Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to start thinking about New Years resolutions ideas. For most people, that means making a list of goals that will hopefully last two or three months, before they are forgotten entirely. Personally, this has happened so many times that I’m starting to believe that New Years resolutions are meant to be ridiculously difficult to achieve, and never actually accomplished.
Not so this year, however. This year, one of my most important New Years Resolutions is to actually KEEP my resolutions, but in order to do that, I’ll need a few tools to keep me reminded of my goals.
Perhaps you need a bit of inspiration to start your resolution-making for next year too? If so, read on for 5 great tools to help you do just that!
43 Things is a site meant for keeping track of life goals, although it does have a section specifically for resolutions. Honestly, I found the site to be a bit confusing to navigate at first. When you sign up, you can immediately start to add goals for yourself, but keep in mind, you have a maximum of 43 goals.
You can also browse and add goals that others have created. Each specific goal has a page of its own, complete with the average time to completion, the number of people who are trying to accomplish the same thing, tips from users who successfully completed the goal, and more.
After a goal is added to your list, you can set a reminder and the interval you would like it to be emailed to you. You can also write journal entries for each goal to document your progress.
43Things For The iPhone
43Things for the iPhone [iTunes Store link] is great as both a complement to the website and as a standalone service, though you’ll still need an account to use it. It has the same basic functionality as the website, allowing you to track the percentage completion of your goals, write entries detailing your progress, and mark goals you’ve completed. While the app has a few less features than the website (most noticeably, it is missing the community that the website has), I prefer the app over the website because the interface is much more straightforward.
Habitforge is a bit like 43Things, but the premise is that it takes only 21 consecutive days to form a habit. Thus, this site works particularly well for resolutions where repetition is the key to success. Examples would be “run for 30 minutes every day” or “read 10 pages of a top 100 classics book every day”. Once you add a habit, Habitforge emails you daily to ask about your progress.
You can specify what your motivation for having the goal is, and Habitforge will insert this into its daily email every three days, to remind you why exactly it is so important for you to keep working at your goal. From the website, you can see how many days are left, and the percentage of days that you completed your task.
This website is pretty new, so plenty of features (like specifying which days of the week a goal applies to) are still in the works, but as it stands Habitforge is already a very solid webapp.
If you don’t mind a plain interface, Joe’s Goals is also a great online habit tracker, which allows you to assign point values to each goal to denote its importance. You can denote whether a goal is positive or negative (for example, ‘wasting time at work’ might be negative while ‘keep desk clean’ would be positive), and for each day, Joe’s Goals will add your point totals depending on which tasks you completed. You can then view a graph of your point totals over time. This graph can also be embedded in a variety of places, including iGoogle as a gadget.
For those who don’t want to sign up for yet another service, OneNote, or any other notebook software is a great way to track goals. Dedicate an entire notebook to your resolutions, and make a separate section for each of your resolutions. Then, you can either fill the pages of each section with entries on how far you’ve progressed (akin to 43Things), with your grandoise plans on how to accomplish your goals, or even pictures / screenshots / other types of media to document your work.
Another way to track your resolutions using the tools you most likely already have is Google Calendar. Simply make a new calendar specifically for your resolutions, and create repeating events for each resolution, on the days you want them to be observed. Then you can set GCal to remind you by email (or by SMS if you have that set up) when you need to complete a task in order to keep your resolution.
Now that I have detailed five tools to help you keep your New Year Resolutions, you have no excuse to break your resolutions this year. Give some of these methods a test, and let us know how they work for you! Or, if you have your own method to keep track of resolutions, let the rest of us in on your secret to success! Happy New Year and good luck keeping those resolutions!