Firefox Extensions for New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year again where we endeavor to improve ourselves, to wash away poor habits of the past and improve our lot in life. Yet most of us fall short of our yearly resolution goals. Why? Maybe we just haven’t found the right Firefox extensions to assist our annual renewals…

Graphic of a woman looking at an internet screen with icons

Resolve to waste less time on the internet

The internet is vast. It is one of humanity’s most vital modern resources, charged with more knowledge and communicative power than any one person could ever hope to access. Yet, if we’re not careful, the internet can drain every ounce of productivity right out of your day! Fortunately there are a number of really nice extensions designed to help you self-regulate your internet usage.

Monastery restricts your time spent on specific websites of your own discretion (there’s even a handy little timer you can access right from Firefox’s toolbar that counts down your remaining minutes and seconds). So for instance, you can choose to give yourself an hour a day on Facebook and 30 minutes on Reddit. Once your time is up, you’re automatically kicked out!

LeechBlock NG is another nifty site blocker that offers the ability to set blocks for certain periods of time. Need a way to avoid reading celebrity gossip during work hours? Or what about allotting yourself just 10 minutes per hour for Twitter? Some combination of the two? LeechBlock NG can handle that.

InstagratBlock is the simplest way to self regulate your time as you move about the Web in unpredictable ways. Rather than managing an array of blacklisted sites, with InstagratBlock you simply block sites as you go for set periods of time. That’s enough political news for me this morning—blocked!

Do you respond better to emotional motivation? Forest: Stay Focused, Be Present asks you to plant a tree in your own digital forest. The sproutling will prosper and grow so long as you don’t visit any of the sites on your blacklist for 30 minutes. What happens if you do visit one of your self-restricted sites? The poor little tree dies. You don’t want to kill imaginary trees, do you?

Resolve to be more charitable in 2018

There are a number of extensions for Firefox that help you help others.

Tab for a Cause replaces your new tab page with one that raises money for charity. And it never even costs you a dime. When you open a new tab, Tab For a Cause collects revenue from ads displayed on every new tab startup page. All money raised goes to carefully vetted charities, including, Human Rights Watch, Action Against Hunger, Conservation International, and more. To date, more than $420,000 has been raised through Tab for a Cause.

Easy Fundraising Donation Reminder makes charitable giving as simple as shopping online. Indeed that’s precisely how it works. The extension alerts you of opportunities to give to various charities that have partnered with retailers when you visit their site (nearly 3,000 online businesses and 75,000 charities are part of Easy Fundraising’s verified network). So imagine shopping on Amazon and seeing a convenient prompt to give to others as you give to yourself.

Ecosia is a search engine (powered by Bing plus Ecosia’s own algorithms) that gives 80% of its profits to tree-planting initiatives throughout the world. Launched in 2009, Ecosia has since raised more than $5 million in reforestation efforts through partnerships with non-profit conservationist groups.

Resolve to have more resolutions

Still searching for ideas?

Should we resolve in 2018 to be less concerned with how many Likes we’re getting on Facebook? Check out I Don’t Care About Your Likes, an extension that obscures the number of Likes on all posts and comments. It can also hide other Facebook features, like the notification counter and friend requests.

We’d be remiss not to acknowledge the grandaddy of all New Year’s resolutions—the goal of losing weight and getting in shape. Health and Fitness is a diet and exercise tracking tool; and a convenient way to self monitor your meals and workout routines because it’s always right there in the browser, just a click away.

There’s another kind of bloatedness we need to talk about… gorging on too many open browser tabs. Are you the kind of internet person who always has a ton of open tabs? Tabs everywhere, consuming the entirety of your digital desktop space? Of course you tell yourself you need all these tabs for… something important.

Resolve yourself to a cleaner, leaner desktop in 2018 with Tab Invaders. This extension is a fun way to ensure you’re never suffocated by too many open tabs. Just click the alien creature icon in your toolbar and you’re instantly transported into a game akin to the arcade classic Space Invaders, but instead of nasty extraterrestrials descending on you from the dark void, you’re attacked by icons representing each of your open tabs. For every icon you blast, its corresponding tab closes.

Best of luck to you in 2018 and may all your resolutions last until at least March!

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