Whether you’re resolving to hit the gym, floss more, save money or meet someone new this year, there are tons of new digital tools to keep you motivated. I think the immediacy of the web is really powerful – especially now that so many people have access to mobile web on their phones. One of the resources I use on a daily basis myself is called Lose It. It’s an iPhone app that offers a very easy to use food journal and calorie counter. You can also use this in concert with LiveStrong.com or CalorieKing.com if you want to tap into a more extensive database of foods or activities or…if you have an iPhone, you can use the very cool new Daily Burn Food Scanner. You use the camera on your iPhone to scan the bar code of a food package and it enters the information into a food journal.
Never before has it been so easy to find support – especially in a moment of weakness. The real time nature of social media is huge. And with that in mind, I think Twitter is a great place to find inspiration and tips for weight loss. I follow people like @skinnyjeans, who sends out reminders throughout the day to drink water or @bookieboo who organizes her Mamavation weight loss challenges for moms on Twitter.
As I mentioned in an interview on the Today show this morning, I also think there is a lot of value to websites like Sparkpeople.com, which offers very active message boards and discussions about every possible aspect of dieting and working out. So there is a community of people and support right there to coach you along. For more serious exercisers, the Daily Mile is cool new community of athletes who motivate each other to go the distance.
As for smoking, I think HabitForge.com might be helpful. It’s a free service that emails you a reminder every day with a yes or no question – like did you smoke today? The goal is to answer “yes” for 21 days. If you don’t, the program starts you all over again back at day 1. There is also a community on HabitForge to cheer you on. I also like the iPhone app, Quitter. It’s free and offers a financial incentive for quitting by calculating how much money you save each day by not buying cigarettes. You enter how much you used to spend on cigarettes and it keeps track for you for every day you are smoke free. And then of course, there is Pledgehammer.com. which allows you to place a wager on yourself that goes to charity if you don’t follow through on your goal by a certain deadline. This is a good one for any goal you might have that is very specific.
If you are looking for a new relationship in 2010, you might want to assess your prospects with the new Date Check app for mobile phones. I stumbled onto this new service at the Consumer Electronics Show last week and was intrigued. Date Check allows the user to conduct a background check by mobile phone, including a “sleaze detector” which pulls up any public records of criminal misconduct.
And finally, since a lot of people are focused on saving more money this year and paying down debt, I think there are some great ways to stay motivated and focused using the web. Mint.com provides a financial snapshot of your net worth, spending habits and debt in one place. The service sends you handy reminders, chiding you when you pay an ATM fee, for an example. And it also offers a smartphone app. I also like SmartyPig. It’s an e-savings plan with a social media twist. Once you identify your goal, Smarty Pig allows you to make it public so that friends and family can see your progress, cheer you on and even contribute to your savings goal.
What are your killer apps for keeping New Year’s resolutions? What resolutions are you working on?