How to Start the New Year Off Right

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Implement these five rituals for a happy, healthy start to 2019.

Starting your year on the right foot is essential since it's rumored to help set the tone for 2019. But if you can have everything you need for success in January in place before 2019 even starts, so much the better. Before you choose which rituals you want to implement in the New Year, what parts of your wardrobe to update, and where you want to travel, outline what you want to accomplish in 2019. You don’t even need specific resolutions—choosing a general direction is plenty.

The first question is where you want to ring in the New Year and wake up on New Year's Day. When making your travel reservations, take into account what kind of year you had in 2018—and be honest with yourself. Did work take over your life in 2018? If so, maybe you need to get fully off the grid and pick a far-flung location. Did you continually make unhealthy food choices in 2018? Instead of beating yourself up over it, acknowledge that it’s okay to let healthy eating fall by the wayside sometimes, and renew your commitment to clean eating and exercise in 2019. If that’s the path you’re focused on in 2019, choose a fairly local vacation spot that will cater to your health. Find a staycation known for its spa services, like the Palmer House in Chicago—and check out the menu beforehand to make sure it’s aligned with your goals.

If you’re instead looking for a rejuvenating experience and an international destination to wipe the slate clean, go exotic. At the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, you can book an over-water spa villa with a private sauna. The Conrad Maldives menu focuses on organic produce, and there are two infinity pools on the property.

When prioritizing wellness, here are five other rituals you should consider before heading out for the holidays. Once travel is booked, you want to be able to come home to the most organized version of your life to help you start carrying out your New Year's resolutions right away:

Try an urban retreat center like Kollective NYC.

They have a plant-based cafe, reiki, massages, and an infrared sauna. An urban retreat center can be your go-to space for wellness—think of it like a gym you visit regularly for self-care. It isn’t enough to consider prioritizing self-care in 2019; You have to put those thoughts into action, and finding a retreat center close to your office or apartment could help you do just that.

Find a new exercise class that will make you excited to work out.

Book a few classes for January—look at The Bar Method for barre classes, Flywheel for spinning, or find an introductory package at your neighborhood yoga studio. Make sure you’re challenging yourself to try classes you haven’t done before.

Update your wardrobe with new winter staples.

For professional wear, scout out a non-traditional pea coat from Net a Porter. For weekend getaways, chic denim brand DL1961 recently brought back their corduroys. Their Farrow Ankle high-rise corduroy skinnies ($189) pair nicely with a button down or sweater. And for workout clothes, check out Lululemon x Francesca Hayward’s limited-edition capsule collection. Their Principal Dancer Golden Lining Bralette ($58) and Principal Dancer Corsetry Tights ($118) will be perfect for your first barre class of 2019.

Book a trip to look forward to—preferably somewhere warm.

Winter getaways can be hard to plan, especially if you just took a week off for the December holidays. However, mark off four or five days at work in March and book your travel in January, so you know you’ll have a reward for getting through the first few months of the year. Choose a relaxing destination that will intrigue you but not deluge you with must-see sights. For a Caribbean getaway, book at the Harbor Club St. Lucia.

Book a series of facials or a series of massages at your local go-to spot.

Aim to go with some routine, whether it's one a week, once a month, or once every three months. Not only can booking a facial or massage series at Bliss Spa get you a better deal on massages but because you’ve paid for the series upfront, you’ll be more motivated to book with some regularity. Just like finding an urban retreat center, choosing a self-care space where you have a rapport with the staff and a masseuse you trust can encourage you to take a little more time for yourself when you need it.