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:

Ninja’s Hot & Cold Brewed System Is the Only Coffee Maker You’ll Ever Need

Amazon
Amazon

Update: The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System is on sale for $120 ($40 off) for Sam's Club members until May 19.

For people who just want a cup of joe to help them get out the door in the morning, the French presses, Chemexes, Aeropresses, Moka pots, and other specialized devices that coffee aficionados swear by probably seem more overwhelming than appealing. Ditto the fancy cappuccino machines at local cafes. That’s where Ninja’s new Hot & Cold Brewed System comes in: It was created to give coffee addicts a myriad of options with minimal fuss, not to mention minimal equipment. And it makes tea, too!

“Coffeehouses are known for having an endless selection, but current at-home brewers haven't given users the vast variety of choice we thought possible, and certainly not all in one product," Mark Rosenzweig, CEO of SharkNinja, said in a press release. "The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System changes the category entirely. This innovative system is more than just a machine you use in the morning; it's your all-day brewing partner.”

The Hot & Cold Brewed System comes with two baskets: one for coffee and one for tea. It knows what you're making to make based on the basket you insert, and the available options for that basket will light up. The machine allows the user to make six different sizes of coffee or tea, from a single cup all the way up to a full 50-ounce (10-cup) carafe.

And of course, as the name suggests, the system can make both hot and iced beverages. For coffee, it has five brew options: classic, rich, over ice, cold brew, and specialty (a concentrated brew for milky drinks like cappuccinos). If you’re making tea, you can choose between hot and cold brews optimized for herbal, black, oolong, white, or green tea.

When you select an over ice or cold brew, the machine automatically doubles the strength of your beverage so it doesn't get overly diluted by the ice cubes in the carafe. Even better, the Ninja can make cold brew in just 10 to 15 minutes, whereas other systems and methods typically take hours. (Hot coffee is brewed at 205°F, while the cold brew is made at 101°F.) And the system has a hot and cold frother that folds into the side so you can make barista-level lattes, too.

These bells and whistles sound impressive on paper, but how do they perform in real life? Ninja sent me Hot & Cold Brewed System to test for myself.

Ease of Use

Though it might look like something developed by NASA, the Hot & Cold Brewed System is designed to easily work with the twist of a dial and the push of a button, and it delivers. From loading in the correct amount of grounds with the system’s “smart scoop” to picking what type of brew you’d like, it’s simple enough to use even while bleary-eyed in the morning. It’s also easy to schedule a delayed brew so you can do the rest of your morning routine while your coffee brews. (Here’s the only drawback I can think of about this machine: When it starts brewing, it’s kind of noisy—loud enough to make my cats jump. It’s not a dealbreaker, but if you live in a small apartment and plan to brew coffee so that it’s ready right when you wake up, it might be something to consider.)

The system even tells you when it needs to be descaled. The “clean” button will light up, at which point you simply fill the water reservoir with descaling solution and water and press the clean button. A countdown lets you know how much longer the clean cycle will last.

Taste and Flavor

I swapped out an old, cheap coffee maker for the Hot & Cold Brewed System, and the difference was immediately noticeable. Whether hot or cold, the coffee made by the H&CBS was a better, smoother cup of joe. That’s due to what Ninja has dubbed Thermal Flavor Extraction automated brewing technology, which, according to a press release, “knows the precise temperatures, correct bloom times, and proper levels of saturation for every possible beverage combination to ensure a great taste every time.”

Whatever tech they use, it works. The coffee I make in this machine is consistently tasty. The rich brew setting works exactly as advertised, too, providing a richer, bolder flavor than the classic brew.

Features and Accessories

One of the best things about the H&CBS is the fact that it cuts down on waste significantly. Unlike other machines, it doesn't require any plastic pods or paper filters. Instead, it comes with two permanent filters, one for coffee and one for tea.

And the cold brew function is a game changer if you prefer iced coffee to hot. Not only does it brew quickly, but it eliminates the messy cleanup that comes with making cold brew yourself.

Typically priced at $230 for the thermal carafe version (or $200 for the glass carafe), the Hot & Cold Brewed System is significantly more expensive than a simpler drip coffee machine. But if you’re a cold brew addict looking to treat yourself, it’s worth it. Consider springing for the slightly more expensive thermal carafe model, which will keep your java hot or cold for hours. (I’ve left ice in it overnight and found cubes the next morning.)

You can get the Hot & Cold Brewed System on Amazon, Walmart, Macy's, Sam's Club, or directly on Ninja’s website starting at $160.

Attention Aspiring Astronauts: Arlo Skye Now Has Space-Themed Luggage

Arlo Skye
Arlo Skye

While some travelers are preoccupied with getting their luggage through airport security, the designers at Arlo Skye are thinking bigger. As Condé Nast Traveler reports, the brand's new line of suitcases is inspired by space travel, with high tech features and a sleek, futuristic look.

Arlo Skye was founded in 2016 by alumni from Louis Vuitton and Tumi Inc. They set out to create luggage that emphasized design, with luxury polycarbonate suitcases available in trendy colors like rose gold and custom monogramming.

The company's Space Collection may be its most stylized line yet. It comes with a removable, 10,050-milliamp-hour charger with USB C and A ports for charging phones and other devices. The chrome-colored case is 22 inches tall, 9 inches deep, and 14 inches wide and weighs 8.5 pounds empty.

Space Collection suitcase from Arlo Skye
Arlo Skye

Depending on what type of space traveler you are, you can get one of three designs laser-etched on the bottom of your luggage. There's Moon Shot, Team Human, and Occupy Mars; each engraving comes with a short ode to space and a small picture of its respective celestial body. Like other suitcases made by Arlo Skye, these bags are zipper-free and made from polycarbonate with an aluminum frame.

Whether you're a globetrotter or an aspiring astronaut, the Space Collection from Arlo Skye makes a great travel companion.

Buy it from Arlo Skye for $450.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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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