Happy New Year!

The year 2013 is now over and people around the world tend to start the new year with personal New Year’s resolutions. With about 45% of Americans usually making New Year’s resolutions, only 8% are actually able to achieve their goals. Luckily, websites, apps and browser extensions can help you to be successful in reaching your goals. Here’s how to accomplish the top five New Year’s resolutions using digital tools!

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1. Learn a new skill

Today is all about self-improvement. Learning a new skill is a productive way to spend some time. It does not matter if it’s something handy like cooking or something more in-depth like playing a music instrument. Learning a new skill will most certainly improve your life somehow and it’s definitely worth the effort.

Websites like Udemy, Coursera and Khan Academy offer tons of free and paid content to learn something new. Courses range from Social Sciences to PHP Programming and everybody should be able to find something that fit’s their personal goals. If you want to get started with Digital Marketing, we’ve already put together a neat list of cool courses.

Google recently introduced Google Helpouts. If you’re looking for a more personal experience, Helpouts could be perfect for you. Categories include art & music, cooking and home & garden. We’ve recently put together a guide on how to use Google Helpouts, so make sure to check it out if you want to get started with it.

If you want to learn something out of the box, /r/LearnUselessTalents might be the perfect place for you . Who of us doesn’t want to learn how to moonwalk?

2. Lose weight and become fitter

The holidays are over and most of us ate way too much food. That’s alright. If you want to lose weight and become fitter in 2014, you need to watch your diet, work-out more and sleep better. And especially consistency. Tons of people sign up for the gym at the beginning of January, just to spend a few days working-out and quitting.

Apps offer many possibilities to track your progress, remind you to stick to your plans and make the process of counting calories easier. There are tons of apps available for both iOS and Android to get fit and lose weight. Check out our overview to make sure to achieve your goals!

3. Quit Smoking

Smoking is a bad habit. I quit smoking two and a half years ago and can tell you that it’s not an easy thing to do. Many people will recommend light- or e-cigarettes, nicotine plasters or hypnosis, I would personally recommend to go cold turkey. It’s hard, but it’s really worth it.

You might ask yourself now how a website or app can help you in quitting smoking. Unfortunately, there is no magic app yet that will prevent you from thinking of a cigarette or give you an electric-shock the moment you start lighting a cigarette. But apps offer something important: a community of quitters (in a positive sense!) and progress tracking.

Although I didn’t quit for a specific reason, knowing how much money I’m saving and which health benefits I’m achieving was a great motivation booster.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMqVpIcCnqw

QuitNow! helps you to track your progress, chat with other quitters and tells you how much (life) time and money you’ve already saved. The app comes for free, is available for Android and iOS and should help you to achieve your goal of quitting smoking if you’re determined to do it!

4. Learn a new language

Learning a new language will help you a lot when traveling, talking to foreign people and in your job. If you enjoy watching movies or reading books, being able to watch (or read) them in their original language often improves the experience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBBUTqf7kRE

Duolingo is a website that uses scientifically proven methods to teach you a new language or improve already existing knowledge. The language learning platform teaches you how to write, read, speak and understand a new languages – completely for free. Languages offered are German, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OebgtUjLg4

The Duolingo app was recently voted best Android app for enhancing the everyday  and brings the Duolingo experience to your smartphone or tablet. With learning sessions being quite short, the app makes waiting in line or traveling by bus productive.

In addition to Duolingo, I can recommend the “learn a new language” subreddits on Reddit. You can find new learning material, native movies or books as well as helpful people who’ll support you in achieving your goal. The official subreddit description explains the purpose quite perfect:

This is a subreddit designed to provide comprehensive, free, quality resources and lessons on how to speak and converse in other languages. Posts are encouraged to be centered around the teaching of languages rather than just linking to outside sources. Lesson posts are also encouraged to be done by people fluent or very experienced with the language.

Language learning subreddits are available for German, Spanish, French, Russian, Latin and Chinese.

Viel Glück!
¡Buena suerte!
Bonne chance!
удачи!
祝你好运!

5. Be more productive

Constantly wasting time can be a horrible habit. Of course, sometimes you just want to chill on your coach and binge-watch a TV show or play video games. I often tend to waste my time on websites like Facebook, Reddit and Twitter which results in working during the night.

Luckily, Chrome extensions can help you to be more productive. They can, for instance, prevent you from visiting certain websites and let you perform everyday tasks more effective.

It does not matter if you decide to learn a new skill, quit smoking or start working out. You’ll be more productive and successful during 2014 and more years to come.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

Do you have any personal goals for 2014? I believe that most of us at least have some secret goals. Do your best to achieve them and in a year from now, try to achieve even more. Feel free to share them in the comments below!