Achieving New Year’s Resolutions with

Achieving New Year’s Resolutions with


Angry Birds. Words with Friends. These are all examples of new media games that can be quite addicting. For those looking for an online game that can help people reach their New Year’s resolutions in a supportive environment, a good option to explore is

With the catchphrase “Live Healthier, for fun!,” is an online game that helps you accomplish your health goals one month at a time. Players can choose rules to stick to, such as those related to diet, fitness, financial, relationship and mental health. You win and lose points based on if you adhere to the rules you’ve set out for yourself. It’s a great way to make small improvements for a long-term impact.

“Health Month is our attempt to take the gimmicks, dogma, and hard sell tactics out of health improvement. By choosing your own path toward health (users choose one or more rules to try to stick to), a month at a time, with the support of team members and the general community, we can each learn at our own pace about what health means for us,” wrote Buster Benson, creator of “The ultimate goal is to find the sustainable, intrinsically motivated, habits that will stick around for a lot longer than a fad diet.” also allows you to play the game with your friends and family. Each player can see how a fellow team member is doing with the game. You can post questions and tips to help each other succeed.

“I like because it helps my friends live more healthily in the way they should. They are taking care of themselves. As a good friend, you should help them reach their potential and help them if they have any setbacks,” says Jacqueline Li, a participant in “For this particular site, you can help them to live better, watch out for them in a way, and give them a push.”

Apart from physical health, online games can possibly improve mental health. An article in HealthDay reported that a study conducted by Cuiha Shen, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, and Dmitri Williams, an associate professor at the University of Southern California, stated that online gaming with real-world friends could contribute to emotional health.

“If I am playing with existing family and friends, I am extending my social life in cyberspace, and that is actually good for me psychologically,” says Shen in the HealthDay article.

For those who are hooked on playing, Benson’s team is about to launch a new mobile tool focused on specific healthy habits called Budget. While working with, his team realized certain issues such as providing more smart reminders, adding recommendations on how to make things more or less challenging, and creating more direct accountability in the form of coaches and supporters. Budget is currently in private beta test mode, which people can sign up for at

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