COMMENTARY: New Year’s Objectives, perhaps resolutions

Most of us spend the holidays thinking about ways to better ourselves as the New Year approaches. There’s the typical, yet sensible, weight loss resolution, one I should probably make, but not this year. …
There’s so much more to consider as you think about ways to start the New Year off right, while using technology already at our fingertips.
Consider the “Cook More at Home” resolution — who knew there was technology that could help you with this? (Not me, until this journey of technological wonder began.) There are a whole slew of apps and even smart accessories to make your life (and resolutions) as easy as possible to keep up with.
Balance your busy life and get a home cooked meal on the table at a reasonable hour with the Verizon Wireless iGrill.
With the iGrill, you can keep an eye on whichever meat you’re cooking right from your smartphone or tablet. That’s right – you can cook without interrupting your sports or program until absolutely necessary. Simply insert the smart meat thermometer into your meat. Put it in the oven, grill or smoker and check its status without having to open up the oven every five minutes.
Once the meat reaches your desired temperature, you’ll get a text alert telling you your meat is done. (Kids in the same room with each other do this texting thing all the time – so why not let your wireless grill text you, too? This is a good indoors app, but possible for outdoor cooking, too.)
Don’t know what to cook? Check out one of the many apps out there to help you find something new your family will love. PepperPlate is one of the most popular recipe apps. From writing a grocery list to planning out your week’s meals and sharing great recipes on social media, this app will help you make meals for your whole crew.
Want to keep up the weight loss resolution this year? For those so inclined, depend on the Smart Body Scale to help you out.
This smart scale sends your data right to your smartphone or tablet. Now you’ve got a timeline view of your weight loss progression and can keep up with your goals. You can even choose to share this data with a friend or doctor to help keep you accountable.
Or there’s the “Use Your Money More Wisely This Year” resolution. Download the MoBill Budget and Reminder app and stay on top of your finances this year. Set reminders for the time of day you are most available to pay your bills. That way you’re not worried about getting reminders to pay during your busiest part of the day. Copy your bill reminders onto Google Calendar and back up your data into Dropbox so you don’t lose everything if your phone or tablet gets lost or stolen. This app is even available in the newest Windows 8 operating system and on Google Play.
Finally, there’s my personal resolution to learn how to do a better job of journalism in the online format. Now, that’s a work in progress.  
Who said an old guy can’t learn new tricks? No matter your resolutions, it seems there are apps or accessories to help you as the New Year begins.
Note: Notoriously skeptical of high technology and in fact dubious about the 21st Century, one of Pat McGuigan’s New Year’s resolutions is to embrace modern communications technology … sort of. After long priding himself on technology inefficiency combined with writing proficiency, he has decided it is possible to have both. We’ll keep an eye on our Oklahoma City bureau chief to see if he sticks to this resolution. His wife promises to provide confirmation if McGuigan actually starts cooking indoors. Parts of this essay also appeared in the New Year’s edition of The City Sentinel newspaper in Oklahoma City.  

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