10 Products to Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

iStock.com/HAKINMHAN
iStock.com/HAKINMHAN

We’re one month into 2019, so it might be a good time to take stock of how your New Year’s resolutions are coming along. Even if you struggle to find motivation or have already strayed from your original plan, there’s still plenty of time to get back on track and finish out the year strong. Whether you want to focus on your health, save money, or become a “new you” in a variety of other ways, here are 10 products that can help you achieve your goals.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. If You Pledged to Clean More This Year: Neato Robotics D7 Robot Vacuum

The Neato D7 vacuum
Neato Robotics, Amazon

Hate cleaning? You’re far from the only one, but it doesn’t have to be such a chore. Neato’s newest robotic vacuum, the D7, will do the work for you. It uses lasers to create a detailed floor plan of your home, moving in straight lines to suck up dirt and dust bunnies. You can program it so that it avoids certain places—like rooms you haven’t gotten around to decluttering yet—while turning its attention to problem areas instead. The battery lasts 120 minutes, but if it’s low on juice, it will tell you exactly how much power it needs to get the job done.

Get it on Amazon for $699 or at these other retailers:

2. If You Pledged To Put Down Your Phone And Talk More IRL: Game of Phones

Game of Phones

Breaking Games, Amazon

We understand that it can be tough to put your phone down, even if all of your closest friends happen to be in the room with you. Game of Phones offers a compromise. In this fun party game for three or more people, players use their smartphones to complete a task or find something online. One card might instruct players to read aloud the funniest text they received this week, while another might ask them to find the weirdest real news story from that day. Much like Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity, each round has a judge who picks the best response.

Get it on Amazon for $25 or Uncommon Goods for $20.

3. If You Pledged To Hit The Gym More Often: Aaptiv

Gym memberships don’t come cheap, but fortunately, it’s easier than ever to get a good workout at home. Aaptiv is a virtual personal training app that comes with more than 2500 audio-based workouts to choose from. Certified personal trainers (like Ackeem Emmons, who spoke to Mental Floss for our "Secrets of Personal Trainers" feature) will be right in your ear guiding you through structured programs like yoga, boxing, outdoor running, strength training, and even meditation. In addition to the extra coaching, you’ll also get a motivational boost courtesy of playlists that are perfectly timed to match the tempo of your workout. Whether you’re hoping to lose weight, gain muscle, or train for a 5K, there’s something for everyone.

Sign up on Aaptiv for $15 per month or $100 per year.

4. If You Pledged to Actually Drink Water This Year: Hidrate Spark 2.0 Smart Water Bottle

A Hidrate water bottle
Hidrate Spark, Amazon

Our bodies lose 2 to 3 liters of water per day, and staying hydrated helps keep our joints, brain, and spinal cord in tip-top shape. If you need some friendly reminders to hit up the water cooler instead of the soda machine, there are now a variety of smart bottles and accessories to help. Hidrate’s smart bottle, for example, tracks how much water you’ve consumed and starts glowing when it’s time for you to drink more. It also syncs up with fitness trackers like the Fitbit and Apple Watch so you can easily monitor your progress.

Get it on Amazon for $45 or at the retailers below. For a budget pick, you can also try the $28 Ulla Hydration reminder bottle attachment.

5. If You Pledged to Reduce Your Plastic Waste: Stasher Silicone Bags

Plastic Ziplock bags are wasteful, but it can be a hassle finding the right lid for your Tupperware container. The solution? Zippable, reusable containers. Stasher’s reusable silicone bags come in three sizes (snack, sandwich, and storage) and they’re dishwasher- and microwave-safe. (If you're willing to wait until May, we also love Finell's Zip Top containers, which are designed to stand up and stay open while you load them with food. They're currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter, starting from $28 for a set of three.)

Get Stasher bags now on Amazon for $9-$22.

6. If You Pledged to Stop Buying Starbucks: Keep Cup

Tackle two goals at once by saving money and reducing waste. Keep Cup calls its product “the world’s first barista standard reusable cup,” and there’s something for every type of coffee or tea drinker. The cups come in your choice of material—plastic or glass cups with silicone or cork sleeves—and a variety of sizes and styles. And if you accidentally lose a lid or plug, you can simply order a replacement part instead of buying a whole new cup.

Get it at Keep Cup for $9 to $36 or at these other retailers:

7. If You Pledged to Start Meal Prepping: Rosti Mepal Duo Lunch Box

Getting organized is the key to sticking with any diet or meal plan. Here to help is the Duo Lunch Box—a food container with extra space built into the lid so you don’t have to lug multiple containers to your office. Place your salad, salmon fillet, or sandwich in the main compartment, then stick any extras (like sauces, squishable ingredients like tomatoes, or utensils) in the lid. It also comes with a mini container for your dressings, which can be tucked away inside the lid, too. The base is microwave-safe, and the whole lunch box is safe for the freezer and dishwasher.

