By Dar Nevergall

Staff writer

Another Christmas has gone by and as we look forward to the beginning of a New Year, I'm inspired to revisit the age-old topic of New Year's resolutions.

I've never been one to make resolutions, mainly because most would be improvements I'd already want to make throughout the year and stressing them at the onset wouldn't necessarily guarantee or increase the chances of their success.

Nevertheless, many people do partake in this holiday tradition and I felt compelled to examine the top ten New Year's resolutions and add my own slant on the subject.  

Depending on what list you look at, losing weight (or gaining weight in some instances) is usually number one or near the top of any list. This is usually followed by or closely associated with getting more exercise along with breaking the habit of smoking or drinking excessively. 

Many of us struggle with weight issues; therefore making this resolution after a season of over indulgence makes perfect sense. Over 66 percent of adult Americans are considered overweight or obese by recent studies so it's not surprising to find weight loss as a more popular goal. Of course it would be nice if adding this to a list would suddenly make it happen, unfortunately it's not that simple. It is something to work toward and if making resolutions at the beginning of the year is helpful in attaining these goals, by all means ignore the temptation of breaking yours.

According to the site www.2011resolutions.org, number two and three are; getting organized, spending less money and saving more. The site recommended making a daily goal list before starting the day to keep you organized and on track. This is a great idea and one I should add to my own list as soon as I find it again.

According to this site, before you buy something you should always spend some time justifying the need for it. They recommend spending the same amount of time it took you to earn the money also on the reasoning before you use it for a purchase. Hopefully this will cut down on your impulse buying. Associated with this is the big one of getting out of debt, another stressor in our lives, regardless of the amount involved.

Next on the list is enjoying life more, which the site addressed this way: Given the hectic, stressful lifestyles of millions of Americans, it is no wonder that "enjoying life more" has become a popular resolution in recent years. This is also an area I struggle in and I need to work on relaxing more. Note to self; forget about locating that list. I'll start a new one. 

Number 6 is an interesting one, learning something new. After the latter part of 2010 involving change in employment, learning new software and procedures, I'm already covered. Anything else can wait until next year.

Helping others came in at number 8 on the list. In my opinion this should be higher up or not on the list at all. Helping others should be automatic and can take on any direction; the rewards are long-lasting and life-changing.

Number 9 and 10; falling in love (I've already fallen and can't get up) and spending more time with family (and I'll include keeping in touch with friends). A noble endeavor and one you would think would be easy with e-mail, facebook, myspace, twitter, text messaging, and so on, but with our busy lifestyles and the geographic distribution of people it is easier said than done. Recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50 percent of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year.

I was happy to get an e-mail from an old high school buddy over Christmas stating that his New Year's resolution was to keep closer ties with his friends. Hopefully this one will stick.

Now where did I put that new list?