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How to Become the Ultimate Grill Master

How to Become the Ultimate Grill Master

Memorial Day marks the start of the serious grilling season, and there’s no better weekend to bolster your grill-master game. Luckily, honing your outdoor culinary skills is a lot more simple than it seems, given the right tools, a little preparation, and a few tips on technique.

This post was originally published on May 23, 2008.

Get the Right Tools

How to Become the Ultimate Grill Master
  • Lump charcoal or briquettes?: This is one of those endless, both-sides-are-right-and-wrong debates (kind of like Mac vs. PC), but there is some fairly common ground. As The Virtual Weber Bullet puts it:
    The general consensus is that lump tends to burn hotter than briquettes, but not as long or as consistently. Some lack of consistency is to be expected, given that the content and piece size varies within an individual bag and between bags.

    Personally, I recommend briquettes for anyone just starting out with their grill, as lump can be finicky in lighting. Of course, you can save yourself a lot of effort and frustration by investing in a chimney starter, which you can also use for flash-cooking.

  • Choosing a gas grill: Ignore the BTUs and heat for the most part—unless you really need to cook a whole bird or roast this weekend, most grills have got your steaks and burgers covered. Consumer Reports’ blog recommends bringing a magnet with you to gauge the quality of steel used to contain the heat. If the magnet sticks, it’s likely a cheaper grade that will rust more easily. Feel free to give a test model a few shoves and shakes, as an unstable grill is a recipe for serious problems. The Wirecutter has some good recommendations to get you started.
  • Multi-use utensils: The three-tool grilling sets you see at big-box stores have all you’ll need for basic grill work, with long-handled versions of a spatula, tongs, and a carving-type poker. A long-handle brush would be your next purchase, and then a grilling basket and skewers when you start branching out. Make sure your tools feel heavy and firm in your hands, as clumsy handling creates the kind of BBQ stories you don’t want repeated.

For more grilling gear, our gadget-crazed brother site Gizmodo runs down 10 awesome grills you can buy for the ultimate Memorial Day barbecue.

http://gizmodo.com/392940/10-awes…

Get Ready

  • Clean that grill: If there’s black crust on the grill bars, you need to get it off to ensure no-stick cooking and easy food flipping. You can use a grill brush or an onion if it’s being particularly stubborn. The video above shows you how to do a deeper clean, and if you’ve neglected your grill for years, it may need a bit of repair, which you can do yourself.
  • Make your own sauce: Most of the pre-bottled sauces you see on grocery shelves are over-sweetened, and none match the taste of homemade. Making your own isn’t that difficult, either. Use one of BBQ Recipe Secret’s three sauce bases as a starting point, and build your own flavor ideas into them. It’ll give you something to talk about while you’re waiting for the ribs to finish. You can even give bottled sauce a boost with a few household ingredients, if you don’t want to start from scratch.

http://lifehacker.com/give-bottled-b…

http://lifehacker.com/5806754/deep-c…

Hone Your Technique

How to Become the Ultimate Grill Master
  • Use your grill’s “zones”: Not everything goes right over the fire. Different types of meat (and vegetables) will work best on different parts of the grill depending on how much heat they need. Check out this infographic to see where everything goes.
  • Use a cheat sheet: Experience is the best indicator for knowing the precise moment to yank your food off the rack, but Real Simple offers a super-helpful cheat sheet you can print and bring to this culinary test. Here’s a sample that covers the basics of red meat and sausages:

    How to Become the Ultimate Grill Master

    While you’re at it, don’t forget about the palm test for determining the doneness of a steak.

  • BBQ chicken: As my fellow editor Adam can attest, eHow’s technique for grilling whole or partial chicken results in some juicy bird. The basics: Oil the grill, cook the chicken uncovered slightly off the heat center, and, for Pete’s sake, don’t put your sauce on until the last few minutes.
  • Perfect burgers: Our commenters don’t necessarily agree on cooking great burgers, but they do have some common wisdom to share. Use meat that’s as close to room temperature as possible for even cooking. Don’t press them on the grill, unless you like your meat dry. And the best “secret” to great burgers is buying good meat, preferably ground by a butcher while you watch. And if you want them to cook evenly, a shallow indentation in the middle can help avoid the hockey puck look.
  • Seriously salt your steak: Got filet mignon dreams for the weekend, but only a Quarter-Pounder budget? Buy a cheap cut of “choice” meat, then salt, salt, salt the heck out of that thing—for only one hour before grilling, and then pat it dry. By doing so, your salt is breaking in your meat and loosening some of its protein strands, making it hold flavor better and cut like the steakhouse commercials of your dreams. You can also freeze it for 30 minutes for that perfect seared crust.
  • Hot dogs with maximum toppage: Spiral-cut your hot dogs to ensure it cooks perfectly straight, with more surface area for that nice grill flavor and plenty of room for all your favorite toppings. You might even consider marinating them for a boost of flavor that goes beyond the ho-hum hot dogs everyone’s used to.
  • Let it rest: You’ll be eager to slice open your tender steak or succulent chicken, but you’ll lose a lot of juicy flavor if you do so. As the food techies at Cook’s Illustrated point out, cutting into your food right off the grill releases a significant amount of juice, which would be re-absorbed for better succulence if you let it sit a few minutes.

http://lifehacker.com/5921653/spiral…

http://lifehacker.com/get-steakhouse…

http://lifehacker.com/the-best-way-t…

http://lifehacker.com/software/cooki…

http://lifehacker.com/software/cooki…

http://lifehacker.com/267250/determi…

http://lifehacker.com/5918212/where-…

Recover from a Rain-Out

How to Become the Ultimate Grill Master

All that planning, cleaning, and purchasing, and Mother Nature calls an audible on your perfect grill day? You’re not finished yet. As the New York Times’ food guru and cookbook author Mark Bittman points out, your oven broiler can sub in for your grill with a little prep-work, with results almost as satisfying. Brown your meat in the pan, roast or braise it slowly, then use the broiler to give it that grill-like finish. Check out his oven-based pork ribs or brisket recipes if you need convincing.

