“To everything…there is a season.” I conveniently left out the “turn, turn, turn” part, but I’m sure that you mentally supplied it, because who couldn’t, right? The Byrds popularized this ancient proverbial concept in 1965, and since then, it’s been tunefully bouncing around in our collective subconscious. It seems in every generation we humans are preoccupied with times, seasons, calendars and finding meaning in the dizzying dash of daily living.
In fact, we’ve become so accustomed to keeping track of our lives that every step, lunge, leap and sit-up is being tracked by your phone or whatever wearable is vying for that precious real-estate on your wrist. Calories are incinerated with each new step. Well, that’s the theory anyway. Reality bites. You might be like me, and your fitness app might keep barking at you throughout the day, chiding you for being “inactive” for several hours and suggesting that it would be a good idea to check your pulse to see if perhaps your “purpose under heaven” – to quote the Byrds again – has come to an end.
Okay, I may have put a few words into my fitness app’s mouth there, but our relationship is – how should I put it – “complicated.”
As the New Year begins and as we contemplate calendars, needed organization, fitness goals and the myriad of other complexities of life, it makes sense to make technology work for us. As such, here are some ideas for your revolutionary resolutions.
Fit Body, Flabby Finances. So, you’ve been in the gym 4 to 5 days a week throughout 2014. Your glutes are tight, your triceps are lean, your calves are defined and your torso is svelte. However, while you and Fergie have been working on your fitness, your finances have become a flabby, shabby mess. There’s an app for that. In fact there are dozens. If you need to be more organized and purposeful with your finances this year, apps like Mint, Budgt, MoneyPad and Expensify could be just the thing to help your budget get as toned and fit as your body…well, almost…we don’t want to get too carried away.
Calming the Calendar Chaos. You’ve seen that YouTube snake charmer guy “taming” a room full of cobras, right? Well, compared to some of the disarray and detritus filling our calendars, he’s gotten off light. Perhaps for the New Year, the kind of exercise that you need is exorcising the demons of disorganization from your daily grind. Organization-minded apps might be helpful; apps like 30/30, Evernote, Any.DO, Cozi Family Organizer and RE.Minder might play just the tune you need to calm the savage calendar beast.
Breaking Bad…Habits. We’ve all seen enough horrifying commercials, late-night infomercials and shocking BuzzFeed headlines to know that unhealthy habits can be more than a minor annoyance, they can be deadly serious. Maintaining good fitness, eating clean and setting priorities on healthy habits can literally change our lives – even repairing damaged DNA (some of mine might need a building permit, jack hammer and HGTV makeover crew). These habit-breaking and habit-making apps might be helpful for gaining a new lease on life: Habit, Way of Life, Balanced and Mindbloom.
Okay, one final word. Part of your journey to a better you might actually be to embrace some Luddite loyalties and eschew technology completely, opting for a more rugged, off-the-grid experience. Can’t say that I blame you. Sometimes the best technology in the world is to just reach back in time to a simpler, slower existence. The Byrds reached back thousands of years and found wisdom in ancient writings. Perhaps a prosaic stroll, a leisurely read or a much needed nap is really what could get your New Year off to a better start. Whether it’s newfangled technology, ancient proverbs or just a slower, practical pace, as this new season of your life begins, may it be the best one yet!
Richard Singleton, MACE, MAMFC, LPC, is the executive director at STARRY in Round Rock.