Keep your New Year's resolutions with apps for food, health, travel

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You know the drill; 2016 is just around the corner and that means most of us will vow to lose weight, learn something new or travel to new places.

But old habits die hard so maybe one in 10 will actually achieve our goal.

For the rest of us, the digital age is here to help.

Lose weight/eat healthier

Now that we've put the peppermint hot cocoa and pumpkin pie behind us, there's a whole lot of work ahead. Nielsen's 2015 survey highlighted "staying fit and healthy" as a top resolution, followed very closely by "losing weight."

But it can be hard to keep our motivation past the first week of January when we are doing it alone.

Lose It! is a free weight loss app that allows you to connect to people, various gadgets and food information.

Basically, it provides the platform for material to help you make smart choices.

And if staying fit is not enough a reward in itself, how about earning money as an incentive to losing weight? Pact allows you to track exercise and eat healthy by putting money on the line.


"Earn cash for living healthy, paid by members who don't," is what you'll see on this app's sign-up page.

You choose the amount on each Pact you make.

Complete the task and earn up to $5 a week.

Failing to complete the task means you lose the money you put on the deal.

If your diet plan features home-cooked meal you have no time (or skill) to prepare, then sharing economy platforms including EatWith may be of help.

Dubbed the "Airbnb of food," it allows people to eat home-cooked meals by joining strangers in their homes for dinner, at reasonable prices.

Quit something

You have a bad habit, and you want to quit it.

Whether it's smoking, drinking or being hung up on your ex, the Quit That! app can help.

Quit That! allows users to enter one or more things they want to quit, and put a price on how much the habit they want to quit is costing them.

Other apps such as Kickit and Since iQuit work to motivate by showing you how much time and money you've saved since quitting a bad habit.

If this fails, you could replace that craving with a new skill.

Learn something new

There's an app for learning anything, from turning your dollar note into an origami crane to deciphering Morse code.

Skillshare offers online classes to help you learn a new skill or hone an old one.

Classes cover a wide range, from cooking tutorials to board game strategies, come in at about $10-40 per student, but there are free course options too.

If you're looking for more social interaction in your learning experience, something like global networking site Meetup might be your solution. It connects you to people in your local community who share similar interests.

And "I don't have the time," is no excuse not to act on your desire to learn.

TimeRepublik will allow you to share talents, interests, passions ... in exchange for time. Marketed as a "global timebank," users earn hours by offering their skills or services to users who need them.

They can then use those hours to "buy" services from other users that can help them free up their time.

Travel more

Ticking off the must-see list is a common resolution but not everyone can splurge on luxury travel.

But there's no need, now everything from finding a place to stay, to discovering local delicacies can be done via the sharing economy.

You've probably already heard of Airbnb by now, but what about the other peer-to-peer sharing platforms that let you get accommodation - for free?

Consider swapping your home for someone else's on Home Exchange, or try house-sitting with Nomador.

When it comes to navigating yourself in a foreign environment, Gogobot helps you find places to eat, play and sleep based on personal preferences, while Maps.Me helps you find your way around by keeping maps visible even when you're offline.

Volunteer more

Ever explored the idea of traveling with a cause?

Imagine an online marketplace that combines options for traveling and volunteering abroad.

Low-cost traveling by sharing is made available by the HelpStay platform, where you can browse volunteer projects abroad that will accept your services in return for a providing you free place to stay.

And if you're going for the every-little-act-counts kind of movement, the Pay it Forward app could work.

The program will suggest an act of kindness designed to besimple and effective - something like giving up your seat in acrowded train, or helping someone load items into the car.

Keep the movement going by sharing completed acts with friends and family.

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