Web tool to help you stick to your resolutions

If you are constantly setting goals and making resolutions only to find you have to add the same uncompleted ones to your list the following year, a new startup might help you make or break a habit — if it doesn’t it will donate money to a charity.

The startup is called 21habit and was designed as a side project by Microsoft software developer Pranav Goel and Amazon engineers Himanshu Khurana, Ian McAllister and Hemanth Pai.

The simple site is designed around the theory that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. It helps users track their progress by reminding them to check in and update their achievements daily.

“While you can use 21habit.com for free, we also feature a Committed mode that we think will make you more successful, and also help raise money for charity,” explained Ian McAllister in a post on Q&A site Quora.

“In Committed mode, you’re actually investing money towards your challenge. You start by investing US$21 (RM65). Each day you succeed at your habit you get $1 back. Each day you fail you forfeit $1, and we donate that US$1 or RM3 (all of it) to charity. You can stop the challenge at any time, and withdraw any funds not already forfeited.”

21habit splits its donations between the American Red Cross, Amnesty International, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and United Way.

A new app is encouraging people to keep their commitment to get to the gym with a similar concept. Users of the iPhone app GymPact set their gym-going goals and get paid in cash rewards if they fulfill them. However, should a user miss a gym session his or her pledge goes towards paying members who stick to their goals.

“We think if you put real money on the line, you should get real rewards,” said GymPact. — Relaxnews 2012

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