Practical people suggest that if you're serious about losing weight, stopping drinking, defusing your volatile temper or any of the other resolutions you drunkenly committed yourself to on New Year's Eve, shutting down the computer and going out for a walk in the fresh air might be a good first step.
That said, there are genuine reasons for turning to the Net to help you become a better person. Internet users like nothing more than to tell you something. In fact, it's hard to imagine the Web without the advice-giving component.
Over the past couple of years, the Internet has become one giant shouting match, with users offering unsolicited opinions on everything from culture and current events to medical problems and personal hygiene.
What better place, then, to hunt down information on how to make yourself a better human being in 2003?
The problem, of course, is that there are no limits on what can be posted and what advice can be given. I could easily pretend to be a doctor and offer advice on what to do with that nasty boil, and you wouldn't be any the wiser.
Believe what you want, but don't trust these opinions any more than you would those of someone you just met outside the liquor store. The sites below are for loose reference only. Here's hoping you become who you really want to be.
Quitting smoking is the number-one New Year's resolution, and not surprisingly there are hundreds of sites telling you how to butt out. www.quitnet.com claims to be the original in this field but is virtually indistinguishable from www.quitsmoking.com. Both offer helpful advice and then some free info before charging you for the real goods.
Getting off the booze is another promise people make to themselves, often when they're loaded. Sites like www.quit-drinking.com will gladly help you off the bottle for the cost of some literature, as will www.alcoholics-anonymous.org, while www.98drinkingjokes.com offers the lighter side of trying to quit. Not to be confused with www.quitdrinkin.com, the site of a songwriter so bad he could drive you to drink.
Giving weight loss tips online is big business. Everyone seems to have a miracle tip on how to slim down, many involving creepy drugs, dangerous regimes or protein overload. For those who are happy with their weight, there's www.fatso.com, the zine dedicated to those who won't apologize for their weight.
www.lifequest-freshstart.com is a kind of New Age clearing house for anyone looking to simply be someone else. Here, you can buy oral spray for dental self-help, exercise machines, books on how to be more successful financially, and even soothing New Age music to get you in the mood.
www.tonyrobbins.com. Look at his shiny teeth and hurricane-proof hair. Doesn't Anthony Robbins just breathe success? Don't you want to be just like him?
Who doesn't love a bit of facial hair? For those who've given up shaving in 2003, there's http://members.aol.com/beardguy/beard036.htm.
Like the man says, the real question is why not grow a beard?