Apps for keeping your New Year's resolutions

Set goals, get fit, eat smarter, keep calm, sleep better, and learn new skills.

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New Year's resolutions are typically firm on January 1 but tend to weaken by the middle of the month. However, if you can tough it out for 21 days -- the amount of time researchers have concluded that it takes to form a new habit -- then you'll be in good stead for the rest of the year. Download these apps to set goals, get fit, eat smarter, keep calm, sleep better, and learn new skills.



Track your activities and set goals

First, take a look at your current habits. Instant 3.0 (iOS, Android) automatically tracks your behavior, from how much time you spend on your phone to how long you exercise and sleep. The app sends you weekly reports for $2 per month or $7.99 for a lifetime membership.

Now that you know where there's room to improve, Goalmap (iOS, Android) will help you set actionable goals. You can also choose from hundreds of goals in the app: continuing your education, picking up a creative pursuit, traveling more, and so on. Just set a clear target, such as walking an hour a day or socking away $10 per week. Goalmap will track your progress, provide positive feedback when you're on track, and reminder you to keep going when you're falling behind.

HabitBull (iOS, Android) helps you conquer hard-to-break habits and adopt better ones. Just enter and track a habit and watch your success grow in real-time graphs. Daily reminders and inspirational quotes will keep you motivated should you waver in your resolve.

Curb calories

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If you're looking to shed some winter weight, then Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal (iOS, Android) is your diet buddy. With over 5 million foods in its database, the app has all the nutritional data on your favorite eats. Enter an item manually or scan it, and the app will ensure that you remain within your daily calorie limit. You can also track the calories you're burning through exercise. Calorie Counter will send daily, weekly, and monthly progress reports. Upgrade to a premium account ($9.99 per month or $49.99 per year) to receive an ad-free experience, VIP customer support, and dietitian-approved original recipes, meal plans, and nutrition tips.

Get in shape

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Forget the pricey gym membership and home equipment. Sworkit (iOS, Android) offers dozens of workout videos of different lengths and skill levels to help you achieve your fitness goals without any upfront costs. You can upgrade to a premium account ($4.99 per month or $39.99 per year) to unlock more customizable workouts, gain access to a trainer, and ditch the ads.

Or put your Pumas to the pavement with C25K 5K Trainer Pro (iOS, Android), an app that promises to take you from out of shape to marathon runner with a strength- and stamina-building walking and running routine. It also syncs your exercise data with MyFitnessPal, so you won't have to.

Achieve greater calm

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Meditation is one of the best ways to destress and reduce anxiety. Calm (iOS, Android) offers hundreds of guided and unguided meditations, ranging from 3 to 25 minutes long, for neophytes, longtime practitioners, and everyone in between. You'll also get breathing exercises, soothing nature sounds, and adult bedtime stories to lull you to sleep.

Brain.fm (iOS) plays AI-generated music to relax or energize you. It costs $6.99 per month, and you can download music for offline playback, which is handy when you're out of Wi-Fi range.

Wake up refreshed

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If you wake up during deep sleep, you're foggy. That's why it's essential to rise during lighter sleep. If your phone is nearby, then Sleep Cycle (iOS, Android) will use your phone's microphone or accelerometer to determine when you're in your lightest sleep phase based on your body movement, and the app will wake you up then. You'll also get detailed sleep statistics and graphs to gain insight into your sleep over time, so you can make changes where appropriate.

Learn more

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Education should be a lifetime pursuit, and Curiosity (iOS, Android) demonstrates that there's always time to squeeze in more knowledge. Read short-form articles and watch short videos on a variety of educational topics in the app and save them for future reference.

Want to learn a new language in 2017? Duolingo (iOS, Android) helps you learn up to 10, and motivate yourself by competing with friends with the new Duolingo Clubs.

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About Joshua Rotter

Joshua Rotter is a copy editor for Download.com and covers iOS.