Best Windows Phone apps for keeping your New Year's resolution

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Upgrade to Windows Phone 8.1New Year’s resolutions are hard — at least, a good one should be a challenge. The problem, though, is that sometimes they’re too challenging, and by mid-February we’ve accepted failure.

A 2014 survey by the University of Scranton found that only 8 percent of New Year’s resolutions are successful. That’s bad enough to make one think it’s not even worth trying. At least, not without a little help. But the right tools can bring that 92 percent down to a more respectable level. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of Windows Phone apps to help accomplish those goals.

It’s hard to pick just one to-do list, but it’s definitely a necessary tool if you want to stay on top of your commitments. We recommend TinyDO for a clean gesture-based to-do list with SkyDrive sync, and 2Day if you want a little more functionality and organizational capability.

If increased productivity is your goal, it can’t be done without Microsoft Office. The office suite software that changed the role of personal computers has been optimized for Windows mobile devices. With automatic sync across OneDrive, you can remain productive as you jump from one device to another.

The University of Scranton study also found that 47 percent of New Year’s resolutions are “self improvement or education related.” Runtastic will help out those of us who’ve decided to be a bit more mobile this time around. With heart-rate integration, overhead maps, detailed charts, and more, Runtastic has become one of the top-rated running apps in the marketplace.

Multiple studies have found that listening to music during workouts helps improve endurance and maintain focus. So, if your goal is to be more active, maybe Spotify and a pair of earbuds can help.

If your aspirations are more of an intellectual pursuit, why not try another language? Designed to teach language the same way an expat would learn — by immersion — Duolingo is a free, easy, and fun way to learn. Currently, they’ve built curriculums for Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and English, but incubator courses are available in several more languages, such as Irish and Esperanto.

Sometimes, all we want for the new year is to stay in touch. Simply seeing a friend or family member’s face makes an immense difference over a text or a phone call. Skype has free video calling and low international rates, making it your best choice for keeping in touch.

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