Get it at these retailers:

8. If You Pledged to Meditate More: Headspace

A man meditating
iStock.com/Stígur Már Karlsson /Heimsmyndir

Just a few minutes of meditation can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and pain, according to a study from last year. If you’re ready to start reaping the benefits of mindfulness, the Headspace app is a good resource. Members have access to hundreds of guided meditations that cover everything from reducing stress to improving sleep to boosting confidence. Don’t know how to meditate? No problem—it’s also suitable for beginners. Headspace is currently offering a 40 percent discount for new members.

Sign up on Headspace for $58 a year.

9. If You Pledged to Be Better With Money: You Need a Budget

A handwritten budget in a notebook
iStock.com/alfexe

The secret to saving money is monitoring your spending and setting budgets for different items and bills. But if the mere thought of keeping track of all those lists and numbers makes you anxious, let You Need a Budget be your financial guide. The app lets you create spending categories (like rent, Internet, and groceries) and set dollar amounts for each. Connect it to your bank account and it will calculate how much money you have left in each mini-budget as you spend. You can also set goals for yourself—and according to the company, new users save an average of $600 in their first two months with the service.

Sign up on You Need a Budget’s website for $84 per year following a 34-day free trial.

10. If You Pledged to Organize Your Desk: Rocketbook Everlast

The Rocketbook Everlast notebook
Rocketbook, Amazon

If you have too many loose papers and notepads lying around your office, we have two words for you: reusable notebook. Perfect for pen and paper traditionalists, the Rocketbook Everlast lets you take notes or write to-do lists in the same way you would use a regular notebook, except anything you write can be sent to your iCloud, Google Drive, email, Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, and more. Once you’ve stored your notes digitally, just wipe the pages clean with a damp cloth. The executive size has 36 reusable pages and comes in four colors.

Get it on Amazon for $29 or at these other retailers:

11 Patriotic Products to Celebrate the Fourth of July

Amazon
Amazon

Whether you’ll be lounging by the beach or grilling in your backyard this Independence Day, don’t forget to show off your all-American spirit with a little swag. Here are 11 products to help you celebrate Fourth of July—all of which would pair nicely with your collection of presidential bobbleheads.

1. Declaration Of Independence Signatures Mug; $15

Mug decorated with the signatures from the Declaration of Independence.
CafePress, Amazon

The names of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence are on display on this ceramic coffee mug. Studying the signatures each morning might inspire you to perfect your own John Hancock.

Find it: Amazon

2. Stars And Stripes Cufflinks; $55

Cufflinks with images of stars and stripes on them

Cufflinks Inc., Nordstrom

Brighten up your wardrobe with a splash of American pride. One half of this cufflinks set is striped red and white and the other is blue and spangled with stars. Together they make a patriotic accent piece.

Find it: Nordstrom

3. Fireworks Light Show Projector; $41

Portable fireworks light projector.
Uncle Milton, Amazon

If you want a low-hazard Fourth of July that still delivers thrills, consider getting a light show projector. When it’s pointed at a wall, the device displays vibrant fireworks animations accompanied by realistic sound effects. And it works indoors, so you can count on your Independence Day party ending with a light show no matter the weather forecast. (There's also a Disney version available for just $20.)

Find it: Amazon

4. Inflatable Cooler; $14

Inflatable American flag cooler filled with ice and drinks.
Fun Express, Amazon

When preparing for a picnic or barbecue this Fourth of July, don’t bother breaking out your tiny roll-away cooler. This 54-by-28-inch inflatable trough holds enough bottles and cans to keep your party going well past sunset. Once the cooler has been drained and deflated, it folds neatly for easy storage.

Find it: Amazon

5. American Trivia Cards; $15

Even players who paid attention in American history class might find this game challenging. Each box comes with 150 cards of United States trivia. Some questions—like what was the first state to grant women the right to vote—highlight important moments in our nation’s history. Others—like how many columns the Lincoln Memorial features—are a little more random.

Find it: UncommonGoods

6. U.S. Navy Blanket; $200

The U.S. military has been going to Faribault Woolen Mill Co. for its blankets for over 100 years. This one is crafted from 100 percent wool and weighs 3.5 pounds. The design is inspired by the blankets supplied on Navy ships—and if it’s tough enough for the Navy, you can bet it will withstand a Fourth of July picnic. We like the gray version, but it comes in several different styles and colors.