Document Your Success

How to Become the Ultimate Grill Master

When you’ve put all this effort into creating a great fire-cooked feast, you’ll want more than just compliments to remember it by. Break out your camera (or pass it off to a trusted friend) and try the following tips to take some great grilling shots:

  • Tell a story: A BBQ-friendly shooter named Nika notes that a lot of grilled food might look good to the human eye, but smoky crusts and perfect charring can look like unappealing dark nothingness without good framing. Try to capture moments of “drama,” such as when the meat’s being pulled, or focus on the tools used to make the meal to get shots you’ll remember.
  • Get in close: At the same time, Flickr user Another Pint Please…, also known as Mike and who shot the steak picture you saw at the top of this post, recommends being brave and getting up-close and personal with your heat source—while being safe with your lens, of course. You’ll have time to take wider-angle shots when the cooking’s done, but those sudden flare-ups and perfect glistening angles only happen once.

Happy Memorial Day, and enjoy the barbecue!

Photos by Mike, Rick, Robert S. Donovan, and Christopher Aloi.

The Best Calendar App for iPhone

The Best Calendar App for iPhone

You have tons of options for calendars on iPhone, many that are free, but when it comes to the best, we recommend Fantastical 2, even if you have to shell out $5 to use it.

Fantastical 2

Platform: iPhone (and iPad)
Price: $4.99
Download Page

Features

  • Compatible with Google Calendar, iCloud, and Exchange
  • Quickly add new events with natural language (“Lunch with Alan tomorrow”)
  • Notification Center support
  • Map view for event locations
  • Week view in landscape mode
  • Integration with Facebook events
  • Widget support
  • Quick Actions on iPhone 6s
  • Light and dark themes
  • Reminders integration with notifications

Where It Excels

A lot of things are great about Fantastical 2, but what separates it from the pack the most comes down to its design. Fantastical 2 is incredibly easy to use, fast, and it’s powerful enough for most people. As a basic calendar, you can view your events on a calendar and they’re visualized in a readable and easy to understand way. You can add new events without a lot of taps and the natural language entry means you can type out an event just like you’d say it out loud.

Fantastical also offers up just enough options for viewing your calendar to make it useful for a variety of people. You can check out a list view in portrait mode that offers both a week ticker and a month calendar at the top, or flip your phone to landscape view to see a more detailed look at your week. These three views make it pretty easy to glance at your calendar to get a gist of your schedule at any given moment.

Fantastical 2 is updated consistently with new features, but more importantly it’s always kept up to date for new versions of iOS and any new features that might come along with a new iPhone (like Quick Actions on the iPhone 6s) or in the operating system itself (like widget support). Finally, Fantastical 2 is just as reliable as Apple’s built-in options, which, when it boils down to it, is one of the most important aspects of a calendar. Syncing always works, crashes are very rare, and notifications always happen when they’re supposed to.

Where It Falls Short

The most obvious downside of Fantastical is the $5 price tag. While paying for the app means you’ll get continued support and you don’t have to worry as much about the app getting acquired by another company (which are oddly common in calendar apps), not everyone wants to shell out cash for a calendar app. We do cover some free options below though.

Beyond that, Fantastical is missing some of the social or third-party integrations that you’ll find in other calendar apps. While it does support Facebook events, that’s pretty much it. You won’t find detailed views of your weather, Evernote reminders, or anything else here. On one end, that means Fantastical is a solid calendar app on its own, but on another, it means you can’t auto populate your calendar using other services.

The Competition

You have a lot of good competition in the calendar space on the iPhone, so if you don’t feel like shelling out the $5 for Fantastical, don’t worry.

Let’s start with Sunrise Calendar (Free). Sunrise Calendar was our previous pick for the best calendar on iPhone. It’s free, supports the big three calendar services, integrates weather forecasts, and links up with tons of other services. The problem is the app’s now dead after Microsoft acquired the team who made it. A lot of the Sunrise features are now being integrated into Microsoft’s Outlook app, but the iOS app for Sunrise will never get updated again.

Any.Do Cal (Free) is another decent free option, but it hasn’t seen an update in a year. Cal is a little more fun and playful then Fantastical, integrating a lot of images into its design as well as working well with the Any.do to-do list app. As a calendar, it does everything it needs to, but doesn’t go too far out of its way to do anything new.

Finally, as far as free options go, it’s worth mentioning Google Calendar (Free). If you’re deep into Google’s ecosystem, the Google Calendar app is great. It shows you events from Gmail, to-dos, and even gives you little added features like flight information. The problem, of course, is that most of the usefulness relies on other Google services, so if you’re not using any of them, Google Calendar is far less useful.

In the paid space, the biggest competitor to Fantastical is Calendars 5 ($6.99). Calendars 5 is a very capable app that includes natural language input, a task manager, and a variety of view options to glance at your calendar. The week view in Calendars 5 is good, better than Fantastical’s in some ways, but the rest of the interface is a bit lacking. Calendars 5 is also a universal app, so if you use your iPad a lot, it’s great to just purchase one app instead of two.

Week Calendar ($1.99) is another app that once sat in our App Directory. It’s packed with a ton of features, including multiple views, your choice of navigation app integration, templates, widgets, and more. It’s also quite possibly the ugliest option available, but that hasn’t prevented it from being one of the most popular calendar apps out there.


Lifehacker’s App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories.

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

For lifelong learners and self-made scholars, the internet is a priceless resource. Continue your education with these top free online tools.

