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Lots of you are kicking off 2008 with New Year’s resolutions, but they won’t keep themselves. To achieve the goals you’ve set out of yourself in ’08, follow through each and every one of the next 365 days—with several free tools that can help you with just that. Track your progress and help inspire yourself to stick to your New Year’s resolutions with some of my favorite goal tracking web-apps and tools.

Choose Your Resolutions Wisely
Before use any of these goal trackers and resolution reminder systems, make sure you know exactly what you want to achieve. The idea is to set a SMART goal. For example whatever New Year’s resolutions should be:

  • Specific. Don’t just say “Lose weight.” decide to “Lose 12 pounds.”
  • Achievable. “Be the perfect employee/mom/sister/spouse” is an admirable goal, but nobody’s perfect, no matter how resolved they are. Make your resolution something that’s possible—like, “Improve next year’s performance review by at least one grade.”
  • Realistic. You’ve only got so many hours in the day, so make your goals realistic based on what resources and tools you’ve got on hand.
  • Timely. Set goals you can reach at most within the next 12 months. Giving yourself a “deadline” of sorts will help you figure out where you should be when while tracking your progress.


Tools to Track Your Progress

Here are three free web-apps that can help you keep your resolutions for 2008.

Traineo (weight loss and fitness goals)

traineo.jpgTrack your diet and exercise in ’08 with Traineo, a social weight loss and fitness social site who’s idea is simple: join traineo for free and pick up to 4 friends or members of your family (who will become your ‘traineo motivators’) to receive weekly email updates on your progress towards your weight loss and fitness goals.

Daily Plate (weight loss goals)

daily_plate.jpgThe “Key” to losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume, so tracking how much you’ve consumed and how much you’ve burned is a huge step towards dropping pounds. At the Daily Plate, look up and track the caloric, fat, and carb content on the foods you consume and keep a fitness journal as well.

Mint (finance tracking)

mint-money-management.jpgIf saving more money, getting out of debt, or sticking to a tight budget is on your resolutions list but Quicken and QuickBooks scares you, consider online money tracking webapp. Mint automatically sucks in your financial transactions, categorizes them, sends you email alerts, and helps you create and maintain a budget.

What tools are you using to manager your New Year’s resolutions in 2008? Let us hear ’em in the comments.

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One of the best ways to kick-off the New Year is by starting a 30-day trial of a new daily habit or activity. Instead of creating a New Year’s Resolution that you probably won’t stick to, it’s better just commit to a short-term change. Make a January resolution only. If it doesn’t work out, you’re completely free to abandon it on January 31st, but for the first 30 days, use every ounce of resolve and self-discipline you can gather to stick to it, whatever it takes. At the end of the 30 days, you’ll be in a great position to decide whether you want to commit to a lasting change, having 30 days of success behind you.

People who’ve use the 30-day trial method to form positive new habits and break bad habits. For example: quitting smoking, learning to invest, getting out of debt, starting a new exercise program, waking up early, going to bed early, giving up soda, quitting coffee and lots more… Have you decided what 30-day trail you’re going to commit too for 2008. Let’s hear about it in the comments.

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