The most common thing Americans do at the beginning of each year is make New Year Resolutions. Through much research, people are alike in many ways. The most popular resolutions include many of those mentioned in this column.

            First, men and women want to improve fitness. Everyone knows that regular exercise has more health benefits than anything else out there. According to, improving fitness also improves your mood, mentality and reduces the risk of some cancers, not to mention it keeps individuals in shape. It is easier than ever to find the perfect fitness program, many of which do not require gym memberships and minimal equipment.

            Eat Better is the second most common resolution. There is more than just working out required to get the body you want. The combination of eating better and keeping up fitness levels are essential. Cutting junky snacks and adding in more wholesome, farm-fresh foods are a great place to start.

            Hard to believe, but people do still smoke. Third on the list includes the desire to quit smoking. If this is the year to kick the smoking habit, there are plenty of over the counter nicotine replacement therapies. If you have tried to quit before and failed, try again.

            Heaving drinkers usually have this resolution at the top. The desire to quit drinking is similar to that of smoking, many heavy drinkers fail to quit cold turkey. But unlike smoking, there are no alcohol substitutes available over the counter and it is not illegal to over smoke and drive. Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous offer regular meetings and there are a lot of clinics out there to help.

            Just because the school years and college is a thing of the past, learning something new helps with brain preservation. Maybe take up a new hobby or learn a new language for upcoming travels. With the power of the internet, now it is possible to be certified in a range of courses.

            Life outside of the comforts of home top the resolution list. To travel more and make the most of vacation time. Arkansas is beautiful. Take more time to visit beautiful places and experience different cultures. Make 2018 the year to see the world, or explore your own backyard.

            The list would not be complete without giving something back. Helping others in need is a great and selfless New Year's Resolution. Whether it is overseas to volunteer, helping disadvantaged kids in your local area or something else, there are plenty of organizations that can make it happen. If time is not something available to give, consider donations to charity, whether it be old furniture or monetary donations.

            The top of everyone’s list is to get out of debt. The average credit card debt per family is $ 10,000 with an interest rate between 15% to 20%. This is why dissolving debt is also a popular resolution. Getting out of debt is a great way to get a handle on finances and increases borrowing power.

   summed up the list of goals for the New Year. At the top, 37 percent planned to eat better, exercise more, and spend less money. 24 percent listed self-care (e.g. getting more sleep), 18 percent want to read more books, 15 percent included learn a new skill, and the remainder of the list under 15 percent included get a new job, make new friends, new hobby, focus more on appearance, focus on relationship, cut down on cigarettes/alcohol, go on more dates, and focus less on appearance.