10. Free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have greatly expanded the educational opportunities for everyone with a computer and an internet connection. These typically free online courses, usually provided by universities and colleges, cover everything from Astronomy to Web Development. MOOCs are a category unto themselves, but there are plenty of individual MOOC providers and platforms to look to, including the universities themselves, such as Stanford Online and MIT Open Courseware. Popular commercial and non-profit organizations that serve up courses from multiple sources include Academic Earth, edX, Class Central, Udacity, Coursera, Udemy, and FutureLearn. If you feel like there are too many free online courses to choose from, don’t worry. Several of the tools and sites below curate courses from MOOCs and other sources into fields of study.

9. Skillshare

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Skillshare is a learning community that connects over a million students and teachers. In fact, anyone can teach a class (typically 30 minutes to 1 hour long) on subjects like crafts, cooking, film, photography, technology, or writing—as long as the class adheres to the site’s publishing guidelines. It’s a good resource for viewing project-based lessons (e.g., designing 3D type and texture) and there are tracks of courses grouped by subject. Over 300 lessons are available for free, but you’ll need a pro subscription to access the 3,000+ full library.

8. University of Reddit

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Love Reddit? You can partake in this community’s crowd-sourced online education initiative. Covering standard subjects like art and computer science as well as “fun and games” (e.g., StarCraft II Strategy), University of Reddit is taught by Reddit users. You can also apply to teach a class yourself.

7. CourseBuffet

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

CourseBuffet lets you search and compare hundreds of free MOOCs from over 250 universities. You can search by subject, browse by field, or even see learning paths that organize courses into a bachelor’s degree-level curriculum for you—for example a complete computer science or management path. And it’s all free.

6. ALISON

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

ALISON not only provides free online courses from publishers like Google, Microsoft, MIT, Macmillan, and Cambridge University, the site also offers diploma-level courses. So you can earn a certificate in project management, HR, social work, and other subjects that might be helpful during a job search. Over 750 free diploma and certificate courses are available now, and you can use the site to track your progress and test your skills.

5. Project Gutenberg

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Prefer to learn by reading rather than online courses? Or want to supplement those videos with books? Project Gutenberg’s massive (over 50,000) collection of free ebooks to the rescue. You’ll find classic and obscure titles here for your downloading pleasure in multiple languages. Check out their Top 100 ebooks list to find something new to read. For free textbooks, head to previously mentioned TextbookRevolution or Open Textbooks. Open Syllabus Project will show you the books most assigned at college.

4. Khan Academy

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Join over 38 million online learners at Khan Academy, a non-profit MOOC of its own. Their tagline is “you can learn anything,” and you’ll find a wide range of interesting video classes here as well as interactive courses. Track your progress and earn badges to keep learning fun.

3. iTunes U

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

The iTunes U app for iOS, Mac, or Windows not only lets you access courses from leading schools and other sources on your device, it lets you see and complete course assignments and add notes for each course. The catalog contains hundreds of thousands of resources on various topics, all at your fingertips.

2. Open Culture

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Open Culture is a treasure trove for any learner. Currently, the site lists 1,150 free online courses, 725 free movies, 700 free audio books, 800 free ebooks, 200 free textbooks, 300 free language lessons, and 150 free business courses. They’ve grown a lot—and continue to keep growing—since we mentioned them a few years ago. Resources are well classified. This is a great one-stop source for free, enriching media.

1. Lifehacker U

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Not to toot our own horn, but Lifehacker U is a well-curated collection of the best free online classes you can take each semester. One of the best things about it is our own Alan Henry highlights specific courses in each subject field you might be interested in, along with detailed notes and descriptions. So rather than pointing you to, say, Stanford University in general, you’ll see courses from multiple schools in your discipline that are new or returning at this time.

The resources above just scratch the surface of all the places you can learn something new online, of course. But they’re a good place to start and should keep you busy learning all year round.

Illustration by Fruzsina Kuhári.


Lifehacker’s Weekend Roundup gathers our best guides, explainers, and other posts on a certain subject so you can tackle big projects with ease. For more, check out our Weekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

For lifelong learners and self-made scholars, the internet is a priceless resource. Continue your education with these top free online tools.

10. Free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have greatly expanded the educational opportunities for everyone with a computer and an internet connection. These typically free online courses, usually provided by universities and colleges, cover everything from Astronomy to Web Development. MOOCs are a category unto themselves, but there are plenty of individual MOOC providers and platforms to look to, including the universities themselves, such as Stanford Online and MIT Open Courseware. Popular commercial and non-profit organizations that serve up courses from multiple sources include Academic Earth, edX, Class Central, Udacity, Coursera, Udemy, and FutureLearn. If you feel like there are too many free online courses to choose from, don’t worry. Several of the tools and sites below curate courses from MOOCs and other sources into fields of study.

9. Skillshare

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Skillshare is a learning community that connects over a million students and teachers. In fact, anyone can teach a class (typically 30 minutes to 1 hour long) on subjects like crafts, cooking, film, photography, technology, or writing—as long as the class adheres to the site’s publishing guidelines. It’s a good resource for viewing project-based lessons (e.g., designing 3D type and texture) and there are tracks of courses grouped by subject. Over 300 lessons are available for free, but you’ll need a pro subscription to access the 3,000+ full library.

8. University of Reddit

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Love Reddit? You can partake in this community’s crowd-sourced online education initiative. Covering standard subjects like art and computer science as well as “fun and games” (e.g., StarCraft II Strategy), University of Reddit is taught by Reddit users. You can also apply to teach a class yourself.

7. CourseBuffet

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

CourseBuffet lets you search and compare hundreds of free MOOCs from over 250 universities. You can search by subject, browse by field, or even see learning paths that organize courses into a bachelor’s degree-level curriculum for you—for example a complete computer science or management path. And it’s all free.

6. ALISON

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

ALISON not only provides free online courses from publishers like Google, Microsoft, MIT, Macmillan, and Cambridge University, the site also offers diploma-level courses. So you can earn a certificate in project management, HR, social work, and other subjects that might be helpful during a job search. Over 750 free diploma and certificate courses are available now, and you can use the site to track your progress and test your skills.

