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Courtesy of Anantara Resorts
Want to quit smoking? Do away with nicotine for good at Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa, in the Trang province of southern Thailand. A naturopathic doctor leads support sessions, treats withdrawal symptoms, and recommends Ayurvedic treatments.
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updated 1/1/2011 12:18:56 PM ET 2011-01-01T17:18:56

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.”

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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.

Slideshow: New Year's Resolution Trips

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.

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One place to go: Tucson’s 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 director of programs. “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.

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