This is the time of year that many people’s attention turns toward making changes or renewing goals. There are a variety of free online help options that can assist in achieving your resolutions from wherever you may be exploring. Here are five favorites that will help keep you motivated.
If your resolution is to read more…
Hoopla: This free app allows you to borrow audio books free from your public library. You “borrow” by downloading them onto your phone or computer using your library card, then you can listen to them wherever you go.
After a few weeks, they get “returned” and you can borrow something else. You can also check out music, TV shows, and other media. This worked great for all the driving I did this summer for work and I enjoyed being able to “read” while on the road. And it is free–all you need is a public library card!
Hoopla is a free download from iTunes for iPhones/iPads and the Google Play store for Androids.
If your resolution involves eating healthier…
Mealime: You can download this free app onto your phone or computer to help with healthy meal planning.
If you’re looking for meal ideas, or just want to try some new recipes, it generates a customized meal planning guide, shopping list, and yummy meals that are healthy and take 30 minutes or less to make.
You can tell the app how many people and how many meals you want to plan for (a few days or a whole week), food preferences (gluten-free, vegetarian, don’t like eggplant, allergic to shellfish, whatever) and it gives you a list of meal ideas.
Then you can flip through them until you find ones that you want to try and it automatically generates all of the ingredients and quantities needed for your shopping list. Cross off the stuff you already have, and hit the store.
Mealime is a free download from iTunes and the Google Play store.
If your resolution involves running…
Run The Year: This online tracking program challenges you to run or walk 2018 miles during the 2018 year. If you are not up to running all 2018 miles yourself, you can form a team of people to each run a portion of the total miles during the year.
You register yourself or your team online, and each person logs their mileage throughout the year. You do not need to be in the same place as your team, so it is perfect for RVer teams who run. This is a fun way to stay motivated with a buddy system.
If your resolution involves getting in shape…
Fitness Blender: Developed by a husband and wife team fitness and nutrition industry team, this website is ideal for people who don’t have access to a gym or personal trainer and want a wide variety of free workout options that can be done anywhere with minimal or no equipment.
The philosophy is to offer a free and effective workout with a focus on proper alignment and fitness levels, rather than glitz and appearance-based workouts. Users can filter the workouts based on workout length, calorie burn, type of workout, equipment available, difficulty level, or body area of focus.
For example, if you only have 20 minutes and want to burn at least 100 calories, you can filter by those options to find a workout. Or if you have always wanted to try a yoga workout or jump rope workout, you can filter by those options.
There are over 500 workout videos available for free on their Youtube channel here, or you may wish to jump-start your resolution with one of their low-cost 2 to 8-week programs.
If your resolution is to learn a new language…
Duolingo: This free app uses computer-generated conversational responses to help teach you a new language. There over 20 language options to choose from (and more in development or “beta” stage) and over 200 million users including school groups.
Developed through Carnegie Mellon University in 2009, the program uses written and spoken methods to help learners develop language skills.
Although you do not get live-conversation, the computer-generated responses are a reasonable simulation, particularly for more commonly learned languages.
To get started you set a user profile, choose a language, and set a weekly goal. The app then maps out your language models and tracks your progression as you move through vocabulary, phrases, and conversational sentences.
Of course, nothing compares to human language learning, but this is a good way to kick off your learning progression. Duolingo is a free download from iTunes and the Google Play store.
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