5. Project Gutenberg

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Prefer to learn by reading rather than online courses? Or want to supplement those videos with books? Project Gutenberg’s massive (over 50,000) collection of free ebooks to the rescue. You’ll find classic and obscure titles here for your downloading pleasure in multiple languages. Check out their Top 100 ebooks list to find something new to read. For free textbooks, head to previously mentioned TextbookRevolution or Open Textbooks. Open Syllabus Project will show you the books most assigned at college.

4. Khan Academy

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Join over 38 million online learners at Khan Academy, a non-profit MOOC of its own. Their tagline is “you can learn anything,” and you’ll find a wide range of interesting video classes here as well as interactive courses. Track your progress and earn badges to keep learning fun.

3. iTunes U

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

The iTunes U app for iOS, Mac, or Windows not only lets you access courses from leading schools and other sources on your device, it lets you see and complete course assignments and add notes for each course. The catalog contains hundreds of thousands of resources on various topics, all at your fingertips.

2. Open Culture

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Open Culture is a treasure trove for any learner. Currently, the site lists 1,150 free online courses, 725 free movies, 700 free audio books, 800 free ebooks, 200 free textbooks, 300 free language lessons, and 150 free business courses. They’ve grown a lot—and continue to keep growing—since we mentioned them a few years ago. Resources are well classified. This is a great one-stop source for free, enriching media.

1. Lifehacker U

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Not to toot our own horn, but Lifehacker U is a well-curated collection of the best free online classes you can take each semester. One of the best things about it is our own Alan Henry highlights specific courses in each subject field you might be interested in, along with detailed notes and descriptions. So rather than pointing you to, say, Stanford University in general, you’ll see courses from multiple schools in your discipline that are new or returning at this time.

The resources above just scratch the surface of all the places you can learn something new online, of course. But they’re a good place to start and should keep you busy learning all year round.

Illustration by Fruzsina Kuhári.


Lifehacker’s Weekend Roundup gathers our best guides, explainers, and other posts on a certain subject so you can tackle big projects with ease. For more, check out our Weekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

For lifelong learners and self-made scholars, the internet is a priceless resource. Continue your education with these top free online tools.

10. Free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have greatly expanded the educational opportunities for everyone with a computer and an internet connection. These typically free online courses, usually provided by universities and colleges, cover everything from Astronomy to Web Development. MOOCs are a category unto themselves, but there are plenty of individual MOOC providers and platforms to look to, including the universities themselves, such as Stanford Online and MIT Open Courseware. Popular commercial and non-profit organizations that serve up courses from multiple sources include Academic Earth, edX, Class Central, Udacity, Coursera, Udemy, and FutureLearn. If you feel like there are too many free online courses to choose from, don’t worry. Several of the tools and sites below curate courses from MOOCs and other sources into fields of study.

9. Skillshare

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Skillshare is a learning community that connects over a million students and teachers. In fact, anyone can teach a class (typically 30 minutes to 1 hour long) on subjects like crafts, cooking, film, photography, technology, or writing—as long as the class adheres to the site’s publishing guidelines. It’s a good resource for viewing project-based lessons (e.g., designing 3D type and texture) and there are tracks of courses grouped by subject. Over 300 lessons are available for free, but you’ll need a pro subscription to access the 3,000+ full library.

8. University of Reddit

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Love Reddit? You can partake in this community’s crowd-sourced online education initiative. Covering standard subjects like art and computer science as well as “fun and games” (e.g., StarCraft II Strategy), University of Reddit is taught by Reddit users. You can also apply to teach a class yourself.

7. CourseBuffet

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

CourseBuffet lets you search and compare hundreds of free MOOCs from over 250 universities. You can search by subject, browse by field, or even see learning paths that organize courses into a bachelor’s degree-level curriculum for you—for example a complete computer science or management path. And it’s all free.

6. ALISON

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

ALISON not only provides free online courses from publishers like Google, Microsoft, MIT, Macmillan, and Cambridge University, the site also offers diploma-level courses. So you can earn a certificate in project management, HR, social work, and other subjects that might be helpful during a job search. Over 750 free diploma and certificate courses are available now, and you can use the site to track your progress and test your skills.

5. Project Gutenberg

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Prefer to learn by reading rather than online courses? Or want to supplement those videos with books? Project Gutenberg’s massive (over 50,000) collection of free ebooks to the rescue. You’ll find classic and obscure titles here for your downloading pleasure in multiple languages. Check out their Top 100 ebooks list to find something new to read. For free textbooks, head to previously mentioned TextbookRevolution or Open Textbooks. Open Syllabus Project will show you the books most assigned at college.

4. Khan Academy

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Join over 38 million online learners at Khan Academy, a non-profit MOOC of its own. Their tagline is “you can learn anything,” and you’ll find a wide range of interesting video classes here as well as interactive courses. Track your progress and earn badges to keep learning fun.

3. iTunes U

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

The iTunes U app for iOS, Mac, or Windows not only lets you access courses from leading schools and other sources on your device, it lets you see and complete course assignments and add notes for each course. The catalog contains hundreds of thousands of resources on various topics, all at your fingertips.

2. Open Culture

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Open Culture is a treasure trove for any learner. Currently, the site lists 1,150 free online courses, 725 free movies, 700 free audio books, 800 free ebooks, 200 free textbooks, 300 free language lessons, and 150 free business courses. They’ve grown a lot—and continue to keep growing—since we mentioned them a few years ago. Resources are well classified. This is a great one-stop source for free, enriching media.

1. Lifehacker U

Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education

Not to toot our own horn, but Lifehacker U is a well-curated collection of the best free online classes you can take each semester. One of the best things about it is our own Alan Henry highlights specific courses in each subject field you might be interested in, along with detailed notes and descriptions. So rather than pointing you to, say, Stanford University in general, you’ll see courses from multiple schools in your discipline that are new or returning at this time.

