New year, new goals — or perhaps you have some recycled goals from previous years? Maybe technology can help.

The idea behind and other similar websites is that you can see real results after committing yourself to doing something for 100 days. You check in at the site, and make a short video to mark your progress. That action will keep you busy through March if you start now — and why not start now?

American society is (famously) all about the quick fix, but more and more of us are realizing that real accomplishments take time, patience, practice and effort. And most of all, perseverance. These 100-day challenges are all about fostering those qualities in ourselves and getting inspired by others doing the same.

People are practicing musical instruments, exercising (like Lakisha in the video above), improving flexibility, learning a language or improving their drawing or comic-creation skills. But not everyone is so serious. Some of the goals are silly or fun: Rene is going to record her daughter's facial expressions as she tries new foods; Ra is going to drink something different, and Denise is getting some breathing room by decluttering her house.

I've signed up to work on my book project every day for the next 100. What will you make a real commitment to?

Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

Watch a woman tackle new year weight loss with inspiring time-lapse video
Sites that focus on 100-day challenges use accountability and motivation to help you master your goals.