How TechRadar writers are using tech to keep their New Year’s resolutions
A new year may mean you’ve set yourself goals, but as you probably know it’s unlikely you’ll be keeping your resolutions by the end of January.
That's normally the case with us at TechRadar, so that's why we've put together a list of what some of our writers are intending to do in 2019 and how technology is going to help us achieve our aims.
We hope our efforts can go some way to inspire you this year to keep your resolutions, and even if they don't we may be able to just encourage you to treat yourself to a new app download or gadget anyway.
Gareth Beavis – UK Editor in Chief
I’m going to try and feel calmer with better sleep and less stress
My main goal for the next year is to, well, stop being so bloody chaotic. Make time for the things that matter and not feel like I’m flying from work to a social engagement to being caught in train delays to trying to get a few hours’ shuteye before the whole merry-go-round starts again.
So I’m going to be trying to simply sleep better and feel calmer as a main goal – and that will mean I’ll have to be more measured in my approach to life. To achieve this I’m going to use one of the Garmin range of watches – the Fenix 5 Plus, in this case – to both monitor sleep and stress levels, trying to make sure I grab more than 7 hours a night for as many days as possible in a row, and see how that reduces stress. Fingers crossed the zen just flows out of me…
Basil Kronfli – Producer
Wake up with a game
I have trouble waking up when my alarm goes off. I don’t play enough games, but love gaming. This year, I want to make the problem the solution.
Having put my phone (alarm) on the other side of the bedroom, in another room, or setting alarm apps that require I solve mental arithmetic problems to shut them up – nope. Nothing. I just go back to sleep.
I’ve recently started playing a mobile game (Injustice 2) every morning as soon as I open my eyes. It forces me to sit up; I look forward to waking up to it every night before I go to sleep and the bright colors on-screen actually stimulate my brain, kickstarting it into action.
Healthy? I'm not entirely sure. Effective? Most definitely.
Vic Hood – Gaming Writer
Eat healthier and exercise more
Cliche, I know. But I’ve been on a weight loss quest and it’s going well so far. A lot of that is down to eating better on my own, but I’ve hit a bit of a plateau recently so I need to step up my exercise. That means I’ll be using two apps that I’ve always found super helpful for people like me who find it difficult to judge the nutritional value of foods and motivate themselves to get exercising.
The first is the MyFitnessPal app, which is great for calorie counting, keeping track of exercise and being aware of the nutritional value of what you’re eating. My favorite bit though is the progress chart that lets you see how much you’ve lost and compare side-by-side images of yourself before and after. It’s super motivating.
Alongside this, I’m trying to get into running but have a horrible habit of being a Snorlax-like creature. So I’ve downloaded the Couch to 5K app from the NHS, which trains you to start running without wrecking yourself. You can even pick a celebrity motivational voice to encourage you – mine is Sarah Millican. It breaks this whole exercise business into much more manageable chunks.
Phil Hall – Photography Editor
Train over the winter
After losing my dad to prostate cancer earlier in 2018, my New Year’s resolution is to ride the Grand Depart Classic for Prostate Cancer UK next June and raise £1000 in donations at the same time. Taking place a week before the start of the Tour de France, the Grand Depart Classic mirror’s the first stage of the Tour, so just the small issue of over 120 miles to ride in a day.
The route is a loop out from Brussels and back, and takes in some of Belgium’s iconic Flemish climbs, including the Wall of Geraardsbergen and Bosberg.
I cycle a bit, but need to get more miles in beforehand if I want to have the legs ready for the end of June. With limited daylight right now, getting out on the bike is tricky, so I’m going to have to turn to some tech for help.
I’m going to be using a Wahoo Kickr smart turbo trainer to build up my base fitness. It allows me to hook my bike up to its rear 11-speed cassette, with the flywheel providing me with a similar experience to riding outside.
Thanks to its ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, I can then sync it with the Zwift indoor cycling app, allowing me to ride and train in a virtual world, with the Kickr’s resistance automatically controlled to mirror the gradients I’m riding in Zwift. Hopefully come the spring I’ll be ready to hit the hills near me with a bit more enthusiasm. As the saying goes, winter miles, summer smiles.
Gerald Lynch – Home Technology Editor
Find some head space
2018 was a rollercoaster year for me – extreme highs and deeper lows than T-Pain exploring the Mariana Trench.
Next year, I’d like to have some methods in place for leveling out those peaks and troughs, a way to calm the waves between deadlines and days off, a mellower me that can better appreciate life whatever it can throw at me.
So I’ve bought a year-long subscription to the Headspace app, a mobile meditation platform that encourages you to take a little time out of each day to ground yourself, appreciate the little things and take what comes your way, whatever it may be.
I’m really bad at keeping resolutions, and tend to be a bit skeptical about the benefits of things like meditation. But, having already kicked off the resolution thanks to a cheaper subscription offer currently on sale, it’s taken the pressure off and I’m already enjoying the results.