The resources above just scratch the surface of all the places you can learn something new online, of course. But they’re a good place to start and should keep you busy learning all year round.

Illustration by Fruzsina Kuhári.


Lifehacker’s Weekend Roundup gathers our best guides, explainers, and other posts on a certain subject so you can tackle big projects with ease. For more, check out our Weekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

The Best Antivirus App for Windows

The Best Antivirus App for Windows

Windows has more antivirus programs than we can count, and none of them are quite perfect. Right now, we recommend BitDefender Free for the best balance between protection, ease of use, and cost.

Update: Our former pick, Avast!, has scored lower in antivirus testing according to both AV Comparatives and AV-Test than it has in previous years. It’s also added annoying pop-ups, added itself to email signatures without asking, and the company’s SafeZone browser has come under fire for security vulnerabilities. So, we’ve decided to update our pick.

BitDefender Free

Platform: Windows
Price: Free
Download Page

Features

  • Dead simple interface
  • Automatic virus scans occur at regular intervals
  • Start full system scans on demand
  • Virus definitions update automatically in the background
  • Virus Shields monitors activity on your computer to identify threats in real time
  • Top-rated protection according to AV-Comparatives

Where It Excels

The Best Antivirus App for Windows

BitDefender has topped AV-Comparatives’ rigorous testing for the last two years in a row. It won Product of the Year in 2014 and tied with Kaspersky for the same top slot this year (though AV Comparatives won’t award the Product of the Year to a product that has won before). It also distinguished itself in the areas of file detection, proactive protection, and malware removal. In other words, if you want solid protection from as many threats as possible, BitDefender is your app.

BitDefender has also performed well in AV-Test’s analysis. In 2015, it received the award for best performance, and in 2014 it was in the top three for protection, performance, and usability.

BitDefender Free is also the simplest, no-worry antivirus aroundThe app is aggressively hands-off. When you first install it, BitDefender will perform an initial scan. After that, it automatically schedules periodic scans. It also continuously monitors the files you use in real-time to protect against any threats as they happen.

Where It Falls Short

It’s a good thing BitDefender wins so many awards, because you have to trust it a lot. The app has almost no customization settings at all. You can’t schedule scans on your own schedule. You can’t choose how aggressive it is in isolating threats. You can restore folders that are mistakenly isolated, but you can’t exclude files and folders before they’re flagged. BitDefender Free is deliberately and relentlessly anti-customization.

We’ve decided to make it our top pick because it’s consistently one of the highest rated scanners around. Also, the average person doesn’t need to set schedules or exclude folders. In fact, the argument could be made that the typical non-techie person shouldn’t be fiddling with these settings. If you need customization options, BitDefender probably isn’t for you. For everyone else, it’s the most competent package you can get without having to tweak your setup.

The Competition

Avira was very close to claiming the top spot in our assessment. AV Comparatives rates it a top product, and it won silver awards for real world protection, file detection, overall performance, and malware removal. Avira ranked slightly lower than BitDefender in AV-Test’s ratings for 2014 in the categories of protection and performance, but it topped the score for usability with as close to a perfect 6 as any product could get. It maintained that same distinction in 2015, winning the AV-Test award for usability. It has more customization options than BitDefender, so if you want the same high level of protection that BitDefender offers, but you need a few more options to tweak it to your needs, you should check out Avira.

If you don’t mind spending a little money, Kaspersky is another fine option. It took home AV Comparatives Product of the Year award, which places it right next to BitDefender in terms of protection. It also tied with Bitdefender for performance and with Avira for usability in AV-Test’s 2015 awards. You can download a free trial of Kaspersky Anti-Virus here, however the full version will cost $60 after 30 days.

Avast still remains one of AV Comparatives leading products overall (though it doesn’t top BitDefender or Kaspersky), but its scores have dropped over the last couple years. It ranked seventh overall in AV-Comparative’s testing, and it’s won no awards from AV-Test. As we mentioned at the start of this article, it’s started adding many annoying features. That’s enough to bump it down from our recommendation. However, there are countless antivirus programs out there and Avast is still better than most of them. If you can handle the annoyances and really don’t like any of the other options on this list, it’s worth a look.

Among the other top-rated programs according to AV Comparatives, ESET was very low on false positives and excelled at proactive protection, and Emisoft won distinctions for file detection and overall performance. Neither managed to score high marks in as many areas as the previous recommendations, but they’re solid alternatives if the others in this list don’t work for you.

Most of all, remember that no antivirus solution is a replacement for good browsing habits. Make sure you trust an application before you install it and test it in a safe environment if you need to. Learn how to spot a scam and don’t click on everything you see. The more you can spot malicious software before it ends up on your computer, the less your antivirus programs have to clean up.

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

2016 is here, and most of us are scrambling to make up a few New Year’s resolutions that, frankly, we’ll probably forget about in February. Here’s how to create a resolution that actually sticks so you can better yourself this year.

A version of this post was originally published on December 29, 2012.

10. Focus on One Resolution

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

One of the first mistakes people make is planning too many resolutions. The fewer things your brain has to deal with, the better, and you’ll be able to focus all your motivation on one resolution, increasing the chances you’ll succeed. Need ideas? Check out our top 10 easy-to-keep resolutions, or go for one of the five most popular resolutions and follow our guide to ensuring its success.

http://lifehacker.com/5871955/the-sc…

9. Get Someone to Hold You Accountable

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Having an “accountability buddy” is an old, yet tried-and-true tip for sticking to your resolutions. Tell your goals to a few close family and friends who will be honest with you and keep you on the right track. Heck, if you’re having trouble thinking of a good resolution, those buddies can actually help you pick one, too (since they know you best, faults and all). Don’t go too overboard, though. Remember, sometimes sharing with too many people can hinder your accomplishments.

http://lifehacker.com/5871534/outsou…

8. Set Ultra-Specific Goals

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

New Year’s resolutions are often big and general, making them hard to attain. The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to reach that goal. “Lose weight” or “get in shape” is a bad resolution; “Lose 15 pounds by March” is a good one. Setting multiple specific goals throughout the year is good, too. That way, you always have something attainable to focus on that doesn’t seem far off.

