Digital tools to keep your outlook optimistic
Hope gets you out of bed every morning, and yet by lunchtime, that wide-eyed optimism can turn into an empty homily. Here are four websites that can help you stay focused and turn your good intentions into reality.
FutureMe.Org lets you send a letter to your future self, days, weeks, months or even years in the future. You can use it to remind yourself of a where/when plan you’ve made (“Hi, Today is the day you’re signing up for swimming lessons”) or check in on your progress. More than two and half million future letters have been written through the website.
StickK.com allows you make a “commitment contract,” declaring your goals to yourself and others, and making it binding. You choose your objective—losing weight, quitting smoking, writing the first 100 pages of your novel, running a 5K—pick a timeframe and designate a referee who will monitor your progress as well as supporters who will cheer you on. You can also set a stake—betting, say, $10 a week that you’ll keep your commitment—and choosing where the money will go (a charity, perhaps) if you fail.
Timebanks.org helps send ripples of hope out into your community. Using time as currency, members of the bank contribute their skills and earn “time credits” in exchange. Everyone’s time is valued alike. You might deliver an hour of resume writing and withdraw an hour of carpentry down the road. “We are all assets,” the website says. “We all have something to give.”
Hopemonger.com is Shane Lopez’s website and it is filled with hope-building resources, including a link to the Hope Scale, so you can measure (and track) your own hope; information on “nexting while talking,” a technique for practicing hope with your kids; and hope how-tos on mapping out hope and sharpening your hope skills.