Tinycards: Android (£free)/iOS (£free)

Use better passwords: 1Password

Every year, security companies list the most stupid passwords – and a worryingly large number of people use them. Make sure you don’t. A better bet is to start working with 1Password, which integrates with Android and iOS, creates absurdly complex passwords that are practically unbreakable, and can also house secure notes, payment details, software licence information, and server logins.

Get 1Password: Android (from £free)/iOS (from £free)