7. Piggyback Your Resolution with Existing Habits

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If your resolution involves building small habits—like, say, flossing every day or taking daily vitamins—you can “piggyback” these habits with other, already-established ones. Stick your dental floss in your shower and floss during your shower, or put your vitamin jar inside your kitchen cupboard so you always remember to take them when you eat breakfast. The easier you can form the habit, the more likely it is to stick.

http://lifehacker.com/5724234/how-to…

6. Give Yourself a Trial Run

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Not every resolution is perfect out of the gate, so don’t hold yourself to a poorly-formed goal if it just won’t work. Give yourself a 30-day trial run to work out the kinks, where you can let yourself stumble a bit and tweak your goals to something better suited for success. Keep in mind that not all habits are formed in 21 days, as conventional wisdom says, so even after the trial run, give yourself time to sink into the habit before you start admitting defeat.

http://lifehacker.com/5863684/give-y…

5. Trick Your Mind

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Resolutions are hard to keep without a sense of accomplishment. Having specific, gradual goals can help, but another trick is to play some mind games with yourself. The placebo effect can be pretty useful in keeping you motivated, even if you know you’re using it on yourself. Focus on anything that makes you feel like you’re succeeding. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating from smaller plates will make you “feel” fuller, even if you’re eating the same amount of food, for example. Do whatever you need to do to trick your mind and you’ll be well on your way to success.

http://lifehacker.com/5873548/why-pl…

4. Visualize the End Result

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

As writer Rod Ebrahimi says, “focus on the carrot, not the stick”. If you’re having trouble staying motivated, focus on what you’ll get from your end goal—whether that’s feeling better at a lower weight, being able to impress your friends with your new guitar skills, or just being able to breathe now that you’ve quit smoking. Staying positive seems like common sense, but it can be hard when you’re in the middle of a big plateau.

3. Closely Measure Your Progress

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If you’ve created specific goals, then getting positive reinforcement should be easy. Every time your each one of those goals—even if it’s just a daily goal—mark it off on a checklist or calendar. You can even go a step further and use the “Don’t Break the Chain” method of goal-setting, which is great for daily goals like “write every day” or “exercise 5 times a week.” For other resolutions, try out one of our five favorite goal-tracking services to measure your progress.

http://lifehacker.com/5886128/how-se…

2. Remind Yourself of Your Goals Every Day

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If you’re having trouble keeping your goals at the forefront of your mind, you can use one of any number of tricks to constantly remind yourself (besides tracking your progress). Set an alarm on your phone with a message of why you’re doing this, record yourself on a webcam every day, or use dry erase markers to write your goals on your bathroom mirror.

http://lifehacker.com/5945116/how-i-…

1. Start Right Now

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Don’t wait! Whether you’re reading this at the end of December or in the middle of July, start right now—even with small changes to prepare you for the big push—and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goals. There’s no reason your goals need to start on January 1st-even if that’s today-so call up those accountability buddies, jot down your milestones, and get started with that resolution right now.

http://lifehacker.com/5871244/make-s…

Title photo remixed from file404 (Shutterstock). Additional photos by Lululemon Athletica, Rob Ellis, John Kwan (Shutterstock), mattza, Davidd, and Ambernectar 13.

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

2016 is here, and most of us are scrambling to make up a few New Year’s resolutions that, frankly, we’ll probably forget about in February. Here’s how to create a resolution that actually sticks so you can better yourself this year.

A version of this post was originally published on December 29, 2012.

10. Focus on One Resolution

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

One of the first mistakes people make is planning too many resolutions. The fewer things your brain has to deal with, the better, and you’ll be able to focus all your motivation on one resolution, increasing the chances you’ll succeed. Need ideas? Check out our top 10 easy-to-keep resolutions, or go for one of the five most popular resolutions and follow our guide to ensuring its success.

http://lifehacker.com/5871955/the-sc…

9. Get Someone to Hold You Accountable

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Having an “accountability buddy” is an old, yet tried-and-true tip for sticking to your resolutions. Tell your goals to a few close family and friends who will be honest with you and keep you on the right track. Heck, if you’re having trouble thinking of a good resolution, those buddies can actually help you pick one, too (since they know you best, faults and all). Don’t go too overboard, though. Remember, sometimes sharing with too many people can hinder your accomplishments.

http://lifehacker.com/5871534/outsou…

8. Set Ultra-Specific Goals

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

New Year’s resolutions are often big and general, making them hard to attain. The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to reach that goal. “Lose weight” or “get in shape” is a bad resolution; “Lose 15 pounds by March” is a good one. Setting multiple specific goals throughout the year is good, too. That way, you always have something attainable to focus on that doesn’t seem far off.

