Need some inspiration as you look forward into the coming year?

The top New Year's resolutions might give you a place to start. Whatever you hope to accomplish, it all starts with a plan. And if you want to better yourself somehow, there's no better time than January 1. 

So keep reading and see if any of the items on our list are appropriate for your situation. Or maybe they'll remind you of something a little more unique that you'd like to get done. Either way, you can find encouragement and motivation in seeing how others are approaching the holiday. New beginnings are important -- and this one comes but once a year.

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The Top New Year's Resolutions to Make or Break This Year

Whether it's an attitude adjustment, new priorities or a healthier lifestyle, there are lots of options. And year after year, we see the same resolutions topping the list. If you're making a pledge with yourself this January, you might just find yours below. But there are many others that are more personal and far less common. 

So find out where you rank and see what others are hoping to achieve in the coming year. However you're hoping to improve yourself and your life, we wish you great success and continued motivation.

1. Eat Better or Lose Weight 

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With a continuing epidemic of unhealthy lifestyles, many revolutions aim to reverse the trend. Maybe it's obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes, but we all know the wrong diet can be harmful. So whether you want to shed a few pounds or just feel better, it's a great time to get started. 

And it doesn't have to be a big hassle. Experts recommend making healthful decisions on a daily basis. Fad diets and efforts to drop massive amounts of weight in a short period won't work long term. They're hard to stick to and most folks give up after a while. So instead of setting goals that might be too lofty, just be realistic with yourself. Try to be healthy before worrying about fitting into a swimsuit or a particular size. As you improve your intake, you'll probably notice those physical characteristics follow suit. At the very least, you'll feel better and have more energy.

2. Get Active

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Of course, this one often goes hand in hand with the resolution above. If you're committed to a healthier lifestyle, that will likely also involve increased activity. It could be aerobic or weight training, but getting up and getting active can really restore your health. You'll probably also feel more positive and upbeat by getting your heart rate up regularly.

If this is you, don't try to do too much. As with any of the top New Year's resolutions, moderation is the key. Setting a goal of running five miles a day might be a little too ambitious. Instead, set aside a period of time you'd like to dedicate to physical activity. Don't narrow it down to one type of exercise, either. Variation might make you more inclined to stick to your program. After a while, it will become second nature. Then you'll feel like you missed something important by sitting on the couch. And like the one above, this resolution will probably lead to long term benefits you didn't even anticipate.

3. Save More Money

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Here's one that might seem too tough to tackle. But no matter how much you're bringing home, you can probably make some positive money decisions. Again, the key is setting realistic goals. Spend too much on coffee or at the cinema? Have a cup at home and stream a movie instead to save some real cash. 

The goal should be to tuck that money away and add it to your savings. And as you see the total start to rise, it will encourage you to make more smart choices. Taking a bag lunch to work, reviewing your monthly bills and many other steps can save you money. If a penny saved is a penny earned, every dollar you put away is special indeed. Whether you hope to set aside enough to pay off a home or just want a financial cushion, it's within reach. But it all starts by sticking to one of the top New Year's resolutions of any year.

4. Stop Smoking

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Thankfully, cigarette smoking continues to decline. But with the rise of vaping and other forms of nicotine use, there's still plenty of motivation to quit. And whether you're hooked on cigarettes, cigars or anything else, you might be ready. 

If so, there are lots of assistance programs and products meant to make that process easier. Maybe you've tried in the past and failed. You probably know it's a difficult decision, but it's definitely worth the effort. Try a different method this time, even seek professional support if you think it will help. The point is to make smoking a less important part of your day. Eventually, you'll stop feeling the unavoidable pull toward the next pack. You might not ever completely erase the desire to smoke cigarettes. But if you can break the addiction, you'll be able to withstand the pressure and stick to your resolution.

5. Take Up a New Hobby

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Is there something you've always wanted to learn? Well, the top New Year's resolutions will show you that there's nothing stopping you. Take a night class, learn some tips online and just dive in wherever you feel comfortable. There are many different diversions, each appealing to those with their own unique talents and interests.

Whether it's strictly a hobby or a potential new way to earn money, your skills could really pay off. Even if it's just something that makes you feel more accomplished, there's real value in it. But it could lead to something even more profitable. And if you start off just having fun, you'll know whether a new hobby is really right for you. Doing new things is a highlight of many of the top New Year's resolutions. But this one is among the most popular -- and can be the most enjoyable way to ring in a year.

6. Land a New Job

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Whether a hobby turns into a career or not, you might be looking for a new direction. If you're not satisfied with what you're doing now, this could be the time for a change. Think about what you really want to be doing and figure out a way to monetize it. Of course, we're still talking about a job, so it might not be feasible to pursue your childhood dream.

But there are a range of new and traditional jobs out there. All it takes is reaching out to potential employers or mentors to figure out a way in the door. Do the work it takes to get the career of your dreams. Because it can be easy to get stuck in a rut and think that change would be too much effort. But the first day walking into the job of your dreams will make it all worth it.

7. Do More Reading

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With technology and social media taking up so much spare time, reading might be taking a backseat. But there are few activities that can stimulate and relax at the same time. When you read a great book -- or even a magazine -- you can spark your imagination. And you'll probably learn something through the process, too.

So pick up the latest novel by that author you used to love so much. Stop by a bookstore or a library and browse in a section that seems interesting. And most importantly, make enough time in your schedule to actually do some more reading. Because it might be that what you read isn't as important as sticking to the plan. This is one of the top New Year's resolutions in part because it gives you an excuse to unplug. We all need time to recharge, and picking up a book might be the way you achieve that goal.

8. Spend Time With Loved Ones

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After the holidays, you might feel you've seen enough of your friends and family for a while. But as you think about some of the top New Year's resolutions, your loved ones might warrant some consideration. Are there folks close to your heart who are a great distance away? You can start by connecting via phone or through some other communication technology.

Then, schedule a trip to visit them in person if possible. And don't forget those who aren't far away. Maybe work and other responsibilities have prevented you from getting together as much as you'd like. But if you really think about it, maybe you have the time and just haven't used it. So make some commitments -- but only those you really think you'll be able to honor. And spend some time with those you love. It's good for the soul and could be especially helpful if you have young ones around you. They deserve to see healthy relationships in which people purposefully connect and fellowship. Even if it starts out more as a chore than a resolution, you might rediscover why family is so important.


The top New Year's resolutions run the gamut from healthy habits to challenging new risks. 

But whatever you choose to focus on this year, do it with gusto. Make sure it is something you will find rewarding and valuable. Then do what it takes to get it done.

We hope our guide has given you some much needed motivation. If so, share this article with the ambitious folks in your life. And leave us a comment below if you have any final thoughts or questions. 

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