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5 apps to help you keep your resolutions

By Cydne Washington, Staff writer
Published On: Jan 13 2012 07:40:58 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 16 2012 01:00:00 AM CST
woman exercising at health club fitness

iStock/Thomas_EyeDesign

Claiming an early defeat on a New Year's resolution can leave you wondering why you bothered to commit to one in the first place. However, staying in control of yourself long enough to master a resolution can leave you feeling wonderfully transformed.

With temptation to return to our pre-resolution mindset looming with every decision on how to spend our time, why not give yourself a leg up?

It is not always necessary to go to great lengths to get the resolution tools you need: a well-designed app can function as your personal assistant in this regard.

Choosing one that is tailored to your resolution can mean the difference between success and failure. Here are some apps that will act as your resolution liaison in keeping the promises you've made to have a stellar year.

woman exercising with weights

No. 5: GymPact

The GymPact app: where fitness & economics meet. This ground-breaking application punishes its gym-dodging users by deducting small amounts of real cash from their bank accounts when they avoid working out.

According to the application's founders, this only happens about 10 percent of the time though. The other 90 percent of the time, users will apparently receive the opposite: a modest bit of monetary compensation for actually making it to the gym. The money from the "dodgers" is split amongst the people who went to the gym.

Users determine how many times they'd like to go to the gym ahead of time and sign a "pact" to this effect. If they break it, they lose actual money; if they go, they get paid.

A simple, yet effective idea that is sure to keep you honest as far as your resolution to make the most of your gym.

online dating computer mouse

No. 4: Dating DNA

Dating DNA claims to do for free what paid dating websites do for a fee: find matches for people based on their preferences and connect them.

One of the main draws to using this app is the ability to be shown potential compatible mates, right in one's own zip code, without even having to do a search. The platform will automatically list nearby potential mates and give them a "compatibility score," which is meant to determine the likelihood of a solid potential match.

The app's developers guarantee that other users are actual people and pride themselves on having a virtually troll-free dating experience.

Its GPS-enabled feature makes it unique and allows for real-time data that can be used when on the hunt for love -- great for someone who has resolved to connect with someone new in the coming year.

woman pushing grocery cart groceries

No. 3: Fooducate

It is no secret that people living in the U.S. must sift through a sea of data when it comes to the most mundane, yet vital wellness activity: grocery shopping.

The Fooducate app scans product barcodes and highlights the benefits and possible detriments of consuming each coded product. It can also make suggestions for possible alternatives, if a healthier diet is part of your plan for the new year.

If you are confused by ingredients and labels, or are overwhelmed by food fads and hype, this might be just the app to keep you working toward the goal of a healthier diet.

It will show you how to avoid certain artificial or otherwise unhealthy items and stick to a more beneficial and streamlined diet for maintaining optimum health.

Calculator and money

No. 2: Mint

The Mint app helps manage your money and claims to offer the same level of encryption offered on banking sites.

It ties investments, savings, checking, loans and even cash spending (if you are willing to manually add this) into one dashboard. It tracks user activity and helps create a budget based on spending habits and income.

It will tell you about ongoing deals from competing financial institution and offers billing reminders and alerts when funds are low. Mint offers an array of data-crunching graphs and charts. It can even tell you how well you are doing financially compared with others in your geographical area.

This free app will have you managing your money like a pro on the go, with just the click of a touch-screen.

pocket watch on red background

No. 1: RescueTime

The RescueTime app keeps track of how you are spending your time.

Don't freak out, it can't yet tell when you are watering plants or brushing the dog, but close. Sound a little creepy? It certainly could be in the wrong hands, but if your resolution was to finish writing a book this year or increase your billable hours, this might be the app for you.

Time is precious and this little app can tell what you are doing with yours by documenting active browser activity, logging the data and sending it to an easily interpreted format that will take the guess work out of where your time goes.

If efficiency is your goal or just the means to a greater goal, then RescueTime might be right for you.

No one has to be alone in accomplishing their New Year's resolution anymore; help is just an app away.

Distributed by Internet Broadcasting. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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