If you plan on spending January 1 hungover while simultaneously vowing to be healthier in the year to come, we hear you. New Year’s resolutions often get a bad rap, but the thing is, you can actually see your goals through — if you come up with a plan. Here, we break down five popular resolutions and the secret weapons that will help turn them into a reality.
Resolution: Run a marathon
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Making a resolution to run a marathon is ambitious for anyone, whether it’s your first or your tenth. The key is to stick to a training schedule. There are a few different training apps on the market, but Marathon & Half Marathon Trainer Pro is the most extensive — and it only costs 99 cents. First, use the app to set your goal: anything from a 3K to a full marathon. Then, it creates a calendar, coaching you on how far to run each training day. It can also tell you what your pace should be to meet a specific finishing time goal and includes ways to recharge so you don’t overdo it. This app really does plan it all out. The rest is up to you.
Resolution: Cook more healthy meals
Price: $9.99 per person per meal
When you’re busy, it can be easy to get into the habit of Seamless-ing dinner every night or heating up a ready-made meal — often full of preservatives. Blue Apron makes the resolution of cooking more healthfully easy by having the fresh ingredients and step-by-step recipes delivered straight to your door. If you have specific food requests, such as vegetarian or gluten-free, you can get have your meal plans tweaked.
Related: Is eating healthy only for the rich?
Resolution: Be more active as a family
Tool: “The Fitness Fun Busy Book” by Trish Kuffner, Amazon.com
Getting the whole family moving will not only keep everyone healthier, but also is a way to get some good quality time together. But it can be tricky to keep coming up with ideas all year long, which is where this book comes in. It includes 365 fun physical activities to do, both indoor and outdoor, taking into account the different seasons.
Resolution: Lose weight
Tool: Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal app
There are hundreds of health apps, but what makes this one a cut above the rest is that it tracks both fitness and nutrition, the two key components to losing weight. It has a database of over 5 million foods so you can look up the nutrition value of essentially anything you want to eat. It also includes a food journal and recipe importer. On the fitness front, this app tracks your exercise habits and also can connect with over 50 other popular fitness apps, including MapMyFitness, FitBit and more. Best of all, the personalized reports keep you updated on how you’re doing and how close you are to reaching your weight-loss goal.
Resolution: Get more sleep
Tool: Peaceful Progression Wakeup Clock, hammacher.com
If you want to have a well-rested year, the first step is to cut back on any factors that could be interfering, such as caffeine or alcohol intake. Another sleep killer: sleeping next to your smartphone. Not only are the alerts disruptive, but the screen emits the same wavelengths as daylight. Then there’s this cool tool that using sound, scent and sight to give you the best sleep ever. If you need a smoothing soundtrack, it has several to choose from. It also emits different aromatherapy scents: at night, lavender will calm your scenes, while in the morning, citrus will start to energize you. The clock’s light echo’s a rising sun. It really pulls out all the stops.
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence