Free Tools Help You Fulfill Your New Year's Resolutions
Now that the hang over from New Year's Eve has worn off, it's time to get down to the business of tackling those New Year's resolutions you foolishly made. Of course, the biggest problem with resolutions is finding the motivation and organizational system to make you stick to your guns. Thankfully there are Web sites such as Lifehacker looking out for you. The productivity-focused site has some advice and a healthy helping of (primarily Web-based) ways to track your progress.
The first piece of advice is to utilize management expert Peter Drucker's S.M.A.R.T. system. S.M.A.R.T is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely, which really doesn't need any further explanation.
When it comes to tracking your progress and keeping yourself motivated, you'll find a wealth of options, including two highly flexible Web apps suggested at the beginning of 2007: Backpack (a Wiki-like note-taking tool, to-do list and calendar app) and Joe's Goals (a daily checklist of objectives).
There are also two new weight-loss-specific sites added this year: Traineo, which tracks your diet and exercise with a bit of social-networking thrown in to keep you motivated, and Daily Plate, which lets you look up and track not just your caloric intake, but also your fat and carbohydrate consumption.
For those with resolutions that are more fiscal in nature, Lifehacker suggests taking Mint for a spin. Mint will let you set budgets and track your spending. These tasks are made all the more easy since Mint can automatically pull in financial data from your bank accounts and credit cards.
We'd also like to suggest Remember The Milk (RTM) (pictured above), a very flexible and full-featured task management site. RTM even has a newly released Firefox extension that integrates your to-do list with Gmail, making your daily goals unavoidable every time you check your e-mail.
Good luck and Happy New Year!
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