7. Piggyback Your Resolution with Existing Habits

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If your resolution involves building small habits—like, say, flossing every day or taking daily vitamins—you can “piggyback” these habits with other, already-established ones. Stick your dental floss in your shower and floss during your shower, or put your vitamin jar inside your kitchen cupboard so you always remember to take them when you eat breakfast. The easier you can form the habit, the more likely it is to stick.

http://lifehacker.com/5724234/how-to…

6. Give Yourself a Trial Run

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Not every resolution is perfect out of the gate, so don’t hold yourself to a poorly-formed goal if it just won’t work. Give yourself a 30-day trial run to work out the kinks, where you can let yourself stumble a bit and tweak your goals to something better suited for success. Keep in mind that not all habits are formed in 21 days, as conventional wisdom says, so even after the trial run, give yourself time to sink into the habit before you start admitting defeat.

http://lifehacker.com/5863684/give-y…

5. Trick Your Mind

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Resolutions are hard to keep without a sense of accomplishment. Having specific, gradual goals can help, but another trick is to play some mind games with yourself. The placebo effect can be pretty useful in keeping you motivated, even if you know you’re using it on yourself. Focus on anything that makes you feel like you’re succeeding. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating from smaller plates will make you “feel” fuller, even if you’re eating the same amount of food, for example. Do whatever you need to do to trick your mind and you’ll be well on your way to success.

http://lifehacker.com/5873548/why-pl…

4. Visualize the End Result

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

As writer Rod Ebrahimi says, “focus on the carrot, not the stick”. If you’re having trouble staying motivated, focus on what you’ll get from your end goal—whether that’s feeling better at a lower weight, being able to impress your friends with your new guitar skills, or just being able to breathe now that you’ve quit smoking. Staying positive seems like common sense, but it can be hard when you’re in the middle of a big plateau.

3. Closely Measure Your Progress

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If you’ve created specific goals, then getting positive reinforcement should be easy. Every time your each one of those goals—even if it’s just a daily goal—mark it off on a checklist or calendar. You can even go a step further and use the “Don’t Break the Chain” method of goal-setting, which is great for daily goals like “write every day” or “exercise 5 times a week.” For other resolutions, try out one of our five favorite goal-tracking services to measure your progress.

http://lifehacker.com/5886128/how-se…

2. Remind Yourself of Your Goals Every Day

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If you’re having trouble keeping your goals at the forefront of your mind, you can use one of any number of tricks to constantly remind yourself (besides tracking your progress). Set an alarm on your phone with a message of why you’re doing this, record yourself on a webcam every day, or use dry erase markers to write your goals on your bathroom mirror.

http://lifehacker.com/5945116/how-i-…

1. Start Right Now

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Don’t wait! Whether you’re reading this at the end of December or in the middle of July, start right now—even with small changes to prepare you for the big push—and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goals. There’s no reason your goals need to start on January 1st-even if that’s today-so call up those accountability buddies, jot down your milestones, and get started with that resolution right now.

http://lifehacker.com/5871244/make-s…

Title photo remixed from file404 (Shutterstock). Additional photos by Lululemon Athletica, Rob Ellis, John Kwan (Shutterstock), mattza, Davidd, and Ambernectar 13.

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

2016 is here, and most of us are scrambling to make up a few New Year’s resolutions that, frankly, we’ll probably forget about in February. Here’s how to create a resolution that actually sticks so you can better yourself this year.

A version of this post was originally published on December 29, 2012.

10. Focus on One Resolution

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

One of the first mistakes people make is planning too many resolutions. The fewer things your brain has to deal with, the better, and you’ll be able to focus all your motivation on one resolution, increasing the chances you’ll succeed. Need ideas? Check out our top 10 easy-to-keep resolutions, or go for one of the five most popular resolutions and follow our guide to ensuring its success.

http://lifehacker.com/5871955/the-sc…

9. Get Someone to Hold You Accountable

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Having an “accountability buddy” is an old, yet tried-and-true tip for sticking to your resolutions. Tell your goals to a few close family and friends who will be honest with you and keep you on the right track. Heck, if you’re having trouble thinking of a good resolution, those buddies can actually help you pick one, too (since they know you best, faults and all). Don’t go too overboard, though. Remember, sometimes sharing with too many people can hinder your accomplishments.

http://lifehacker.com/5871534/outsou…

8. Set Ultra-Specific Goals

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

New Year’s resolutions are often big and general, making them hard to attain. The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to reach that goal. “Lose weight” or “get in shape” is a bad resolution; “Lose 15 pounds by March” is a good one. Setting multiple specific goals throughout the year is good, too. That way, you always have something attainable to focus on that doesn’t seem far off.

7. Piggyback Your Resolution with Existing Habits

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If your resolution involves building small habits—like, say, flossing every day or taking daily vitamins—you can “piggyback” these habits with other, already-established ones. Stick your dental floss in your shower and floss during your shower, or put your vitamin jar inside your kitchen cupboard so you always remember to take them when you eat breakfast. The easier you can form the habit, the more likely it is to stick.

http://lifehacker.com/5724234/how-to…

6. Give Yourself a Trial Run

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Not every resolution is perfect out of the gate, so don’t hold yourself to a poorly-formed goal if it just won’t work. Give yourself a 30-day trial run to work out the kinks, where you can let yourself stumble a bit and tweak your goals to something better suited for success. Keep in mind that not all habits are formed in 21 days, as conventional wisdom says, so even after the trial run, give yourself time to sink into the habit before you start admitting defeat.

http://lifehacker.com/5863684/give-y…

5. Trick Your Mind

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Resolutions are hard to keep without a sense of accomplishment. Having specific, gradual goals can help, but another trick is to play some mind games with yourself. The placebo effect can be pretty useful in keeping you motivated, even if you know you’re using it on yourself. Focus on anything that makes you feel like you’re succeeding. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating from smaller plates will make you “feel” fuller, even if you’re eating the same amount of food, for example. Do whatever you need to do to trick your mind and you’ll be well on your way to success.

http://lifehacker.com/5873548/why-pl…

4. Visualize the End Result

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

As writer Rod Ebrahimi says, “focus on the carrot, not the stick”. If you’re having trouble staying motivated, focus on what you’ll get from your end goal—whether that’s feeling better at a lower weight, being able to impress your friends with your new guitar skills, or just being able to breathe now that you’ve quit smoking. Staying positive seems like common sense, but it can be hard when you’re in the middle of a big plateau.

