Getting motivated for the same resolutions year after year can be difficult. We all want to exercise more, eat better, learn something new and finally go on that unforgettable vacation your family has been dreaming of.
Thanks to a wide variety of lifestyle apps for your favorite mobile devices, not only can you kickstart your own resolutions for this new year, you can help your kids keep some of their own as well. Here are 15 picks for some of the best apps to get every member of your family on the right track for 2015.
Doc McStuffins: Moving With Doc – If you have a preschooler in the house, chances are you’ve heard of Disney Junior’s Doc McStuffins. This new app not only includes games that teach kids to recognize healthy food and talk about the value of exercise, it also takes a moment to encourage your child to get up and stretch with Doc and her friends. $4.99, iPhone/iPad.
Smash Your Food – School-age kids who love to play with their food will find themselves glued to this guessing game. After making their picks for how much sugar, salt and oil their favorite foods have, they can press a button to give the food a satisfying smash to reveal how close the guesses were. Nutritional information has never been so fascinating and fun. $2.99, iPhone/iPad.
The Walk – Teens who are accustomed to playing the Xbox to unlock achievements will find motivation to get outside thanks to this inventive app. The Walk turns fitness into an interactive challenge, as the game tracks distance and time walked to reveal clues and take the player on the next step in an intriguing adventure. $4.99, iPhone/iPad, Android.
Go Couch to 5K – There is a dizzying amount of “Couch to 5K"-type apps, and this is one of the best. With an intuitive interface, voice coaching so that you can run completely hands-free, and able to play the music and take incoming calls on your iPhone without a hitch, this app might be the one that finally helps you reach your goal of running a 5K this year. There’s even a demo app, Try Couch to 5K, that gets you through the first two weeks for free. $4.99, iPhone.
FitStar: Tony Gonzalez – If you need even more motivation than just a voice talking to you on your run, future NFL Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez is available to give you an extra push. (Here’s hoping a Russell Wilson version comes out one day!) FitStar creates workouts to reach your personal fitness goals and walks you through them with high-quality videos. Free (with subscription options), iPhone/iPad.
Endomondo – A personal trainer, fitness tracker, and social network all in one incredible fitness app, Endomondo can be tailored to fit your exercise goals for the new year. The free app includes tips and planning to reach those goals, along with challenges and recommended routes to help you get there. Free (with subscription options), iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows Phone
NFL Play 60 – Part of the NFL’s pledge to get kids physically active for 60 minutes a day, NFL Play 60 gets kids moving. The game encourages players to run and jump in place (while holding the mobile device) to collect coins and avoid obstacles. Combine screen time with active time in this unique endless runner that’s certain to get kids and heart rates going. Free, iPhone/iPad, Android
Learn something new
Elevate – Your body isn’t the only thing that could use some exercise in the new year. Elevate, Apple’s 2014 App of the Year, quizzes you to flex mental skills that could always use some improvement, such as memory and focus. Daily tests packaged in a sleek design get your brain in shape. Free (with subscription options), iPhone/iPad, Android.
Duolingo – Selected as Apple’s iPhone App of the Year for 2013, Duolingo offers games to learn vocabulary and phrases in Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian and English, all for free. If your teen needs to build some confidence in his Spanish class or you want to finally cross “learn French” off your resolution list, Duolingo is the perfect place to start. Free, iPhone/iPad, Android.
Craft-a-Day Winter Edition – Not the crafty type? The companion apps to Craft-a-Day from Quirk Books contain hundreds of ideas to help you learn how to get your craft on. The winter edition features cozy crafts for every day through March. The projects are cute, simple and suited to young children. If “spend more time with the kids” is one of your goals for 2014, check this app out for inspiration to create something together. $0.99, iPad only.
Take a family vacation
TripOso – If you and your family are looking to go beyond the theme parks this year, TripOso can give you the lowdown on where to go. The free app works completely offline once the guide is downloaded, so you don’t have to worry about a huge cell phone bill after you get home. Find suggestions for food and sightseeing to plan a memorable trip. Free, iPhone/iPad, Android.
TripIt – TripIt is a must-have app for anyone who travels often – and not so often. All you have to do is forward your email confirmation from an airline to a TripIt email address, and your itinerary is created automatically in the app. Once you have your plans set, you can share the details with your friends and family to make coordinating travel plans a breeze. Free (with subscription option), iPhone/iPad, Android.
Stay on task
ChoreMonster – This is the year you finally get your kids to make their beds every morning. If a chore chart hanging on the kitchen wall isn’t your style, use ChoreMonster to keep an easy-to-use chart in your pocket instead. Create chore lists for each kid, and with each task they complete (and you approve), they earn points for a special reward. You can even use the app to instill healthy habits like brushing teeth. Free (with subscription options), iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows Phone.
PepperPlate – If you’re serious about getting organized with your meal planning and stop eating out so much this year, PepperPlate can get you on track. Manually enter your own family recipes on the app or PepperPlate web site, or import them from your favorite web sites. Set your menu for the week and the app creates a shopping list that can be sorted just the way you want it. Free, iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows Phone.
Wunderlist – Looking for one solution to rule all of your growing to-do lists for the new year? Download Wunderlist, and your shopping list and work reminders will never look nicer. The app not only tracks your tasks, sets reminders, and lets you share them with contacts, it can also help you plan a vacation or send your spouse a reminder to pick up milk on the way home. Free (with subscription options), iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows Phone.