Best Apps for Motivation and Tracking Goals

man using smart phone and smart watch to track fitness
Millions (possibly billions) of goals are set every year. Yet, only a small percentage of them are ever achieved. It’s not due to a lack of motivation or inspiration as we’re constantly inundated by motivational videos, inspirational sayings, and stimulating images across the web. So, why do so many fail to achieve the goals they set for themselves? Well, a large part of it has to do with the fact that while people tend to set goals, they don’t write them down or track their progress during their journey. Research from Psychology Professor Dr. Gail Matthews indicates that those who write down their goals, track their actions, and provide weekly progress updates to friends are 33% more likely to achieve their goal successfully. <1> Fortunately, there are several fitness apps available today made specifically for writing down your goals as well as tracking your progress. Some of these apps even motivate you to keep you on track during your journey. Here, we present a list of our favorite fitness apps to track your progress and stay motivated as you strive to achieve new feats of size, strength, performance, or body composition.

10 Best Fitness Apps for Goal Tracking and Motivation


FitQuote is a simple app that delivers daily motivational quotes to inspire you to keep on track with your fitness goals. In addition to receiving daily quotes, you can also set reminders, so you never miss a day. Additional features of FitQuote include background photo personalization, the ability to save quotes, and more. Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Way of Life

Way of Life is a powerful little app that helps track good and bad habits. The app also includes helpful reminders you can set up if you need added encouragement to stay the course. Using the app is pretty easy, select a goal or action you want to do (or avoid), and the app will give you a daily reminder to log what you did (or did not do) to work towards your goals. Cost: Free with in-app purchases available touts itself as the leading habit tracking app on the market. The user interface is clean and easy to use. Select a goal, record your progress, and earn rewards for staying the course. As a bonus, also allows you to hire a personal habit and leadership coach for as little as $20 per week. Be advised that is more suited to personal development or habit formation, and it may not be the best app for tracking fitness goals or receiving fitness coaching. Cost: Free with options to pay for habit and/or leadership coaching

Nike+ Run

Nike+ Run hails itself as "your perfect running partner," and there's not much more you could ask for from what is considered by many as one of the best fitness apps on the market. The fitness app tracks how many miles you’ve run in every pair of running shoes you own, even shoes that aren’t made by Nike. Nike+ Run app also has an extensive community where you can motivate your friends and join challenges with other runners around the world. The app also features a personalized coaching plan to deliver a running program tailored to your skillset and training availability. And, if you're someone who enjoys sharing accomplishments with your extended social network, the Nike+ Run app comes built with sharing extensions so that you can share with any other social media app on your phone, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, the app doesn't automatically share all of your data with social media (like the old version of the app did). After you complete a run, you can choose if you want to share your running route (as well as a photo from your camera roll), and to which platforms you want to share your data. You can even customize your running photos with stickers or caption and tag friends. Finally, the Nike+ Run App features exclusive training tips and pointers from Club Coaches, Pacers, and Nike elite athletes to help you on your next run. Cost: Free

Zombies Run!

For those of you looking to make your time spent running more enjoyable as well as those who are looking for a way to "shake up" the typical fitness playlist, Zombies, Run! It is something you need to check out. Zombies, run! is an immersive running game, co-created by Naomi Alderman, an award-winning novelist. Strap on your shoes put on your headphones, load the app, and start jogging/running. Within moments, you begin to hear the guttural moans and groans of zombies coming from every direction. You have no choice but to RUN! In addition to creeping zombie audio, app users will also be immersed in an intense audio drama that puts you at the center of the action. While you run, you’ll “acquire supplies” to ensure your survival and develop your home base. If you're not exactly up for a great run, no need to worry as Zombies, Run! can work with any speed you want to go -- walk, hike, jog, run, and sprint. It also works anywhere you want to walk or run, including the treadmill. Cost: $5.99 USD/month or $34.99 USD/year. Legacy subscription is $7.99 USD/year.


Positive thinking and self-talk can be immensely helpful in helping you feel motivated to stay on track with your goals. Conversely, negative thoughts have the opposite effect, making us feel dejected and unmotivated. ThinkUp! is an app that seeks to reinforce the positive by giving you daily affirmations to use and record. You select affirmations from an expert-approved list, or you can use them as inspiration and create your positive self-talk. Once you've selected your affirmation, you'll record yourself saying it. The reason for this (according to ThinkUp!) is that your brain trusts and understands your voice, increasing the impact of the words. It's also suggested that you listen to the affirmations for five minutes at least once per day. With the free version, you can record up to four affirmations and use a single piece of background music. The upgraded Pro plan ($5/month or $24/year) gives the user unlimited recorded affirmations and allows for multiple pieces of background music. Cost: Free with in-app purchases available

ATracker PRO Time Tracker

If you’ve ever wondered where does the time go, then ATracker is just what you need. The app is all about helping you figure out how you're spending your time each day. For daily routines like getting ready in the morning, watching TV, cooking dinner, commuting, and answering email, ATracker offers one-tap start and stop time tracking. With this data, you'll be better equipped to see where you're spending your time and what tasks you may need to start limiting your time, so you don't go overboard on the wrong things (like spending hour after hour on social media instead of studying). After you start tracking your daily tasks and habits, ATracker displays time spent in bar or pie charts showing where your time went each day. For a "30,000 foot view", the app also provides breakdowns over the past week, month, or other range you'd like to review (3 months, 6 months, etc.). Cost: $4.99 with in-app purchases


GoalsOnTrack offers dual goal setting tracking, allowing users to track via web or app, using the SMART approach. What is the SMART approach? SMART is an acronym that stands for:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely
GoalsOnTrack helps you break up big goals into smaller ones, so they don't seem as daunting, thereby increasing the probability of you seeing your goals through to the end. Additionally, the app offers unique animations as well as offline tracking so you can track how long you spend on tasks during the day. You can also upload your pictures or select one from the built-in goal picture gallery to attach to your goals. GoalsOnTrack even includes real-time progress tracking, which allows users to view their progress whenever a task is completed instantly. The app also includes a built-in journal, allowing users to write in greater detail about their goals and progress. Finally, GoalsOnTrack also has the option to turn on task reminders so that you are notified before a task is due. Cost: Free with in-app purchases


Strides is another goal tracking and motivation app utilizing the SMART approach to setting and accomplishing goals. It's sleek design, and user-friendly interface makes it one of the best apps for tracking progress. And, it can be used you monitor anything, from goals to habits to fitness. The New York Times has called Strides "the most comprehensive, user-friendly, beautifully designed goal tracking app available." The app offers reminders so that you never forget to maintain those good actions you’re trying to instill as habits or that help you fulfill your bigger goals. You can choose a goal from a pre-made list or create your own, set a target date for when you want to complete the goal, and then specify the steps you need to take to make that goal or action a habit. Strides also let you track your progress and goals by the day, week, month, year, or even on a rolling average. It even creates charts with history, streak, success rate, and more. Cost: Free with in-app purchases


People love to scour YouTube and web for motivational videos to give them the “oomph” to get going or stay on track with their goals. The problem is that searching for the "right" video takes time, time that could be better spent, such as working towards your goal or new habit. Enter Motivate. The purpose of this app is in its name -- provide daily motivation to the user. This free app features thousands of motivational videos from notable mentors across the globe. You can also customize your notifications and motivations to your personal preferences. When using the free plan, you receive five motivational videos every day. Open the app, push play, and watch/listen. Cost: Free with in-app purchases
*All products and copyrights mentioned in this article are not affiliated with SteelFit® and are owned by their respective companies.


  1. Dominican University of California,

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