3. Closely Measure Your Progress

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If you’ve created specific goals, then getting positive reinforcement should be easy. Every time your each one of those goals—even if it’s just a daily goal—mark it off on a checklist or calendar. You can even go a step further and use the “Don’t Break the Chain” method of goal-setting, which is great for daily goals like “write every day” or “exercise 5 times a week.” For other resolutions, try out one of our five favorite goal-tracking services to measure your progress.

http://lifehacker.com/5886128/how-se…

2. Remind Yourself of Your Goals Every Day

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If you’re having trouble keeping your goals at the forefront of your mind, you can use one of any number of tricks to constantly remind yourself (besides tracking your progress). Set an alarm on your phone with a message of why you’re doing this, record yourself on a webcam every day, or use dry erase markers to write your goals on your bathroom mirror.

http://lifehacker.com/5945116/how-i-…

1. Start Right Now

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Don’t wait! Whether you’re reading this at the end of December or in the middle of July, start right now—even with small changes to prepare you for the big push—and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goals. There’s no reason your goals need to start on January 1st-even if that’s today-so call up those accountability buddies, jot down your milestones, and get started with that resolution right now.

http://lifehacker.com/5871244/make-s…

Title photo remixed from file404 (Shutterstock). Additional photos by Lululemon Athletica, Rob Ellis, John Kwan (Shutterstock), mattza, Davidd, and Ambernectar 13.

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

2016 is here, and most of us are scrambling to make up a few New Year’s resolutions that, frankly, we’ll probably forget about in February. Here’s how to create a resolution that actually sticks so you can better yourself this year.

A version of this post was originally published on December 29, 2012.

10. Focus on One Resolution

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

One of the first mistakes people make is planning too many resolutions. The fewer things your brain has to deal with, the better, and you’ll be able to focus all your motivation on one resolution, increasing the chances you’ll succeed. Need ideas? Check out our top 10 easy-to-keep resolutions, or go for one of the five most popular resolutions and follow our guide to ensuring its success.

http://lifehacker.com/5871955/the-sc…

9. Get Someone to Hold You Accountable

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Having an “accountability buddy” is an old, yet tried-and-true tip for sticking to your resolutions. Tell your goals to a few close family and friends who will be honest with you and keep you on the right track. Heck, if you’re having trouble thinking of a good resolution, those buddies can actually help you pick one, too (since they know you best, faults and all). Don’t go too overboard, though. Remember, sometimes sharing with too many people can hinder your accomplishments.

http://lifehacker.com/5871534/outsou…

8. Set Ultra-Specific Goals

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

New Year’s resolutions are often big and general, making them hard to attain. The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to reach that goal. “Lose weight” or “get in shape” is a bad resolution; “Lose 15 pounds by March” is a good one. Setting multiple specific goals throughout the year is good, too. That way, you always have something attainable to focus on that doesn’t seem far off.

7. Piggyback Your Resolution with Existing Habits

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If your resolution involves building small habits—like, say, flossing every day or taking daily vitamins—you can “piggyback” these habits with other, already-established ones. Stick your dental floss in your shower and floss during your shower, or put your vitamin jar inside your kitchen cupboard so you always remember to take them when you eat breakfast. The easier you can form the habit, the more likely it is to stick.

http://lifehacker.com/5724234/how-to…

6. Give Yourself a Trial Run

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Not every resolution is perfect out of the gate, so don’t hold yourself to a poorly-formed goal if it just won’t work. Give yourself a 30-day trial run to work out the kinks, where you can let yourself stumble a bit and tweak your goals to something better suited for success. Keep in mind that not all habits are formed in 21 days, as conventional wisdom says, so even after the trial run, give yourself time to sink into the habit before you start admitting defeat.

http://lifehacker.com/5863684/give-y…

5. Trick Your Mind

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Resolutions are hard to keep without a sense of accomplishment. Having specific, gradual goals can help, but another trick is to play some mind games with yourself. The placebo effect can be pretty useful in keeping you motivated, even if you know you’re using it on yourself. Focus on anything that makes you feel like you’re succeeding. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating from smaller plates will make you “feel” fuller, even if you’re eating the same amount of food, for example. Do whatever you need to do to trick your mind and you’ll be well on your way to success.

http://lifehacker.com/5873548/why-pl…

4. Visualize the End Result

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

As writer Rod Ebrahimi says, “focus on the carrot, not the stick”. If you’re having trouble staying motivated, focus on what you’ll get from your end goal—whether that’s feeling better at a lower weight, being able to impress your friends with your new guitar skills, or just being able to breathe now that you’ve quit smoking. Staying positive seems like common sense, but it can be hard when you’re in the middle of a big plateau.

3. Closely Measure Your Progress

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If you’ve created specific goals, then getting positive reinforcement should be easy. Every time your each one of those goals—even if it’s just a daily goal—mark it off on a checklist or calendar. You can even go a step further and use the “Don’t Break the Chain” method of goal-setting, which is great for daily goals like “write every day” or “exercise 5 times a week.” For other resolutions, try out one of our five favorite goal-tracking services to measure your progress.

http://lifehacker.com/5886128/how-se…

2. Remind Yourself of Your Goals Every Day

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If you’re having trouble keeping your goals at the forefront of your mind, you can use one of any number of tricks to constantly remind yourself (besides tracking your progress). Set an alarm on your phone with a message of why you’re doing this, record yourself on a webcam every day, or use dry erase markers to write your goals on your bathroom mirror.

http://lifehacker.com/5945116/how-i-…

1. Start Right Now

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Don’t wait! Whether you’re reading this at the end of December or in the middle of July, start right now—even with small changes to prepare you for the big push—and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goals. There’s no reason your goals need to start on January 1st-even if that’s today-so call up those accountability buddies, jot down your milestones, and get started with that resolution right now.

http://lifehacker.com/5871244/make-s…

Title photo remixed from file404 (Shutterstock). Additional photos by Lululemon Athletica, Rob Ellis, John Kwan (Shutterstock), mattza, Davidd, and Ambernectar 13.