Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Six simple things to kickstart your new year

Not sure how to start the new year with a changed and revived sense of you? We’ve got six ideas, most of which use technology in some way.

A new year is a time for something new. An update. A refresh. A change.

It can mean anything, but for many of us it has a clear focus, often titled as a New Year’s Resolution, something you can either stick with and keep, or just forget about a few days or even hours into the new year.

Everyone is different, though, and they may approach something new to trigger that new year in their own unique way. It could be to start a health kick and lose weight, or it might even be for something else.

If you’re not sure just how you’re going to start the new year, that’s fine, too. You may want to consider something easy and positive that helps you kickstart the year in simple ways, such as the six we’ve come up with.

Secure your social with multi-factor or passkeys

First and foremost, if you haven’t done it yet, secure your online life and social accounts using either multi-factor authentication or with passkeys, the latest approach in improving the simplified and often phished account security mechanism that are passwords.

No joke, on the day before the 2023 ended, we saw a Facebook account phished and broken so a scammer could encourage people to waste money on crypto, and these approaches won’t end simply because the year did.

Preventing scammers and criminals from trying to break open your account is a long battle that everyone is fighting, but the best thing you can do is to help secure your social accounts and apps using greater forms of security.

Having more than a password for login will not only help protect your account, but will slow a scammer down, and forces them to have more than just your password to break into your account, which may also prevent them from breaking into it in the first place.

Not every service supports it freely, but many do, allowing you to choose from a phone-connected passkey, another device you’re logged in on, your phone number by way of SMS, or some other mechanism to secure your login. To find out what your services support, log in and head to settings on the website for that service or its app, and find the section marked “security”. You should find an option to let you beef up security fairly easily, even if it will make logging in a little different next time around.

Slim your wallet with a digital switch

We can’t help you make more money — that’s something we all need to work out on our own — but we can make a suggestion to help you feel updated as a new year begins, and that’s too go through your wallet and purse, and work out what really needs to be there. What do you still use that isn’t on your phone?

Our mobiles take over so much of our lives these days, and many of us have replaced cash with the use of digital cards on our phone. You may also live in a state where a digital license can be used instead of a physical one. Even if that’s the case, you may still feel safer carrying your actual card, but we bet there are things you can take out of your wallet that you don’t need.

Consider the start of the new year as a time when you can go through that, cutting back on what’s in a wallet or purse, and maybe considering a slim line option that can be easier to carry or even mount to the back of your phone. It might just be the loss of grams and ounces that you were looking for.

A slimline wallet that can be mounted to the back of your phone, such as the model shown here from Journey, might be all the wallet you need.

Switch your earphones and style of tunes

It’s all too easy to get stuck in the same frame of mind, even at the beginning. We’re creatures of routine and comfort, and we tend to find our way back to the familiar remarkably easily. Surprising yourself isn’t something all of us do without thinking.

But we still can, and one tech savvy way of doing that is to change what you’re listening to, or even how you’re listening in the first place.

If you’ve been listening to the same style of music for the past year, or even the same songs, consider looking for something different overall. Services have been adding discovery feeds to change things up, and while Spotify’s algorithms are pretty clever at finding new things, Apple Music has a dedicated playlist to help you find new music, you’ve never heard of ever. You may even want to consider a new music service as that change, or even just something different.

Step out of your comfort zone and try something different. You just might find new sounds and songs that connect with who you are.

Alternatively, it could even be a change in how you listen that shapes your new year. Consider grabbing a new pair of earphones or even a pair headphones that blocks much of the outside world, and making your music sound that much better. It can make a world of difference.

Learn something new

A new year may as well be a new start for many of us, as it’s a time when we feel new things can happen. Especially if the last year wasn’t tremendously great.

If something not so fantastic happened the previous year, it’s not unusual to hope for a better year the year after. So why not kick it off by learning something different.

Learning something new is a great way to start a year, as it can put you in the right frame of mind to take on new challenges with vigour, and to really channel that attention and excitement for new tasks.

It’s one of the reasons this journalist decided to learn iPhone app coding, building his own app with that knowledge, which has encouraged him to learn more platforms and methods, and even share the sources he found most useful in that programming journey.

There are lots of things we can all take on, and we never really stop learning, but if you actively start the year wanting to learn and putting it into action, it might just help you feel more positive about it all from the very beginning. It may even give you a new career path eventually, too.

Compiling those apps a little bit faster in Xcode with the M3 MBP!

Clear your phone’s browser tabs

Some people need to feel like a new year is a time to refresh your life, to start anew, and that’s something many of us can relate to.

To do that digitally, you might want to check how many tabs you’re running on the web browser on your phone. On last check, this journalist had 154. Yikes!

Open up those tabs, work out if you still need them and if they were things you had promised to check out later on, and if they’re not needed, shut them down. And if they are needed — if they’re things you want to keep — either bookmark them or get them sorted, and then close them.

You may find killing as many of your browser tabs and getting as close to zero as possible is just the start the new year ended. It shouldn’t affect your phone too much having them open, as browsers don’t always run them in the background, and tend to pause the memory usage. But it might just make you feel a whole lot fresher overall.

Change your towel

Feeling refreshed can be a mindset thing, but it’s also something you can make a dent with physically, as well. That could be running water over your hands and splashing it all over your face, or it could even be something we’re all going when we shower, swim, or bathe in general: use a towel.

Science-fiction’s Douglas Adams wrote about the importance of a towel many years ago, and while Towel Day is more for May, you can still use a towel to impact the beginning of the year as a physical point by replacing it with something new.

Grab a new towel, either from the cupboard or shelf where you store them or even from the store, and start the year with that feeling of being refreshed from something new. Smell the clean fibres as you rub them over your face, and know that something in your life has changed.

It might be small, but small things can make all the difference, especially when you’re looking for something to change.

Read next