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5 apps to start 2021 on the right foot

Most people will start the new year vowing to make it better than the year before. After the year we’ve just gone through, that shouldn’t be as difficult as in the past.

It could be anything from setting professional goals to living a healthier lifestyle. Want some tech advice from Kim Komando? Tap or click here for Kim’s New Year’s tech resolutions. But often, as weeks turn into months, we might find it hard to stick to our original plan.

Whether it’s a lack of determination or forgetfulness, it can be tough to achieve these resolutions. Why not harness the power of mobile apps to help you accomplish them? Fret not. We have put together a list of apps to ensure you start 2021 on the right foot.

Get a good night’s sleep

The power of restful sleep is often underestimated, but it is a vital aspect of a healthy body and mind. Sleep is important to humans, and the lack thereof can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure or stroke.

Other studies have found that not getting enough sleep can cause obesity, depression or impairment in immunity. That’s why it’s time to take sound sleep seriously. If you are a problem sleeper, an app could lend a hand.

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For iPhone or iOS devices, we recommend the Endel app. The three main components of the app target focus, sleep and relaxation. By creating personalized soundscapes, it aims to reduce stress, boost productivity, calming sleep and daily relaxation.

Endel is available on the App Store with a 7-day free trial, where after you would need to subscribe (and pay) for continued access.

For Android devices, fall asleep with the Loóna app. Available on the Google Play Store, it describes itself as “a mood-altering app that prepares you emotionally for going to sleep.” The app uses different sounds, stories and activity-based relaxation to drift you away into dreamland gently.

Loóna is available for a free trial, but you have to purchase access if you want to continue using it.

Your favorite productivity apps

It would help if you tried to reduce your screen time or the frequency of your mobile notifications, but some exceptions will make your life easier.

It is always a good idea to have the mobile version of your online meeting service downloaded to your phone. You never know when your internet at home will fail, so you won’t miss that important meeting by doing this. Download the most important apps to your phone, and make sure that you can log in at a moment’s notice.

RELATED: 10 digital life hacks you’ll use time and again

Get a good workout

Every year you might state that “this year I’m going to get fit” and never get around to it. Prevent push-up procrastination by downloading the perfect workout app to keep you toned, healthy and full of energy.

Adidas Training by Runtastic is a great app, no matter your current fitness level. The app helps you plan and keep track of your routines for activities like yoga, boxing or strength building through short workout explanations.

The app is free to install on Android devices but offers in-app purchases for a premium experience.

To work up a sweat for iOS devices, Wakeout! – Active breaks is something slightly different from other apps that you might be used to. Designed for sedentary people, the app features short exercises that you can do no matter where you are.

From quick tapping routines that only take a minute to something a bit more intense, the workouts are perfect for office-bound professionals. The app is free to try for 7 days but requires a monthly paid subscription to continue.

Gaze at the stars

If 2020 taught us anything, it would probably be to enjoy the outdoors more — whether it’s during the day or at night.

In late December, we saw the “great conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn. For the first time in 800 years, the planets were only 0.1 degrees apart at night. The next time the planets will be that close again will be in 2080.

To look up at the sky and make sense of it all, you will need an app to guide you. Out of all the star apps available, we recommend Star Tracker for both iOS and Android. The app shows you where all the celestial bodies are, including all the planets, over 8,000 visible stars, 88 constellations and over 100 deep space objects using augmented reality.

The full-featured app is available for free on both operating systems but is ad-supported. For an ad-free version, it will cost you $2.99.

RELATED: Find constellations, planets and more with this unbelievable sky map

Test your brain power

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but a puzzle game will keep your mind as sharp as a tack. Whether you are sitting on public transport or waiting in a meeting, puzzle game apps are a great way to exercise your brain.

For iOS and Android devices, we recommend you try Brain Test: Tricky Puzzles by Unico Studio. Designed to work best on an iPad, the game has some seriously tricky brain teasers. Ranging from riddles to word searches and quizzes, it will stretch the limits in your thinking.

The free version is ad-supported, and the game features in-app purchases.

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