5 Simple Ways that Technology Can Help You Achieve Your Goals in 2016

As some time has passed since welcoming 2016, I felt it was a good time to reflect on New Year’s Resolutions. Though it’s impossible to know the exact numbers, a 2013 article from Forbes suggests that only 8% of people follow through on achieving their New Year’s goal, indicating that a staggering 92% of resolutions are abandoned. There could be numerous reasons why, including…

    Individuals aiming too high with their goal;
    Trouble summoning up the motivation;
    Experiencing issues with the productivity required in making a new goal work; or
    Simply forgetting to institute the changes required to work towards a new goal.

In any case, it is undoubtedly difficult for the vast majority of individuals hoping to make a change in their life. Enter the best tool to help any individual achieve a goal made in 2016- technology!

Here at Workoptics, we rely on technology to help us manage our resolutions and would like to share some of our favourites, in a few different categories:

Healthier Lifestyle

A healthier lifestyle is a top resolution, but often one of the most difficult to achieve due to time, limited resources and a variety of other reasons. Technology is a great resource to help combine these goals into your existing daily routines.

One great tool is the Fitbit, an electronic wrist band that can be used to track things like heart rate, calories out and the steps taken each day, allowing you to become more aware of the level of fitness you are getting in daily life. It also helps to set goals, and even challenge your friends. Many of the new smart watches offer some of these features, but we like the singular purpose, multiple features and elegant interface of a dedicated device.

There are also a variety of health related applications, such as MyFitnessPal or the Health app that comes pre-installed on iPhones, that can be used to not only track daily fitness and sync with tools such as the FitBit, but track factors like food/calorie intake, daily nutrition as well as allowing you to take part in forums and communities dedicated to healthy living.

Organization

With busy everyday life, it is often very difficult to track all the varying things that need to be monitored, from weekend plans to appointments, receipts, favourite recipes and more! Here at Workoptics, we have found Evernote to be a useful tool to help us keep track of things. Evernote is a phone application that you can also log in to from any web browser, and provides a ‘digital workspace’ environment that allows you to save and organize your files in a variety of formats (i.e. handwritten notes, photos, webpages), with keywords to help you easily search and pull them up when needed.

Synced calendars (typically using applications like Gmail or Outlook) are also a key component of the average person’s busy lifestyle- having a resource where you may note your appointments and activities, sync this data with your personal devices and potentially share with family members is invaluable to ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Travel

At year end, many people review their year, and wish they had had more opportunities to travel and see more of the world. Technology is a great resource to use when planning an upcoming trip. Websites (with associated phone applications) like Kayak or Hopper can be used to look up flights and hotels, compare costs across varying providers and even track price fluctuations, alerting you to the best time to book a trip.

Once a trip is booked, applications like TripIt can be used to track travel plans (flights, hotels, planned activities and more) as well as provide updates if things like flight delays occur, as well as share these details with family or friends as needed.

More Family Time

Technology is often cited as a leading cause of families spending less time together overall- with the constant distractions of push notifications, social media updates, e-mails and more, it can be difficult to ensure your family time is considered ‘quality’ in addition to the quantity.

Leveraging technology to allow your family to work together as a team is the key to bringing the quality back to your family time. Geocaching is a great example of this- geocaching is essentially the process of ‘treasure hunting’ for hidden packages that others have left behind, and taking one trinket and replacing it with another. There are also geocoins or travel bugs, which have barcodes attached that allow you to scan once you have discovered them, and re-hide them for others to find.

Apps like “GPS Mission” can also be used to go on scavenger hunts, answer questions, and create your own missions related to locations nearby where you are.


Better Money Management

Often, it is incredibly difficult to track money and stick to a budget- with bills, and other daily expenses, as well as the busy lifestyles we have these days, budgeting and having everyone in a household on the same page as that budget is difficult at best. There are several financial planning applications like GoodBudget or Mint, which can be used to help create an initial budget, track where your money is going, help prepare for future costs and provide an overall snapshot of your financial information.

Tomorrow is a new day. Perhaps it’s the one where you get that resolution back on track!