Find it: Faribault Woolen Mill Co.

7. American Flag Cornhole; $90

Two American flag cornhole boards with bean bags.
GoSports, Amazon

Baseball faces some stiff competition from cornhole for the title of No. 1 American pastime. This lawn set includes four blue bean bags, four red bean bags, and two boards decorated to resemble the American flag.

Find it: Amazon

8. U.S. Map Cutting Board; $20

Wooden cutting board in the shape of the U.S. map.
Totally Bamboo, Amazon

This 100 percent bamboo board eschews the traditional rectangle shape in favor of the outline of the American mainland. You can either keep it in the kitchen and use it as a cutting board or bring it out to the party as a serving platter for fruits, cheeses, and other hors d'oeuvres.

Find it: Amazon

9. Boston Tea Party Tea Sampler; $15

Six piles of loose-leaf tea.
Solstice Tea Traders, Amazon

A sip of one of the teas in this sampler will put you in touch with your inner revolutionary. Each of the six loose-leaf varieties—bohea black tea, oolong, congou black tea, souchong, singlo, and hyson—was among those tossed over the sides of British ships during the Boston Party. Whether you drink the tea or chuck it into the nearest harbor is up to you. (If you're looking for something to put on display, UncommonGoods also sells a slightly pricier, more elegant option with five teas.)

Find it: Amazon

10. State Map Prints; $27 and Up

A poster featuring a colorful map of Wisconsin
Bri Buckley, Society6

These unique prints by Bri Buckley highlight the beauty of each U.S. state in vibrant color. Each state map is available in both a modern and a vintage style, and like most Society6 art, the design is also available on tapestries, shirts, pillows, tote bags, and more.

Find it: Society6

11. Bald Eagle Pool Float; $15

A man and a woman ride a bald eagle pool float
Swimline, Amazon

Cool down the patriotic way this Fourth of July. This massive 8-foot-by-6-foot bald eagle pool float can fit up to two people comfortably, and will look great floating around your pool during your backyard barbecue.

Find it: Amazon

A version of this article first ran in 2017. It has been updated for 2019.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Turn Your Phone Into an Instant Camera With KODAK's New Handheld Printer

KODAK
KODAK

Instant cameras are all the rage, but when you're already carrying a high-end camera everywhere you go in the form of your smartphone, the idea of carrying around an extra gadget might seem like more work than it's worth. You don't have to choose between the convenience of your phone's camera and the fun of having a tangible memento. KODAK's new SMILE digital printer combines all the fun of using filters and image editing on your phone with the delight of having a printed copy of your photo.

Blue, green, black, red, and white KODAK SMILE printers printing photos
The KODAK SMILE line of instant digital printers
KODAK

The handheld Bluetooth printer—which is roughly the same size as KODAK's SMILE instant digital camera—lets you edit photos on your phone, then print your image instantly on 2-inch-by-3-inch sticker paper. Using the KODAK SMILE app, you can add Instagram-esque filters; rotate images and change contrast, brightness, and other characteristics; and add stickers, text, doodles, and borders.

Most uniquely, you can add augmented reality elements to your photos, so that when you (or someone else with the KODAK SMILE app) point the app at the physical print, the image is replaced by a short video clip. The effect is something like the moving photographs in Harry Potter—you can surprise your friends by asking them to view a photo through the app's AR function, then watch their delight as the still image begins to move.

The KODAK SMILE app
KODAK

KODAK sent Mental Floss both the SMILE instant camera and the SMILE printer to test, and while there's a lot of fun in snapping photos on an instant camera and accepting whatever weird flaws that photo might have (though you can do some light editing on the SMILE camera before printing), in our opinion, the breadth of image-editing features and convenience of being able to print photos you've already taken on your smartphone makes the digital printer the better option if you're trying to choose between the two.

This is especially true if you're going on vacation or trying to capture a night out on camera; it's just easier to whip out your phone rather than break out another camera, and it's easier to edit photos on your phone than to manipulate photos on the SMILE instant camera's small screen.

Blue, black, green, white, and red KODAK SMILE instant-print cameras
The KODAK SMILE line of instant-print digital cameras
KODAK

The SMILE printer is available on Amazon and Walmart for $100 and comes in five different colors: white, black, blue, green, and red. The SMILE instant-print digital camera is also $100 on Amazon and Walmart and is available in the same colors.

While the camera and the printer both come with a starter pack of sticker-backed ZINK photo paper, you can get 50 refill sheets for $24 when you run out.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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