Now is the winter of money well spent

First published in Web Recommendations

NEW YEAR, new you or so the saying goes. Personally, I don't know anyone who's had a crack at a new year's resolution and actually succeeded, but I guess the fun is in the delusion that you will be a better person in 2004.

www.how-to-keep-your-new-years-resolution.com is a good place to start and explains a little of the psychology behind making and breaking new year's resolutions.

A kind of self-help site for those who lack the motivation to go the distance and quit smoking/drinking/eating/working, the site is written by a incurable resolution-breaker.

The section on how to successfully give up smoking offers straightforward advice and practical tips.

However, even an internet-a-holic like me can't stop a touch of scepticism at the usefulness of www.get-a-grip-on-your-life.com.

It does have tips about meditation and mental well-being but I will take my hat off to anyone who can learn self-hypnosis online.

Apparently, one of the most popular resolutions made as the clock strikes 12 is to relax more. This strikes me as a little strange as relaxation is more of a state-of-mind thing rather than something you can switch on and off.

If you could do with a little help, though, www.handbag.com has plenty of inspiration for pampering and relaxation, including breathing techniques, essential oils and how to get a good night's sleep.

If your resolution for the new year is to get fit, why not ease yourself in with some mind and body bending yoga classes? www.yogauk.com is a pretty comprehensive beginners guide to the practice which every celebrity worth their salt has pledged their allegiance to over the last couple of years.

As a newcomer to yoga I can testify that it's a nice gentle way to ease yourself into exercise, but it's worth checking out this site to explore the different forms of yoga and know what to look out for when trying out instructors.

If your resolution to get fit doesn't extend to actually leaving your house, check out www.yogaclass.com. It has online classes which talk you through basic breathing and stretching techniques.

Yoga devotees will tell you there's no substitute for a qualified teacher but if you really just want to try it for size, this site is a good start.

Another popular resolution for the new year is to eat less. This is actually a fairly sensible one after a month or so of stuffing our faces with turkey, mince pies and chocolate.

If you are intent of becoming waif-like before Valentine's Day rolls around, however, you would do well to visit www.nutrition.org.uk.

The official site of the British Nutrition Foundation, it is packed with tips on safe and successful weightloss and healthy eating and explains the basic principles of how food is broken down.

And finally, if you're still got leftover turkey in your fridge visit www.deliaonline.com where the cookery goddess herself helpfully provides a few recipes which should turn your dry old bird into Thai curry and fancy quiche. The diet can start tomorrow.

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