New Years Resolutions are easier to keep with support. These 5 websites will help!
The wonderful thing about the Internet is that sometimes we can stop browsing the web and using Facebook, and find ways that the Internet helps us get things done better, stronger, and faster! It's kind of the 21st-century version of coffee, only we still have coffee. So if you surf the Internet while drinking coffee, there's nothing you can't do! Today we're going to explore how the Internet can help with the most common New Years resolutions.
Bernice likes ritual. She saves her old leotards and arranges them carefully by size in her closet. She puts each size on a separate shelf, so she can see her past spread out before her. She has a lot of shelves. She keeps them as a nostalgic reminder of her lithe, slender days. She also hopes she can someday wear them again. In fact, her New Years resolution is to eat better and exercise more. Again.
The Best Website for Losing Weight
Fortunately, for Bernice, this time she's going with SparkPeople.com. It's a free website that helps people reach exercise and nutrition goals by making goals into a game. You can set goals for both exercise and nutrition, and earn points for reaching those goals. People join groups to support each other and to compete within the group and between groups to reach goals. "I am not a competitive person. We must all live in Harmony," Bernice likes to declare. "That is why people must simply accept the fact that I will win." A few months on SparkPeople and she may be able to fit back into the clothes on shelf four.
The Best Website for Organizing Online Projects
Her now-boyfriend Melvin isn't quite so neat. He lives his life in front of his computer. His computer desktop has 2,916 icons on it. His files roam free, scattered throughout his hard drive. "A messy desktop is a sign of a creative mind," he proudly proclaims. Yes, well, as I discuss in Chapter 5: Stay Organized, of my book Get-it-Done Guy's 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More, you can be quite organized even if you're messy. They're not the same. Except in Melvin's case, they are. He spends half his life hunting through email messages and computer folders to find the relevant documents for his projects. He's always forgetting her teammates' contact information, and as for communication, he thinks communication is quaint. He's finally admitted, though, that he needs to get his online work life in order.
Melvin's salvation, should he choose to accept it, is BaseCampHQ.com from 37Signals. I've used BaseCamp for years. It's a web-based tool that gives you a central place where you can put everything related to a project or client. You can have discussion boards, to-do lists, project plans, collaborative documents, calendars, and contact lists. What makes it wonderful is that it's simple, pretty, and pretty simple to use. Once your team stores files, discussions, and to-do lists there, you can dive completely into your project by simply connecting to the website. You can focus on everything related to your project instead of trying to sort through a dozen different locations in search of what you need.
The Best Website for Keeping Track of Passwords
Closely related to file mess is password mess! Melvin has his passwords scribbled on little yellow sticky notes everywhere. Not only is this a fire hazard, but it kinda defeats the point of having passwords. A great answer is LastPass.com. It’s a cloud-based password service that encrypts your passwords before uploading them, so no one but you ever has your passwords. It plugs into your browser and automatically types your password when you connect to known sites. It also generates secure passwords for you. I switched to it about two months ago and can hardly remember what life was like without it.
The Best Website for Keeping Your Home Clean
Europa, of course, has used LastPass and Basecamp for years as she has grown her secret empire to encompass a significant fraction of the world economy. But for all her business brilliance, her house looks like a tornado went through it. The wonderful thing about curtains, she says, is that you can just throw them over that pile in the corner and everything looks wonderful. Her New Years resolution is to bring order to the chaos, and she is using FlyLady.com to show her how. She helps us build habits one step at a time, from keeping a shiny sink to, well, to putting curtains on your windows and dealing with the mysterious pile that hasn't seen light since the New Kids on the Block really were new. FlyLady send out daily essays and motivational emails. Lots of them. Soon, Europa will be happily enjoying a neat, clean apartment that re-energizes her after a long day of outmaneuvering her competitors.
The Best Website to Find a Job
Europa's (son? Cyborg servant? Whatever...), eight-year old Thomas, has a New Years resolution to find a job. Yes, a job. He may only be 8, but with an IQ of 410, he figures he can work virtually and rise to CEO of a Fortune 500 company by the time he's 12. Kids have such wacky hobbies, these days! He doesn't really know how to find a job, though, and in this job market, it's taking longer than he expected. He gets depressed and has trouble keeping himself motivated to keep hunting. We've fixed him up with the site I co-founded, JobTacToe.com, which helps him stay motivated and cheerful by teaching him how to find a job and letting him earn points and badges as he makes progress towards his job. He's working on five prospect companies, hoping to earn his second badge sometime next week.
And as for me? My biggest New Years resolution is to get back to a 32" waistline. Then I want to learn to sight sing. And somewhere in here I'll finish Get-it-Done Guy: The Musical. Remember these sites that can help with the most common New Years resolutions:
If you want to get in shape, visit SparkPeople.com
If you want to get your online life in order and keep your projects moving forward smoothly, check out BaseCampHQ.com
To keep track of all your passwords and clean up your password clutter, LastPass.com is the site for you.
To get your physical house in order, FlyLady.com is what you want.
And if you or anyone you know is job hunting and needs an extra boost of motivation and support, JobTacToe.com is your destination.
I’ve asked the pay sites if they would donate discounts to listeners of this episode. You can find links to these sites plus information about how to get free access and bonuses by visiting this episode’s transcript at http://getitdone.quickanddirtytips.com.
http://www.sparkpeople.com – Wellness and nutrition motivation
http://www.BaseCampHQ.com - organize all your project or client-related content, schedules, and to-dos in one place
http://www.LastPass.com – Track your passwords, generate secure passwords, and autofill in your web browser
http://www.FlyLady.com – clean out your clutter and organize your physical space
http://www.JobTacToe.com – get and stay motivated in your job hunt
Get 50% off your first month of BaseCampHQ membership by using coupon code GIDGUY. The first 100 people to respond will get the discount.
Get a free month of JobTacToe.com by using coupon code GIDG01110F9F79FC
Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!
Goal image courtesy of Shutterstock