So it’s that time of year again. People all over the world are celebrating, spending too much, eating too much, reflecting on their accomplishments for the year and making resolutions to do better in the new year. What have you resolved to do?
For the most part, new year resolutions worldwide are fairly similar. We’re all keen to be a better person: to be healthy, have better habits, make something of ourselves and be kinder to the people around us. Thankfully, the Internet is full of useful free tools to help us stick to our goals “” and MakeUseOf has covered most of them. So, now we’re far more likely to have some success with our resolutions – this time for sure!
Depending on your needs, you might prefer a simple goal-manager or a full-blown to-do list application. Here’s a few you should know about.
The latter two have smartphone apps, so they’re great for keeping track of your goals on the go.
Goal #1 – Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking is one of the most common resolutions made yearly. If you’re keen to give it a go, here’s some articles and sites that will help you along the way, like SmokeFree.
- MyQuitLine: Free Expert Advice To Help You Quit Smoking
- FixNixer: An Online Program To Help You Quit Smoking
- 10 Websites To Help You Kick Your Smoking Addiction (and Improve Your Health)
Goal #2 – Drink Less Alcohol
Alongside quitting smoking, drinking less is a very popular resolution. You may want to quit entirely or you may just want to drink less generally. Whatever your needs, there’s something on the Internet to help you.
Start by checking out alcoholism.about.com and some free alcoholism advice on YouTube. If you want to monitor your intake, check out all the following sites for weight loss and getting fit. You can easily monitor your alcohol intake with any calorie counting site. Plus most of those sites have sub-groups to act as mutual support for various vices. Once you’ve found the calorie-counting site you like best, find a sub-group where they’re all trying to cut down on alcohol and help each other on to success.
Goal #3 – Get Fit / Lose Weight
Not all people who want to get fit need to lose weight, but those who wish to lose weight often need to look at getting more exercise. Thankfully, there’s networks and applications for all manner of fitness and weight-watching activities, such as SparkPeople and Workoutz.
- 4 Actually Useful Health Apps For Your Android Phone
- The Best Websites For Dieting On A Budget
- 3 Fitness Sites That Make Use Of Social Features
- SparkPeople – Free Online Health & Weight-loss Community
- Get Fit: 10 Sites To Find Best Walking, Running & Hiking Trails
- 6 Great Free Weight Loss Resource Sites
- Three Motivational Sites to Stay Physically Fit & Read on Benefits of Physical Fitness
- Lose It! – A Calorie Intake Calculator for the iPhone
- How To Use RunKeeper To Set Exercise Goals [iPhone]
- 10 Bicycling Websites That Will Pedal You Into The World Of Cycling
- 5 Effective Ways To Workout At Home With Online Videos
- 5 Android Running Apps To Help You Work Out & Keep Fit
- Map, Track & Socially Share Your Fitness Activities at FriendFit
- 3 Great Free Online Fitness Programs To Help You Get In Shape
Goal #4 – Get A Better Job
- 8 Sites For Beating The Job Hunting Blues
- 5 Video Channels For Learning Basic Job Interview Skills
- Search Jobs Form Your Android Mobile Phone with Hire-A-Droid
- Top 10 Most Effective Job Search Websites
Goal #5 – Get A Better Education
Plenty of quality courses and student tools can be easily found online for free these days. It’s mostly just a matter of knowing where to look. Stanford’s iTunes Podcast and MITs collection of free lectures are a great place to start. Don’t forget to check the course reading list and search your local library’s website to see if they have the textbooks.
- Websites For Students: 10 Online Learning Tools
- The Five Best Educational YouTube Channels
- 18 Great Sites to Learn a New Language
- GradeGuru’s Top Ten Student Tools for 2010 – MakeUseOf.com
- 8 Awesome Websites to Take Free College Courses Online
Goal #6 – Manage Debt / Save Money
There are a great number of helpful money tracking applications free to use online and with smartphones. There’s also plenty of free debt management advice to be found if you know where to look, like the Get Rich Slowly blog.
- 5 Online Tools to Help You Manage Your Money
- Save Money and Track Your Finances with Mint
- 3 Personal Finance Blogs That Will Get You Out Of Debt
- Make a Personal Budget on Excel in 4 Easy Steps
Goal #7 – Manage Stress
The curse of modern day life is that it is often stressful, despite all our fancy gadgets to save us time. However, there are great blogs out there giving advice on how to de-stress, slow down and change your pace of life. It might also be worth considering changing to a less stressful job and managing your finances so that you don’t need to earn as much money or simply trying to be happier when you can (see the relevant sections on how to manage that). In the meantime, you can always vent about your day on places like MegaGripe.
- Four Stress Reduction Exercises You Can Blog or Tweet About
- 3 Free Online Self-Help Social Media Tools
- 7 Sites To Help You Recover From A Bad Day
Goal #8 – Take A Trip
You may not have much luck financing your holiday with your online activities, but you can certainly get great free advice on where to go, what to see and how to get great deals on your travel and accommodation. You can even pass your idle moments with some free armchair travel at places like TripFilms as inspiration to keep saving.
- DontForgetYourToothbrush: Create your Holiday Checklist
- 10 Travel Websites that should be Bookmarked
- 10 Websites For Virtual Sightseeing With Travel Videos
- 4 Map Trackers To Show Travel Information In Your Blogs
- 10 Apps To Turn iPhone Into Your Best Travel Companion
- The Best Free Online International Travel Guides
Goal #9 – Volunteer To Help Others
These days, it’s very easy to do real volunteering online in the comfort of your own home. This is fantastic news for the charities and needy, since it makes it easier to focus talents in the right places. Why hand out leaflets for five hours when you could easily re-design their website instead?
- Volunteer Professional Skills To Charity In 5 Minutes With Sparked
- 5 Websites To Lend A Hand & Make A Difference To The World
- Find Volunteering Opportunities Near You with VolunteerMatch
- How To Easily Coordinate Volunteers Using Volunteer Spot
Goal #10 – Be Happy
Achieving any one of the above goals may well make you happy, but sometimes we need a little more to trigger that happiness. Check out blogs on happiness, such as The Happiness Project. Sometimes it’s the little things which make you smile the most.
- 5 Websites With Things To Make You Smile & Light Up Your Day
- 5 Websites To Help You Become a Happier Person
- 3 WebTools to Track and Picture your daily Well-Being
Make Your New Year Resolutions!
Whatever your resolution, it helps if you actually tell someone about it, since they can help you stick to your goals. So, let us know what your big goals are for 2011 in the comments.