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Best places to make your New Year resolutions
Katrina Brown Hunt, Travel+Leisure

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January 02, 2009

Of all the storied holiday-season traditions, the New Year's resolution has long been a laughingstock, ranking somewhere between the office Secret Santa and the barking-dogs version of Jingle Bells.

If you've been down that resolution path (and who hasn't?), you know the drill. You begin with an earnest proclamation of intent while standing by the chip bowl at a New Year's Eve party -- "I'll lose 20 pounds! I'll run a marathon! I'll never order fried cheese again!" But once you get back to your usual life's routine, those ambitions fizzle like day-old champagne. No surprise: a University of Washington study found that almost half of us have ditched our resolutions before March.

See Slideshow: Best places to make your New Year resolutions a reality

To keep a resolution from becoming more than a joke, some say you need to start with a plan of action -- and what better plan of action than to plan a trip? When you take your resolution on a vacation, you can immerse yourself in your new mind-set, whether your goal is to eat better, quit smoking, or overcome a fear.

One place to go: Tucson's [Images] miracle-making spa, Miraval. Travelers come looking to lose weight, of course, but perhaps also to deal with an emotional issue or just to slow down life's pace. Such a trip "can be the first step in creating an awareness of what you want to change," says Erica Bennett, Miraval's assistant program director. "It's giving yourself a chance to look at the patterns of how you do things at home, and then change those patterns." If nothing else, the memories of a great trip will periodically remind you that there's more to life than fried cheese.

See Slideshow: Best places to make your New Year resolutions a reality


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