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Sonya Sorich: 5 ways to improve your life in 2013

If you have "Man in the Mirror" on repeat, this is the column for you. The arrival of a new year comes with some pressure to "make that change." You take the advice numbly, doubtful that your attempt at transformation will outlast your new Furby's lifespan.

Overly ambitious resolutions are a recipe for disaster, but that doesn't mean you should avoid resolutions entirely. Here are my top five ways to transform your life in 2013.

Pick a word

This strategy, an alternative to traditional resolutions, has grown in popularity thanks to the website My One Word (myoneword.org).

"The challenge is simple: lose the long list of changes you want to make this year and instead pick ONE WORD...Just one word that centers on your character and creates a vision for your future," the website notes. Examples include "grace," "forgiving" and "stamina."

Get a pet

Yes, they shed. And scratch. And sometimes mess up the house. But they also teach valuable lessons about loyalty, unspoken bonds and the power of unconditional love.

Create a LinkedIn page -- or update yours

Craving a career change? Don't overlook the power of LinkedIn, a social networking site geared toward work professionals. Just how powerful is LinkedIn? "Instead of using job sites, companies are finding employees -- some of whom aren't even looking for jobs -- through social networks," according to a recent report from Bloomberg Businessweek.

LinkedIn stands at the forefront of those networks. For the modern professional, a LinkedIn account is just as essential as business cards.

Run a 5K

Find a race, put it on your calendar and stick to it. I think this strategy is often more realistic than a specific weight loss goal. View upcoming races at the Columbus Roadrunners website (columbusroadrunners.com).

The site has information about the local Couch to 5K training program. Training programs are also available as smartphone apps.

Give up soda -- at least temporarily

I know, I know. The soda war is a contentious topic. But that doesn't change the fact that about 1 in 4 Americans gets at least 200 calories a day from sugary drinks, according to an April 2012 CNN article. If you're concerned about your health, try decreasing or eliminating your soda intake.

Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at ssorich@ledger-enquirer.com or 706-571-8516. Visit ledger-enquirer.com/sonya to read her columns.

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