Tools to Keep that New Year’s Resolve

Ranch at Live OakWhen it comes to making – and keeping — those New Year’s resolutions, a few hints from some recent scientific studies, plus a little gadget wizardry, can make all the difference.

First: make a plan and make it in concrete. Write it down and even specify dates and times. Studies show a 13% higher rate of success in going through with the plan if you take these steps.

Second: Commit to giving up something valuable if you fail to keep your promise. Put a quantity of money at stake and if you don’t lose the weight you lose the money wagered.

Third: Combine several tasks into one. If you are speed-walking, listen to books you have been waiting to read via audio player and manage to get two things done at the same time while having fun in the process.

Fourth: Sprinkle in some social strategy. Find others who are serious about similar commitments and pair up with them for mutual coaching and focused goal activities. To help the process along, if goals are, perhaps, health related and tied to losing weight and getting fit, some wearable electronic devices can get you going and keep you going.

fitbitAt the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year, the fitness watches and smartbands were out in force – each offering something different from the other, whether a stylish look or an app that goes the extra mile. Items on the market for the past couple of years, such as the Nike Fuel Band and the Fitbit, each go the distance as wristwear to monitor the wearer’s walking paces, running and biking speeds, distances, calories burned toward a goal and even sleep patterns and daily journals. Most of these items sell for between $60 (the iHealth watch sold at Apple retail stores) and $200 (the Sony Core and SmartBand may retail at $199 when it debuts this spring) Most of these work with corresponding apps available for iPhone and Androids that allow wearers to sync up and keep track.

Resolutions and wristwear can come into play in a big way when heading to a destination health spa or fitness resort to help kick start those New Year goals and stay on a measured track. The items can be programmed to help the body maintain the weight loss and stamina gained during these intensive spa stays for enduring results. To plan a New Year’s promise kept, the following wellness resorts can help in managing goals while helping guests de-stress from a hectic holiday season.

Rancho La Puerta

The fitness resort near Tecate, Mexico, just an hour from San Diego, offers an ideal climate all year ‘round for walks, hiking, exploring and all manner of fitness activity. The Ranch spreads out over 3,000 sub-tropical acres with 80 casitas that can sleep 125 guests.


Guests stay busy with weekly programs that run the range from organic gardening and classes in organic cooking to labyrinth walking, mountain running and classes in finding your inner power. Four swimming pools provide ample space for relaxation. The spa has 47 treatment rooms for daily pampering. Check here for an upcoming schedule of themed events. Nightly lectures and discussions under the stars at this destination spa keep the mind active while spa treatments, fitness classes and hiking sojourns up the mountains surrounding Ranch’s 3,000 sub-tropical acres help the body to strengthen while pounds disappear.

Rates start at $3,650 for a single for a full week (Saturday to Saturday). Rancho La Puerta does not charge a service charge (savings as much as 20% on the final bill). Rates include all meals, guided hikes and walks, fitness classes, evening programs, lectures, plus scheduled transfers to and from the San Diego International Airport on Saturdays.

Rancho La Puerta
(800) 443-7565

SHA Wellness Clinic

SHA Wellness Clinic in Alicante, Spain steps up the program a bit with a variety of medical solutions. SHA Wellness presents programs to detoxify, purify and codify the results with an intensive weight-loss and fitness course, as well as programs that focus on eliminating stress, quitting cigarette usage and usage of other addictive substances, healthy sleeping, promoting fertility, or just simply strengthening energy for living life.

SHA Infinity pool 05

It all happens in a beautiful Mediterranean setting where eating well and living well are built into the culture. Location is in proximity to two international airports: El Altet Airport (Alicante) is 60km away and Valencia Airport at 130km. SHA offers VIP private car service from both airports. Wellness programs run around $2,100 per week.

SHA Wellness Clinic
(011-34) 966 811 199

Ananda in the Himalayas

Ananda in the Himalayas runs holistic programs for the spirit as well as the body, firming up with intensive yoga, calming down with meditation, muscling up with exercise classes and hiking in the foothills of the Himalayas surrounding this maharaja estate setting, and eating well under Ayurvedic principles. AnandaPalacel

Pampering services elevate the soul to nirvana states with a menu of more than 80 body and beauty treatments, integrating the traditional Indian systems of Ayurveda with contemporary Western healing approaches. Most programs run at least a week but the three-day Himalayan Bliss includes meals, classes and spa treatments as a welcome introduction to what a spa getaway in India can mean. Rates start at $710 per night for a single. Current promotion: Book any wellness package of seven nights and get a 10% discount on the package or one additional night without charge.

Ananda – In the Himalayas
(011-91) 1378 227500

Chiva Som, Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary

In Thailand, Chiva Som in Hua Hin and Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa in Koh Samui are the destinations of choice for people choosing to spend a relaxing, although fitness-inspired, week by Thailand’s warm and calm beaches. Chiva Som, some three hours south of Bangkok offers 57 rooms and suites, many in Lanna Kingdom style and design, and an array of medically focused east-west approaches to health and fitness with a generous array of classes, fitness courses, health seminars and amazing pampering choices.


Private and quiet, steps away from an endless beach, time at Chiva Som is well spent, if only for the dining experiences and relaxing surroundings. Niralanda Medi-Spa offers beauty treatments with medical supervision. All Chiva Som guests work out their wants and goals with a clinician on arrival and a smooth schedule of activities to meet these goals is offered for the stay. Rates run around $2,000 inclusive for a three-night stay.

Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary on Koh Samui presents 1.5 miles of private white sand beach amid a holy place that once centered around a monk’s cave that Buddhists used for meditation and spiritual retreat. The Wellness programs menu includes Detox, Stress & Burnout, Yoga, Ideal Weight, Optimal Fitness and Sleep Enhancement, as well as tailor made programs. The resort’s 59 rooms and villas retain the ambiance of this ancient holy setting, using existing rocks and trees as defining elements with granite boulders, streams and tropical vegetation. From February 17 to April 30 the resort is offering a stay 4 pay 3 (up to stay 10, pay 7) discount, including consultations and classes.

Chiva-Som International Health Resort
(011-66) 32 536 536

Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa
(+011-66) 77 429 800

The Ranch at Live Oak / Malibu

Closer in find The Ranch at Live Oak in Malibu to be the perfect launch to a new healthy and lean lifestyle. Programs are intensive and include plenty of activity to log on one’s wrist monitor with morning hikes and afternoon exercise classes before the pampering begins. Guests get a chance to get away from it all and pull their lives together with some healthy results and new habits all reflecting the results they seek. The Ranch takes only 14 guests at a time. The minimum stay at the Ranch is one week, Sunday to Saturday, for $6,200. All accommodations are private and single and all rates are inclusive of daily guided hikes, yoga, fitness and exercise classes (focus on core training, abs and low impact weight training), and massages for each full day of stay.

The Ranch at Live Oak / Malibu
(310) 457-8700


Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.

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