How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions for 2013

Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year?

According to StatisticBrain.com, about 45% of Americans usually make a resolution.

The percentage that keep their resolutions is, however, much smaller. Only about 8% are ultimately successful keeping their resolution, but 49% report “infrequent success.”

But if you have goals in mind for the year, you’re better off making a resolution. People who make explicit resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t.

So, what can you do to make it more likely that you’re part of that lucky 8%?

Turns out, there’s an app for that. The New York Times website has a round-up of top Android and iOS apps to help remind you of your resolutions.

BusinessInsider.com also lists 10 ways to lose weight using an iPhone and 10 ways to save money with your smartphone.

And if your resolution is related to health or fitness, Techcrunch.com has a nice round-up of gadgets and apps that can help you achieve your goals.

In addition to apps and gadgets, there’s also plenty of helpful advice about keeping your resolutions on the Internet.

Forbes.com lists 5 of the top resolutions that typically don’t work (dieting, quitting smoking, etc.) and offers related strategies that do work. The site also has an insightful article on why New Year’s resolutions don’t stick and how you can overcome those obstacles.

Bankrate.com offers this helpful list of 9 ways to keep your New Year’s resolutions, which includes proper motivation, specific goals, a concrete plan with steps to follow, goal visualization, and more.

BusinessInsider.com offers tips and links to additional resources and apps for 11 of the most common New Year’s resolutions.

If you haven’t made a resolution yet, don’t worry. You can still make and keep one for the year. The most important factor in determining your success isn’t the exact date you start, but how prepared you are to make a change.

And just in case your resolution was to find a faster Internet connection ;-) here’s where you can search for all the EarthLink high-speed Internet services available in your area.

Good luck. And Happy New Year!

Speed Up Your Browser in Seconds

Whether you use DSL, high-speed Cable, or dial-up connections to surf the Internet, your connection speed is only one of several factors that can affect how fast webpages load in your browser.  The size of your temporary Internet files (also called your “cache”), is also important.

A cache is the spot in your computer where your browser temporarily stores info from the web pages you visit (like images). The cache allows web pages you revisit to load faster (since your computer already has the images and doesn’t need to re-download them to show you the page).  Because of this, setting your browser store more temporary Internet files (giving it a bigger cache) can speed up how fast webpages appear when you revisit them. (This increased speed of loading revisited pages is especially noticeable for dial-up Internet users.)

Here is how to increase your cache in Internet Explorer:How to increase size of internet file cache in Internet Explorer

1. Click the Tools icon (gear icon in upper right on the latest version of IE) and select Internet Options.
2. From the Browsing history section (on the General tab), click the Settings button.
3. Click the radio button next to Automatically and increase the Disc space to use amount to at least 250 MB (more if your computer has lots of space).
4. Click the OK button to save your changes, then OK again to close Internet Options.

Here is how to increase your cache in Firefox:

  • PC Users: Click on the Firefox button > Options > Advanced
  • Mac Users: Click on Firefox Menu > Preferences > Advanced
  • In the center “Offline Storage” section, select “Override automatic cache management”
  • Then, alter the value for ” Limit cache to [ ] MB f space” as desired

The Power of Screen Shots

We’ve all heard the phrase “a picture is worth 1,000 words,” and we’re pretty good at applying it to physical situations.  “Instead of telling you about my vacation, let me show you the pictures.”  “See how beautiful my daughter looks?”  “Here are the pictures from my fender bender for insurance purposes.”  But too rarely we don’t apply this to our online lives.  How many times have you tried to emailing a description of an internet issue to a support person, only to have them not understand you? …did you include a screen shot?

The next time you find yourself drafting an email where you have to explain an issue, include a screen shot.  It may seem redundant, but the support associate very well might understand your words better if you include a photographic example.  Without the in-person or over-the-phone benefits of body language or tone, our words may not be fully understood.  But with a screen shot of what you’re talking about (“I get this error when I try to log in: see screen shot” or “I don’t see that in my settings…here’s a screen shot of my settings page”), you’ll come across loud and clear.

If you’re not sure how to take a screen shot, click here for a simple guide on taking screen shots on your PC, Mac, or even iPhone!

The Answer to “What Are Cookies?”

Cookies are tasty baked goods.  Cookies are also an internet term. Since we know what the desserts are…what exactly ARE cookies on my computer?

To be simple, “cookies” are tiny files that websites you visit place on your computer.  The file holds info that allows your browser to give you a personalized web experience.

For example: EarthLink.net.  When you first visit, you see a page where you can choose to view “residential” or “business” information (see graphic below).  Once you chose “residential” information, you are brought to a page showing only residential services.

When you make this selection, EarthLink gives your computer a “cookie” so it remembers that you’re interested in residential info.  Because of the cookie, the next time you visit EarthLink.net, you’ll be taken straight to this page instead of the initial one showing the choices (see second graphic, below).

You can control these files (set your browser to accept them or deny them, and you can easily delete them…if you want to see EarthLink.net’s “Residential or Business info?” page again, for example…), but we recommend accepting them, since they are created to give you a more seamless internet experience.