3 tech resolutions to improve your life

Jan 20 2017, 9:56 pm

The beginning of the year is, almost always nauseatingly, rife with resolutions and promises for self-improvement. The well-meaning clichéd goals to drink less, workout more, and eat better usually fall by the wayside (or waistline) as early as February rolls around. This year, don’t give up your love of fries and, instead, try these tech resolutions that will improve your relationships, health, and help you conquer your greatest fears.

1. Mobile device detox

I don’t know about you but when a new year rolls around, I don’t automatically turn into a “new me.” On New Year’s Day I’m a slightly more hungover version of the very same me I was the day before – and that usually looks a lot like me sitting on the couch with my phone, my dog, and the faint sound of Rory and Laurelai Gilmore jabbering away in the background.

Are you addicted to your smart phone? (Image: iStock)

Full disclosure, part of being me, and I know I’m not alone here, is that I’m addicted to my mobile device and social media. The social media vortex takes up more time in my day than it should. One minute I’m liking a photo of my best friend’s breakfast sandwich, and the next thing I know I’m judging the engagement photo of my ex’s cousin’s colleague’s sister unaware that 45 minutes has passed.

Like any addiction, device dependency can hurt your relationships. I swore off cleanses after lasting a mere five hours on a $300 juice cleanse (seriously WTF is with juice cleanses!), so I’m not suggesting you give up your phone or forego social media, but there is one big change you can make without setting off a missing persons alert.

A good rule of thumb is that if you’re with other human beings in a social setting, keep your phone out of sight. This goes for parties, dinners, meetings, coffee dates, wine tastings, etc. I know this might sound harsh, but so are nights spent watching your friends’ Snapchat for an entire party. When you have the flu for the third time this winter, Facetune and Instagram won’t bring you chicken noodle soup. If you put in the effort, your friends might.

2. Don’t go broke trying to get fit

There are plenty of inexpensive ways to get and stay fit (Image: Shutterstock)

Too many people fall prey to the idea that if they prepay for pricey fitness classes, gym memberships, or personal training, they will be motivated to keep their workout commitments. Instead, what usually happens is that not only do they fail at their fitness goals, but they end up losing precious dough. Trust me, the only thing worse than being out of shape is being out of shape and broke.

There are plenty of free and inexpensive ways to reach your fitness goals. Apps such as Sworkit, Nike+ Training Club, and Fitbit offer awesome dashboards and workouts for free. As well, most phones come with a built in health app that tracks your activity. If you don’t like carrying your phone around 24/7, fashionable fitness trackers (think Kate Spade and Michael Kors) are not just functional, but good looking accessories as well.

Fitness trackers motivate you and keep you on track by monitoring your steps, workouts, calories, and the quality of your sleep. They will even send you notifications if you’ve been inactive for a long period of time (thanks a lot, Netflix!) and you can have friendly competitions with your friends to see who can do more steps in a week.

3. Conquer your fears, virtually

Fears are so 2016. We don’t have to read any more self-help books to know that fears hold you back. Do you have a fear of public speaking or heights? With virtual reality such as Samsung’s Gear and Oculus Rift headsets, people are now learning how to overcome their long-standing phobias.

The #BeFearless campaign aims to help people master their fears and inspire confidence through virtual reality experiences and an app. Inspired by the two most common fears, public speaking and heights, the experiences take you through life-like scenarios, from job interviews and presentations to rock climbing and scaling sky-scrapers.

The concept is based on the psychology that facing fears head on in an effort to reframe the way you think about them can help to overcome phobias that may interfere with you living your best life.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure yet for the world’s collective fear of what Donald Trump is capable of in 2017, but hopefully the tech industry can figure something out quick.

Christine TamChristine Tam

+ Tech