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Science says new year resolutions are a good idea because we end up dissociating from our old selves and look forward to starting anew. But a little help never hurts, right? The Internet is full of fantastic websites and resources to aid in your quest to make a better you.
Last year, Nielsen conducted a survey to find the most popular new year’s resolutions. Let’s see which websites can help you accomplish one of those.
Stay Fit and Healthy (37%) and Lose Weight (32%)
The most popular resolution was physical health, with more than one out of every three people making that their top priority. For many people, that means losing weight. But that’s just a part of it. You need to look at overall physical improvement.
One of the cooler resources for this is Darebee, made by Neila Rey, author of 100 No-Equipment Workouts. Why? Because Darebee makes workouts fun by tying them into popular culture, and keeps challenging you to do more and more.
Each exercise routine is made into an infographic like “The Hunger Games workout” or “The Batman Workout” and so on. They are all full-body workouts comprising different sets and reps that focus on aspects like power, agility, muscle density, and so on. Everything is available as a freely downloadable poster. And you don’t need to go to the gym either.
Darebee has plenty more, such as a series of 30-day programs, challenges for fitness buffs to push themselves, preparation programs for running marathons or sprints, and so on. There are also downloadable PDFs for motivational posters, meal plans, as well as articles on nutrition, recipes, meditation, and general fitness.
If you need anything more, head to Darebee’s Hive discussion forums to talk to others following a healthy lifestyle.
Speaking of forums, Reddit’s communities are fantastic for keeping your new year’s resolutions. In the weight loss department, r/LoseIt is at the top of the list as several people post pictures of their progress in shedding those pounds, offer advice on what worked and didn’t for them, share links about different diet plans, and so on.
If you’re new to r/LoseIt, you need to learn how to use it well. First, go through the all-time top posts to know what the community likes and has already discussed, then go through the hot and top posts in the last month. Check our awesome guide to Reddit to know more about how to behave when you’re a newbie in a community.
For more weight loss tips, here are some unexpected lessons I learnt in my daily exercise habits.
Enjoy Life to the Fullest (28%)
A sound body needs a sound mind. Far too many of us are caught in the minutiae of daily life and all its many frustrations. We lose sight of the big picture and stop living life to the fullest, and enjoying every bit of it. Seize the day, as Robin Williams put it in Dead Poet’s Society. Meditation is a great way to start appreciating life.
Whenever life is weighing down too heavily on your mind and your shoulders, fire up your browser and go to Pixel Thoughts. The purpose of this site is simply to put your troubles in perspective, and remind you that you are only a small part of the mysteries of this universe.
Accompanied with soothing music, Pixel Thoughts asks you to put your biggest worry into a bubble. The 60-second meditation tool then asks you to keep looking at that bubble, as it displays messages to calm you down, while making the bubble smaller and smaller.
It’s a popular meditation technique put into a digital form, and more often than not, it’ll work wonders for you.
Sattva isn’t the first free, cross-platform meditation tool we’ve recommended and it won’t be the last. But it is a special app, in the number of guided meditation exercises it offers. if you’re new to the idea of meditation.
The Sativa web app lets you customise your meditation based on the number of minutes you have, or the type of help you need. Choose a timed or guided meditation, the ambience you want, and the alarm bell to announce the end of the session. Tell Sattva about your current mood and off you go.
Sign up and Sattva also tracks the amount of time you’ve meditated, unlocking trophies and thus turns building this habit into a game. And yeah, there are free mobile apps available for Android and iOS too.
More than anything else, Sattva’s insights engine provides a look at how meditation is improving your life. As we’ve already mentioned, you need to track your core goal to achieve it, not the steps to it, and Sattva gives you a glimpse of how much more you are getting out of life.
Spend Less, Save More (25%)
Everyone sets out with the intention of saving more money, but we don’t end up cutting our expenses. Personal finance can be complicated, daunting, or overwhelming. Understanding how to get your money under control is a big part of being an adult.
