We’re all going to be better people this year. This is the year that we’re going to lose weight, get in shape, spend and save more wisely, share more time with loved ones, advance our careers, help those in need and improve ourselves in every way. At least that’s the plan.
The new year is a traditional time to take stock of our lives and chart some course corrections to guide us to a better version of ourselves. It can be a useful task if you actually replace your less helpful habits with ones that lead to actual change for the better. But old habits can be hard to break.
I searched for websites dedicated to self improvement so I could write a column on New Year’s resolutions. There’s no shortage of sites with self-proclaimed experts happy to sell you courses to improve every aspect of your life.
The site I settled on, jamesclear.com, is also trying to sell you something, but it also offers good information and advice for free. James Clear describes himself as an author, weightlifter and travel photographer who researches how to “create better habits, make better decisions and live better lives.” The main purpose of his site is to sell his book, “Atomic Habits,” and subscriptions to his online self-help courses, habitsacademy.com, but the free content he includes makes it worth visiting.
The most useful part of the site is the Articles section. It features hundreds of articles on different aspects of self improvement. Though Mr. Clear writes the articles, it’s not just his thoughts on the topics. He appears to be a pretty good researcher who uses solid sources to build his proposals. His footnotes point to books, articles, websites, experts and other sources he uses. He frequently cites the habits and strategies of successful athletes, artists and entrepeneurs as examples of how to improve your own habits.
The second most useful part of the site is the Favorites section. It’s a collection of links to recommended books, podcasts, speeches and other sources of self-improvement inspiration.
Prepare to do some reading if you plan to visit this site. It is cleanly designed with simple typography and navigation, but it’s mostly text with few visuals. The articles, however, are well written and of manageable lengths. They are full of good tips, strategies and information that can help you make changes for the better. It’s a site you won’t “finish” in one sitting. There are enough good articles on it to keep you coming back for a while.
Kevin OʼNeill has been a staff artist for The Times-Tribune since June 1993. In addition to doing illustrations and infographics and designing pages for the paper’s print and electronic publications, he writes InSites, a weekly column about websites and apps. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5212