4 Technology Resolutions You Can Actually Keep in 2017

high-angle shot of a tablet with the text 2017 resolutions in it

This is the year. You’ll kick that bad habit. You’ll save more and spend less. You’ll try that crazy soup cleanse. Whatever your goals, January 1st brims with promise. New year, new you, right?

Turns out that once the ball drops on Times Square, it’s tough to make those resolutions stick. While 2017 may not be the year you fall in love or win the lottery, you can get your tech ready for whatever comes next. Here are four easy tech improvements that you can make on New Year’s Day.

Organize your email

Unsubscribe from the barrage of promotional emails that you send straight to the trash. It’s surprisingly easy to remove yourself from email lists—most companies provide an unsubscribe link at the bottom of every message. If you like getting e-deals (but don’t like them flooding your inbox) create filters so they land in a separate folder. And while you’re at it, take a minute to stress test your password strength.

Put your goals in your pocket

Consistently, the most popular New Year’s resolutions include health and fitness goals. Statistically, these goals don’t last. But, they just might if you had some help. There’s a wealth of health apps available that give you the capacity to track meals, log exercise, reflect on mental wellness, catch up on sleep and look back on your progress. Here are a couple low-cost options to get you started:

  • Strava – Record your running routes, stay on pace and share your results. It’s essentially a social network for athletes.
  • Fooducate – Track what you eat and when you exercise. Fooducate also includes a handy food look-up feature that’ll recommend healthier alternatives when you’re grocery shopping.
  • Stop, Breathe & Think – Clear your head, check up on your emotional wellness and practice meditation—all in five minutes a day.
  • Sleep Cycle – Not a morning person? This alarm clock analyzes your sleep patterns and helps you wake up in your lightest sleep phase.

Give your devices some TLC

It’s important to keep your electronic devices healthy, too. The start of the new year is a great time to clean up, back up and sync up your digital life. Start by corralling the wayward content on your desktop. Sort important files into folders, delete outdated documents and empty your trash bin. Next, save a backup of your freshly-cleaned computer in at least two places—for example, in the Cloud and on an external hard drive. Your third and final task? Take a couple hours to bring your all your devices up to date. Yep, it’s time to actually run those software updates you’ve been postponing indefinitely.

 

Take a break from tech

U.S. adults spend about 10 hours and 39 minutes consuming media each day. That’s a long time to stare at a screen. This year, resolve to set some firm limits on your tech usage. Whether it’s cutting back on TV, turning off push notifications or resisting the urge to check social media before bed, you’ll feel more connected to the people that matter when you live in the moment. Bonus points: you might even accomplish more if you unplug for just a couple hours each day.

There you have it: that’s four easy resolutions to help you start 2017 on top of your tech game. The best part? You can do it all from your couch. (Good luck finding an excuse this time!)

 

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/04/fashion/souping-is-the-new-juicing.html?_r=1

http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-002

http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/2015s-top-new-years-resolution-fitness.html

http://lifehacker.com/the-new-years-resolutions-most-likely-to-fail-and-what-1491671137

http://www.howtogeek.com/242428/whats-the-best-way-to-back-up-my-computer/

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/30/health/americans-screen-time-nielsen/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-rest/201009/no-time-downtime-unplug-and-recharge-your-brain