Finance guru Dave Ramsey put his teachings into the form of a web app this year. EveryDollar takes Ramsey’s seven baby steps system and digitises it.
The idea is to start with an Emergency Fund of $1000, move on to paying off debt, then saving 3 to 6 months of expenses, and then get into investments, college tuitions for the kids, paying off your mortgage, and building wealth to give to charity.
The EveryDollar app is a fantastic way to start on your path to being financially solid.
Trent Hamm of The Simple Dollar was, like many of us, steeped in debt and unable to see a way out. But slowly and surely, he beat his way out of it, and ended up building an incredible web resource out of it. Hamm’s articles offer everything from simple tips like keeping a visual reminder of your debt to complex, long-term financial plans.
Hamm makes an effort to simplify money management because he knows just how intimidating financial jargon is for someone new to the idea of saving money and cutting expenditure.
Apart from these two resources, there are plenty of financial tools you can use. Dann showed how to save money with apps and websites, tying the principles of finance with the best tools to apply them.
If all you’re looking for is the best web app for financial management, then it has to be Mint. Our beginner’s guide to managing your money with Mint will get you started and even show you a few tricks if you’re already a user.
Get Organized (18%)
How do you look to improve your life if your life is completely scattered? You don’t have a list of things you need to do, you don’t have a calendar of your appointments, you don’t know your goals… life, in general, is too chaotic. For the 18% of you who want to get organised, it’s time to put a plan in place.
If your brain is overloaded with the number of things you need to track, you should try a brain dump and mind-mapping. Mind-mapping is the practice of brainstorming by getting stuff out of your head and into text, then joining the elements to come up with solutions. The most popular free one is MindMup, although it has some limitations, so you should check out other useful web-based mind mapping tools.
Saikat has also looked at plenty of free mind-mapping tools and how to best use them, which provides some valuable insights in the different methods of mind-mapping and how to apply those lessons with digital tools.
Follow the Leaders
Here’s the thing though: The right tool or website depends upon the kind of organization you need. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to organization. In fact, you might need to change your organization style multiple times till you find one that works for you. I still recommend the three-strike system to keep changing. Hence, recommending one website or productivity method alone isn’t in your best interest.
Instead, here are a few resources and writers that you should follow regularly, and in the course of that, you’ll end up discovering the best organizational method:
- Zen Habits
- Laura Vanderkam of Fast Company
- A Life of Productivity
- Mark and Angel Hack Life
- Asian Efficiency
It’s going to be a lot of great information and tips, so you’ll also need to learn how to organize and remember life hacks.
While you’re following these leaders, you still need to get started in some way. Most successful people have one habit in common: every night, they review their current day and plan the next day. To begin, try the Storyline Productivity Schedule.
It’s a pen-and-paper productivity planner, so you’ll need to print out the free downloadable PDF and use it for your daily review. Alternately, you could turn it into a template for any digital tool of your choice, and copy-paste every day for a recurring app. Either way, first read the basics of the method before you get started.
All Other Resolutions: Guidebook
The secret that no productivity expert will tell you is that if you start leading an organized life, it is much easier to start on the rest of the good habits you want to form. Once you step out of chaos and have a plan, you can slowly add any new habit.
Whether you want to spend more time with family (19%), learn something new (14%), travel more (14%), or anything else, the first step is to organize your life.
In case you’ve already got organized and are now looking to add more, then Chris Bailey’s guidebook to new year’s resolutions is the place to start. It’s a free ebook that details the steps to achieving your resolutions, and has invaluable tips. Bailey guarantees that if you follow his plan, you’ll achieve any goal you set your mind to this year.
What’s Your Resolution?
According to studies, you should declare your goals publicly to have a higher chance of achieving them.
So let’s start, people!
Tell the world your new year’s resolution in the comments below, and if you have a website not listed above that can help achieve it, share with us!