As January kicks off, so does the pursuit of New Year’s resolutions. And while enthusiasm levels are often high early in the month, your smartphone can help keep your efforts from fading as February nears.
Maybe you’re looking to learn a new language, stay active or simply get organized in 2020. Whatever your goals for the new year, a familiar sense of deflation can creep in as the months go by and resolutions fall by the wayside. But there’s a handy little device that may be gracing your palms at this very moment, which can help make 2020 the year your resolutions finally stick. Here’s a look at five ways your phone can help you keep ‘em.
1. Staying active
While staring at your phone doesn’t exactly count as an aerobic activity, there are a number of ways your device can help you get fit and stay active in the new year. There are currently more than 250,000 fitness apps — you read that right! — that can help you track your activity, get workout inspiration, stay motivated and more. You can use your phone’s calendar and alarm features to set exercise reminders or just schedule a few minutes of activity during a long day at your desk. It’s also a veritable treasure trove of media to help make working out easier, from your favorite running playlist to YouTube yoga videos, and more.
2. Getting organized
Say it with us; folders are our friends! From creating app groupings on your phone to sorting your emails into the appropriate folder based on priority (e.g., work, newsletters, social, travel, etc.), folders are the key to keeping your digital life organized. Your device also gives you access to several built-in and downloadable features and apps that can help you create and manage your to-dos, grocery lists, appointments and other tasks. Check out your calendar, clock and notes apps to get started.
3. Learning a new skill or language
In 2020, there’s just no need to spend thousands on a language immersion program or schlep a musical instrument to and from weekly lessons. There are tons of free and paid language and skill learning apps out there, all accessible via your device. There are even apps to help you log your practice sessions, track your progress and practice a language with a fluent speaker, all from your smartphone.
4. Staying in touch with friends and family
We all know our device is one of the best ways (and for many of us, the only way) we stay in touch with friends and family when we’re not in their physical presence. Still, despite how easy our smartphones make reaching out, we can fall behind on our communication with loved ones. But there’s no need to feel bad for too long! Your phone can make it even easier to keep in touch in 2020. Use a calendar or contacts app to keep track of birthdays, anniversaries or any other time you may want to reach out to a friend or family member, and create reminders to make sure you follow through. There are also several apps that allow you to schedule emails and text messages for a later date, so you can make sure to connect with your friends and family even when doing so might not be top of mind.
5. Putting down your phone
As counterintuitive as it may seem, use your phone to help you use your phone less. Whether your goal is simply more mobile mindfulness or cutting down on screen time for the entire family, there are easy steps you can take to manage your device usage. To start, try switching your phone to Do Not Disturb mode, muting certain text threads and limiting notifications to curb the urge to pick up your device. You can also track and manage screen time with a number of free and paid apps to help you look up and spend a little more of 2020 in the real world.