A New Year’s resolution is, in the words of Mary Poppins, like a pie crust promise–easily made, easily broken.
But that doesn’t stop us from making promises of positive change every year. Whether it’s a big change or just a few tweaks, New Year’s resolutions are a dime a dozen. In fact, almost 50% of us make promises to do better in the New Year, but only about 10% of us actually follow through.
In a world of social networking, it’s no surprise that we can now use technology to help us stay on track. There are numerous sites that help folks live up to their resolutions by tracking their progress and holding them accountable.
So if you are looking for help, here are 5 tools to help you keep your New Year’s resolution.
If your resolution involves anything about money, then Mint.com should be your number one tool. Mint.com is a free online money management tool that brings together all your financial accounts in one place. With Mint, you can monitor multiple accounts like checking, savings, investments, retirement, and credit cards. You can also set and track goals (perfect for a New Year’s resolution) about everything from paying off that balance transfer credit card to buying a home.
With Mint you can easily view your entire financial portfolio with just a few clicks. You can see all your balances and transactions from your computer or from your smart phone. All your accounts will be pulled into Mint and updated automatically. You can set up a budget, elect to receive bill reminders, make goals, and receive free savings advice.
And while we’re on the subject of money, you can also automate your investing with a tool like Betterment. Ideal for those wanting to invest money each month, Betterment gives you access to an array of ETFs that instantly diversifies your portfolio. Betterment is extremely easy to use (I have an account), and you can track your Betterment investments from Mint.
If you have ever been to the gym in January, then you know just how packed it is. That’s because one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight and get into shape. It’s not an easy resolution to stick with, but programs like Fit Day can help you stick to your goal. Fit Day is a free online weight loss journal that allows you to track your every move. Fit Day is a food diary, calorie counter, activity log, weight loss tracker, body measurement tracker, health tracker, mood tracker and recipe book all packaged together.
With Fit Day you have access to charts and graphs that give you a visual of what your diet and exercise look like. You can see exactly where your calories are coming from and determine whether you are meeting your daily nutrient requirements. Being fit is not always easy, but with a free program like Fit Day, it’s much more manageable.
Accountability can go a long way to helping you achieve your resolutions. 43 Things is a free online tool that can help hold you accountable. With 43 Things you can create a list of goals that can then be shared with the world (or just your friends if you prefer). It’s a way to keep tabs of our goals and it provides a visual to help stay on track.
You can connect with other users who have similar interests and cheer each other on. To help you stay on track with your goals, you can receive reminders, share you list with friends and family, and share your goals with others who have similar goals via Facebook.
Joe’s Goals is another online goal tracker that helps users develop good habits. This is a simple tool to use and is designed like a calendar. You just set up your goals and then track them on a daily basis. A daily score is automatically calculated for you so you know how you are doing.
With this tool you don’t just track the positive, you also track the negatives that are keeping you from accomplishing your goals. The negative goals are things you want to get rid of or habits you want to break. For example, if you have a goal of eating out less, but you give in and you eat out, you track this with a negative mark. Your negative marks are visible along with your positive marks and are calculated into your daily score giving you an overall picture of how you did on any given day.
Habit Forge is a simple online tool that helps you start healthy new habits and break the bad ones. After you sign up for a free account you’ll start receiving daily emails that serve as habit reminders. All you do is tell Habit Forge what you want to accomplish and every day you will be emailed a basic question like: “Did you work out this morning?” You will have the option to answer the question by selecting Yes or No. From there Habit Forge will track your progress for 21 days. You can either go at it alone or join a group of people who are working on a similar goal as you for more accountability.
“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better person.” ~Benjamin Franklin