This is it! This is the year you finally quit smoking, start running, get out of debt, eat better, and get organized. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but, statistically, more than 90 percent of you will fail by spring. We here at TheNerdyBomb understand that change is hard, so, in an effort to help you on your journey like the benevolent, loving counselors we are, we present four apps that can help you finally keep your New Year’s resolutions.
1. Quitting Smoking
Let me tell you, quitting smoking was probably the hardest 39 things I’ve ever done. I’d always be doing good, no cigarettes at all for anywhere from three to seven weeks, and then I’d have one really stressful day and reach for the Virginia Slims. I know Virginia Slims are a girly cigarette, but, once you lose your Man Card for performing your one-man musical Mrs. Doubtfire for your high school’s talent show, you’re not allowed to smoke Marlboro Reds anymore. Seriously, it’s true – look it up.
…and don’t you even think about growing a mustache!
One option to finally kick the habit is to follow Ibrahim Yucel’s example. Ibrahim smoked two packs a day for twenty-plus years. But when his father died from lung cancer, Ibrahim built a helmet cage using 130 feet of copper wire. The cage locks at the bottom, and his wife keeps the key while he is at work. The contraption allows him to breath, see, and drink through a straw, but he is unable to put his hands anywhere near his head.
Oh no! Not the bees! Not the bees! Aaaahhhh! Oh, they’re in my eyes!
Of course, on the off chance you don’t want to look like Nicholas Cage in The Wicker Man, there’s an app for that.
Quit Now! is that app. When the app starts, you enter information – how many cigarettes a day you used to smoke, how many were in a pack, how much the packs cost, and the date you quit smoking. After entering this, the app keeps track of things like what your carbon dioxide and oxygen levels are, how much money you’ve saved, and the percentage of sudden death risk lowered. The app is free. The pro version costs $5.95 but doesn’t give you much more than the free version. Unless you just feel the need to spend your cigarette money on something, save your money.
2. Going to the gym
Quick! How many of you belong to a gym? Ok, I can’t see how many hands are up, but I’m going to presume it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of zero to one percent of you. It’s OK; I understand how hard it is to go to the gym. To be honest, if my job didn’t require a morning run and so many pushups that I’ve lost count, I wouldn’t work out either.
Yes, I am exactly this awesome.
Because I’m in the Army, working out is not only part of my job, but I can actually get in trouble and ultimately be fired for not being able to pass the physical fitness test we take every six months. I have all the motivation I can stand, but maybe you could use some in the form of money. Enter GymPact, the app that charges you for not going to the gym. Now, before I go further, this app does have some negative reviews, so do your research before signing up.
The idea behind GymPact is simple and brilliant. You decide how many days a week you want to go to the gym and how much of a penalty you’ll pay for not going. Since your phone knows where you are all the time, all you have to do is click the check-in button, and the app will confirm you are in fact at the gym. If you fail to go to the gym, the credit card you supplied will be charged the penalty. The upside of this app is that, when you actually do go to the gym, you get paid by the people who were too lazy to get off their couch. The money you earn changes depending on how many people skipped the gym that week. Again, keep in mind some people have had issues with this app, but the idea has promise.
3. Save Money
We all wish we had more money once our bills are paid, that’s just life. Well unless you’re an incredibly handsome, funny, smart, aspiring writer, making $3,700 an article (Thanks NerdyBomb!). But for the rest of you unwashed masses who actually have to check your bank account and play the fun game Food or Soap? at the grocery store, saving money just makes good cents (see what I did there?).
I prefer to burn $50’s. They’re warmer and smell like
chocolate chip cookies.
Gas prices keep getting higher and, unless you’re me, can take a nice chunk out of your paycheck. GasBuddy is an app that simply uses your phone’s GPS to find nearby gas stations, their prices, and directions from your location.
Another app that I love the idea of but has had nothing but negative reviews is SavedPlus. I mention this app not as a recommendation but because the idea behind it is genius. The app claims to be bank independent, meaning in theory it will work no matter what bank you use. The idea is that the app charges you a predetermined “tax” on any purchase you make from your checking account. That money then goes into a savings account that you designate. In theory, this is a great way to save some money. In practice, users of this app have had problems ranging from the app not working with credit unions and banks with PIN authentication to their accounts being frozen. If the app developers ever manage to un-fail this app, it would be worth a look.
4. Start Running
I’ll be the first one to say it: running sucks. I mean really sucks. You breath heavy, you sweat, your knees hurt, your back hurts…and that’s just from getting off the couch. What you need is a way to make running more fun. Sure, listening to music can be a nice distraction, but, like all things in life, running can be vastly improved with the liberal application of the undead.
…clowns might be the exception.
Zombies, Run! is probably the favorite app on my phone. The app starts by you choosing a mission and listening to some instructions and part of a story. After that, your playlist will start, and off you go. During the music, you will hear messages telling you that you collected things like medical kits, mobile phones, and weapons. You will also hear warnings that there are zombies near your location – which is generally a good time to start moving a little faster. After your run, you can then use the supplies you collected to help build up your base. There are other apps out there that have more bells and whistles, but, if you want a way to make running fun, Zombies, Run! is the best at what it does.