2019 New Year's resolutions made easier with wearables

Keeping resolutions for 2019 is easier than ever thanks to our pick of connected kit
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January: a time to take down the decorations, finish off the selection boxes and vow once again to have a healthier, fitter, happier 12 months before Christmas rolls back around.

The good news is you don't have to rely on your willpower alone to make sure your New Year's resolutions stick: a well-chosen wearable or two can make all the difference between success and failure.

Essential reading: Apple Watch apps to kickstart your 2019

We've picked out five of the most common resolutions, together with the gadgets that can help you stay on course.

1. Lose weight


Want to try and shed some of the pounds you've put on over the holidays? There are dozens of decent fitness trackers and sporty smartwatches on the market to match any budget, so you can set yourself exercise targets and then check your progress on reaching them (or not as the case may be).

If you want to track weight specifically, then a smart scale may be a wise investment. There's plenty of options out there from the likes of Nokia and Polar, but if you're a new Fitbit owner, the Aria 2 Wi-Fi scale is a good fit. Building on top of the original, it'll measure your weight, body fat percentage and body mass index for up to eight users from its glass body that packs in a backlit display. It will of course work with Fitbit's trackers and its Versa and Ionic smartwatches letting you see how exercise affects calorie burn and shedding those pounds.

2. Stop smoking


Giving up smoking is one of the hardest challenges you can set for yourself but the benefits can of course can be huge for your health. One wearable that is designed to help kick this particular habit is Pavlok.

Read this: Breaking bad habits with Pavlok's wristband

The wearable delivers an electric shock to your wrist ranging from 50 to 500 volts and is based on the classic theory of Pavlovian conditioning that aims to associate bad habits with a shock. If you're not brave enough for the shocks, you can also choose audio or vibrations instead, but the aim is the same - to condition you over time to realise that the smoking life needs to finally come to an end.

3. Cut back on alcohol


Perhaps you've overindulged at Christmas or maybe you just want to give your liver a rest – whatever the reason, taking a temporary or permanent break from drinking or just cutting down can do wonders for your health and your bank balance.

Read this: How wearables are helping to fight addictions

There's a few wearable alcohol trackers that are currently in the works that want to let you know how drunk you are in real time. The Bactrack Skyn band takes a reading every second, while an app will display a graph detailing your exact alcohol level. Worn around the wrist, the tech is also being lined up to feature inside a strap for the Apple Watch. Proof, which enjoyed a successful crowdfund campaign in 2018 also offers similar features to the Skyn wearable.

These two solutions though are not quite ready for mass consumption. Until they do land (hopefully it'll be this year), Bactrack does currently offer portable smart breathalysers including a new keychain model. If you own an Apple Watch, there's also a handful of apps including the likes of Alcohol Units Calculator to keep tabs on your drinking too.

4. Do a Couch to 5K


The Couch to 5K scheme from the NHS is a running plan for beginners that's designed to get people from sitting on the couch to participating in a 5K run in the space of nine weeks. There is an official app available, but you can also improve your chances of success with a dedicated running watch to keep an eye on your jogging regime and routes. We've also picked out a bunch of great apps and wearables to get your Couch to 5K started.

5. Learn a new language


We are in the age of real-time translation hearables with Google, Bragi and startups like Timekettle and Waverly Labs with its Pilot buds (above) among the first to offer the ability to make having conversations in different languages easier.

While these wearables should spell the end of trying to learn a new language, they could also work to improve your ability to recognise common phrases and conduct more natural sounding conversations making you less reliant on the tech or when you don't have those smart buds nearby.

If you're a smartwatch owner, the likes of the Apple Watch and Google's army of Wear watches also offer a host of dedicated apps like Babbel or Duolingo that can serve up the foreign lingo in bitesized chunks. So, you can learn new words and phrases every day straight from your wrist.

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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