We all know that personal development encompasses not only shifting the way we think but also shifting the way we take care of our bodies, finances, emotions, relationships and our spiritual relationship. Fortunately for us today, we live in an app-centered world and our smartphones and tablets to help us in making these shifts. The apps are available for both iOS (Apple) and Android devices and some can also be used on your computer. Here are my suggestions:
Mental. How you think determines how you act. Upgrade and sharpen your thinking through reading or listening to uplifting material and playing proven brain games.
- Audible.com (Android, iOS & Windows) – A plethora of books on self-development you can listen to as you commute, workout or just sit quietly at home sipping a glass of wine. The app is free as is the first 30 days of your Audible subscription. After 30 days, the cost is $14.95 per month, but you can cancel at anytime.
- Lumosity (Android & iOS) – Instead of checking the latest posts on Facebook to kill time while standing in line, exercise your grey matter with neuroscientist-developed games focused on memory, attention, flexibility, speed of processing, and problem solving. The app and basic Lumosity are free. I play Lumosity games when standing in long lines or sitting in the doctor’s waiting room.
Physical. A sluggish body leads to sluggish lifestyle. Track your exercise and eating habits the right foods to stay healthy.
- Runkeeper (Android & iOS) – This is an easy to use GPS-driven app to track distance, time and calories burned as you walk, run, cycle, etc. As you go, you’ll hear an audio readout of your distance, time and pace so you can make adjustments. You can also invite friends and create challenges. As of Oct. 22, 2015, you can use Runkeeper with your Apple watch. The app is free. I’m a walker and this is my go-to app.
- Sparkpeople (Android & iOS) – Not only can you track your workouts with this app, but you can also track what you eat. Sparkpeople is chock full of fitness and diet information such as workout videos, healthy recipes, bar code scanner, ability to interact with other users and join groups to help stay motivated. You can also earn Sparkpoints for prizes and other incentives. The app is free. I track on Sparkpeople everyday and regular use the workout videos.
Financial. Don’t let your finances control you. Instead you can control them with tools that let you know at a tap what’s what.
- Mint (Android & iOS) – This money management app was developed by the makers of Turbotax® and Quicken® so you know it’s good. You can create budgets and categories of expenses then track your income and expenses as you go. You can also create alerts to let you know something is wrong better still something is right with your accounts. Mint also gives you money-saving tips. What I like most about this app is that you can use it on your phone or computer. The app is free.
- MileIQ (Android & iOS) – If you are an entrepreneur, full or part-time, this is the perfect app to help you track your mileage. No more estimating or forgetting to record your daily mileage. Working with your phone’s GPS, MileIQ automatically tracks mileage as soon as you begin to drive from place A to place B. At the end of your trip, with a swipe of your finger, you can categorize your trip as personal or business. The app is free. I use this everyday.
Relationships. We all have them and while there isn’t an app to create relationships, there are tools to help you have better relationships with people.
- Habit Streak (Android & iOS) – This app helps you develop new habits and achieve goals. You decide what habits you want to foster, ex. encourage someone or read/listen to personal development 30 minutes daily or watch 30 minutes less of television, and add your habit into the app. If you can’t think of a habit, the app offers suggestions. It also reminds to record and analyzes your progress. The free version allows you to track up to four habits. The Pro version costs $1.49 and you can track an unlimited number of habits/goals. This app is helping me get better.
Emotional. Ok, there isn’t an app to control your emotions; only you can do that. You can relieve a lot of stress and be calmer with earlier-mentioned apps such as Mint and Habit Streak. There are apps that help you be more aware of your emotional responses to situations and possibly change them when you encounter the situation again in the future. (Disclaimer: these apps are not a substitute for medical treatment if you’ve been diagnosed with or suspect you have a mental illness or disorder)
- Optimism (iOS only) – This app helps to track your moods and learn what triggers your behaviors/responses. The app provides charts and reports to give you feedback. This app is to be used in conjunction with the help of a mental health professional. The app is free.
- Diaro (Android, iOS & Windows) – This is a cool journaling app to record and categorize your activities and ideas throughout the day. You can also record and categorize your photos. If can immediately share your musings via email, text or Twitter. And so you don’t loose any of your precious thoughts, you can upload to Dropbox or synch with another device. This is a great app for writers, budding and seasoned, as well as photographers. The app is free and there is a pro version available with more features.
Spiritual Relationships. To grow personally, we must realize that it’s not “all about me” and that there is someone beyond mankind operating in this universe. I’m a Christian and for me that someone is God. You may have another belief and that’s fine. There is an app to support you in your spiritual growth.
- YouVersion Bible (Android & iOS) – Pick the translation you like best. You can bookmark verses and add your insights in the Notes part. You can share your Notes via social media. The app provides different reading plans on a myriad of topics with new ones added regularly. You can sign up for as many as you want and get daily reminders so you don’t forget. The app is free. I’m glad I found this app because now I’m never without the Word.
- Other Bible Apps. There are separate apps for different Bibles for Android and iOS devices. Available are the Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB), Complete Jewish Bible (CJB), Catholic Bible, Al-Quran (Android) and AlQuran (iOS) to name a few.
These are just a few personal development apps at your disposal. There are, of course, many more apps available that fit into one or more of the above categories to help you in your shift. Try an app to see if it meets your needs. If you already use one that’s perfect for you but not mentioned above, by all means keep using it. The important thing is to shift and grow.