A Resolution to Keep a Resolution

This year, I’m making a resolution to keep my New Year’s resolutions.

Every January, we see it: Gyms are suddenly packed, co-workers bring their healthy lunches to work and friends ‘lay low’ to save cash. We all know that kind of behavior doesn’t last long (and I’m just as guilty). In fact, by month’s end, we’re back to our same old once-a-week gym visits, Panera lunches and “buy-it-just-this-once” selves.

They say the first step in reaching your goals is writing them down. So, let’s take that pen and paper and move into a new decade, shall we? (It is 2011, after all.)

Here are two FREE iPhone apps that will help you (and me) keep track of our 2011 resolutions.

Budgeting: Mint.com
About two years ago, I started using the free budgeting/financial planning site mint.com and just recently downloaded the mobile app. It’s great because it is one central source for all of your finances: checking/savings accounts, credit cards, car payments; i.e., anything you may or may not spend money on. One glance and you know how much money is at your fingertips (literally) or how much you’re keeping in the piggy bank. Another benefit is that it helps you plan and track budgeting goals. It identifies charges you’ve made (i.e., grocery shopping, clothing) and will automatically associate those expenses with the appropriate budget item, so you can tell if you’re going above your monthly budget. Neat charts at the touch of a button help you look at your long-term spending as well. The only drawback is that, while almost all large banks allow the site to access their info, some smaller banks are still not on the bandwagon, therefore, you might not see your full financial picture.

Weight Loss and Fitness: Lose It!
Can you imagine writing down everything you eat during the day?! I can’t, either. Nutritional labels boggle my mind. But, I probably could make a habit of using my commuting time (don’t worry – train, not driving) to input what I’ve eaten for the day and how much I’ve worked out. I’m anxious and kind of scared to try this app out for the first time today, as my theory of “eat whatever as long as you work out” has slowly stopped working. Lose It! allows you to record food and exercise info using a database with associated information for each item. So you just check off your foods and how you exercise and it shows whether you are above/below your daily calorie budget. You can set goals and track your long-term progress, too.

What about you? Have you had any success using iPhone apps to help track your goals?

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One thought on “A Resolution to Keep a Resolution

  1. Apps are definitely nifty but don’t forget the buddy system. It’s always a lot easier to commit to the gym or any exercise program if you have a friend with you. Or even better, an involved community. There are tons of running and cycling clubs to join.

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