Now that we’re in the middle of the holiday season, most people are winding down the year to start fresh in 2016. But why wait until then? New Year’s resolutions seem nice, but here’s a not-so-secret secret: people don’t keep them.
Here’s a better idea. Make your resolutions now and upgrade your life before New Year’s. And all you need is your smartphone. Don’t believe me?
Let’s look at three of the top 10 resolutions from the past year and how you can upgrade your life over the next month with the help of your phone.
1. Lose Weight
Wearable tech is huge, and fitness freaks are investing in everything from the obvious (Fitbits) to the less obvious (these smart socks). Naturally, after Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas cookies, everyone wants to shed a few pounds early in the year—but what if you did yourself a favor and simply avoided putting them on? Your smartphone can help.
Many phones now come with built-in health features. And while you’ve likely ignored them until this point, you can use these to track your exercise. Your phone is also the perfect place to download apps like MyFitnessPal (free, Android and iOS), which lets you keep a journal of food intake on-the-go, keeping you honest when you reach for one more glass of eggnog.
2. Get Organized
Smartphones are organization machines, offering built-in calendars, note-taking tools and any number of to-do list apps. Do yourself a solid and clean out your phone so it can organize things smoothly.
You’re likely to have some downtime post-holiday. Put it to good use! Look through your apps to see when you last used them and which ones you don’t need. For instance, I have an annoying app that’s been nagging me for weeks about my phone’s lack of memory; I can delete it and kill the proverbial two birds with one stone.
When you’re done, you’ll have a nice, spiffy phone. And if your phone doesn’t “upgrade” itself once it’s clean, you may want to start the New Year with a new phone.
3. Spend Less, Save More
January is a fantastic time to start a budget and look for new ways to save. One option? Change your phone plan. With carriers moving away from the subsidy contracts, your monthly plan could get cheaper—if you avoid buying a new phone.
If your phone is in good condition, see how much you could save switching to one of these new contract-free plans. It may only be a couple dollars a month, but every little bit adds up. You could also look at the early termination fee for your plan and see if it’s cost-effective to cancel. This calculator can help you estimate how much this would be (check with your actual phone carrier before proceeding).
If you need a new phone, buy a certified pre-owned device. The phone will cost you less money, as will your monthly plan. Even better: you’ll own the new phone outright. See if you qualify to trade-in your existing handset, too. That way, you’ll have extra money to put toward your new phone, upgrading your savings and your life.