Making New Year’s resolutions is a familiar habit in the Western world. with many people making resolutions relating to their physical or mental health. Fortunately, in our digital world, technology can help make resolutions more attainable.
Firstly, here are a few fun facts about resolutions. Did you know:
- The habit of making resolutions began about 4,000 years ago? The Babylonians used their new year festival to set goals to keep their good standing with the gods.
- In Roman times, farmers were told to begin each year with an “auspicious gesture.”
- More recently, a study found that only eight percent of people keep their resolutions.
Twitter did a survey of the most common resolutions and the top ones included:
- diet, exercise, and lose weight
- get more sleep;
- learn something new;
- read more;
- be nicer, kinder, and more patient.
The good news? If you set any of these as your resolutions, technology you already have can help!
Tech Tips For Resolutions
Let’s start with trying to change fitness or eating habits. There are an abundance of apps available for that for your phone or your computer. You might try:
Daily Workouts, a mobile and desktop app with nearly 200 exercise routines that can be done with or without accessories (such as exercise ball, stretch bands, or kettlebell weight);
Seven, a mobile and desktop app providing quick, on-the-go exercise routines. All you need is seven minutes and, possibly, a chair or wall.
You could also set a recurring alarm on your work computer to remind you to get up and walk around for a minute each hour. Those with an Apple Watch already get a notification at 10 minutes to the hour if they haven’t moved enough.
Looking to get more sleep? You could use Night Shift on your iPhone or Night Light on Android devices to dim your screen. Windows also has a Night Light feature (under Settings > System > Display), plus, there’s a Blue Shade option if you have a Fire tablet. All these change screen display to warmer colors, which reduces eyestrain and helps you sleep better.
You might also be interested in Sleep Bug. This white noise app provides 300 different soft sounds to build a background to help you zonk out.
Those who want to read more or learn something new could benefit from limiting social media. Apple has Screen Time and Android has Digital Wellbeing. Both track your app usage, plus, you can set apps to lock if you use them for too long.
You can also use Windows 10 to limit app and game time on computers, tablets, Xbox, and Android devices. Under the Family tab of your Microsoft account page, you’ll find an Activity tab. You can turn on app monitoring, limit app and game usage, and set restrictions for the amount of time and time of day apps can be used.
Good Luck with Your Resolutions
We’d argue that all this can help with that other resolution, the one where you’re going to be more patient and kind. If you’re feeling healthier, sleeping better, and spending less time in a social media trance, you can be more mindful. And hey! While you’re at it, make that a resolution, too.