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Top 10 New Year's Resolutions: Any of These Popular Life-Changing Goals Yours?

A list of the top 10 resolutions people make to improve their lives for the new year. The top 10 new year's resolutions and life-changing hopes and goals.

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by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

People from of all ages and walks of life make life-changing resolutions at least once a year. Their goal is to make at least one change that will dramatically improve their lives for both the short-term as well as the long haul.

Most of these folks make their resolutions in the period between the end of one year and the beginning of the next -- and while that is indeed a natural time to do so, it is also fairly arbitrary and should not limit or stop you from making major changes at any time of year.

So, what are the top 10 new year resolutions people pledge to change about their lives? Here's our top 10, as compiled from multiple media and Web sources... in no particular order.

1. Lose Weight/Get Fit/Start Exercise Regime. Anecdotally, based on the number of diet books and weight-loss programs started, as well as the number of gym memberships purchased, this resolution has to be the top ones people make... and if you're overweight and out of shape, it is a good one. Remember to make it a lifestyle change -- and not just a temporary thing. Change your eating habits. Make fitness part of your daily routine. See both our diet and nutrition resources as well as our fitness and exercise resources to help with this resolution.

2. Quit a Vice. People resolve to quit smoking, drinking, gambling, or doing some other destructive vice. Remember that most people need professional assistance -- or some kind of program -- to truly quit a vice. Going cold turkey may work for some, but most people need a much deeper plan to change their habits and lifestyles -- as well as the full support of friends and loved ones.

3. Get Finances in Order. Possibly because the bills are just coming in from holiday shopping or that tax season is not too far off -- and especially in a bad economy -- taking back control of spending and developing -- and keeping to -- a budget is a top priority for many folks. The key to making and keeping this resolution is to be realistic about your necessities and your luxuries -- and make hard choices, especially if you are attempting to save money.

4. Tackle Work-Life Balance. Perhaps because the holidays are such a big time for getting together with family and friends, there is a renewed emphasis on making time for the people you care about year-round, not just for a few weeks. Workaholism, work-related stress, work-life balance problems are quite real -- but can be overcome with proper planning and lifestyle (and sometimes job) changes. Learn more in our empowering work-life balance resources to assist you with this resolution.

5. Find a New Job or Career. Whatever the reasons, a new year causes many people to take stock of their jobs and career path -- and make tough decisions about their choices for the future. Whether a simple job change or a major career change, people need to commit a large chunk of time and effort to developing and enacting a plan to find a new job or make a successful career change. Use the many free tools, samples, and resources from our sister site Quintessential Careers to help you find a new job or make a career change.

6. Learn Something New. People have evolving interests, and many strive to continue to better themselves by learning something new, such as a new language, musical instrument, or a new skill (such as baking, woodworking, knitting, etc.). But before people buy expensive equipment or lessons, it's always best to research things carefully and make sure the new thing is something you can -- and want to -- commit to doing, learning, mastering.

7. Get Organized. Many of us are pack-rats, holding on to way too much stuff that clutters up our homes. In fact, many people rent storage units because they have so much junk that they can't even fit it all in their houses, basements, and attics. So, if you plan to get organized, remember it's not just about having a good organization system or scheme -- but also deciding what is important to keep and what can be donated, sold, recycled, or tossed.

8. Eat Healthier. There are many of us who are in decent shape -- and may already be fitness buffs -- that have horrible eating habits. Changing your eating habits can not only help your health and wellness, but also your budget. Eat out less often and focus on eating more fruits and vegetables. Cut back on all junk foods, especially salty and sugary snacks. Use some of our empowering diet and nutrition resources to help you with this resolution.

9. Volunteer and Help Others. Perhaps because the holidays are a time of giving to others that people experience and/or remember the deep intrinsic rewards of helping people less fortunate. There is nothing more rewarding than helping someone less able or knowledgeable to transform their lives -- even if it's only a small improvement. And it's not just about helping other people, as some folks also want to help protect animals and our fragile environment.

10. Go Greener. This resolution is the newest to the list -- and one that ideally stays for years to come. Whether it's because enough people finally have heard the calls from Al Gore and other environmentalists, or whether because the green movement has become more mainstream, the good news is that many people are looking for ways to reduce energy consumption, reduce waste and trash, and protect the environment. See our empowering environmental resources to help you with this resolution.

Final Thoughts on New Year Resolutions

A few other resolutions that did not make the top 10 list include things like living in a foreign country, going back to school, reconnecting with lost family and friends, and finding a soulmate/significant other.

Whatever your resolution(s), just remember that the best ones are the ones that you can tackle gradually -- and with a detailed plan that rewards you for small achievements that are steps toward achieving your goal. Read more in our article, Live Happier: Keys to Making and Keeping New Year's Resolutions.

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Avid wellness guru Dr. Randall S. Hansen Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., is an avid bicyclist, adventurist, environmentalist, and student of wellness and photography, with a mission of empowering others to lead great lives. He is Founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites. Dr. Hansen is also the founder and caretaker of this site, EmpoweringRetreat.com, as well as founder of EmpoweringAdvice.com, MyCollegeSuccessStory.com, and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He's often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com or reach him by email at CEO(at)empoweringsites.com. You can also check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.

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