Beren Patterson / Alamy

Looking to start the New Year on the right foot? Here are the trips to get you motivated.

The Resolution: Become a Better Person

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Where to Go: Lobitos, Peru

What to Do/Where to Stay: Combine surfing and philanthropy with Waves for Development, a surf travel company with a focus on volunteerism and community service. Participants help instruct and educate local kids in areas such as language, life skills, swimming, and surfing, along with environmental initiatives such as beach cleanups and recycling programs. —Emma Sloley

New Year's Resolution Trips

The Resolution: Become a Better Person

Where to Go: Lobitos, Peru

What to Do/Where to Stay: Combine surfing and philanthropy with Waves for Development, a surf travel company with a focus on volunteerism and community service. Participants help instruct and educate local kids in areas such as language, life skills, swimming, and surfing, along with environmental initiatives such as beach cleanups and recycling programs. —Emma Sloley

Beren Patterson / Alamy

New Year's Resolution Trips

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.”

Related: Best Places to Spend New Year's

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.

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.

Related: America's Best Cities for New Year's Eve

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. If nothing else, the memories of a great trip will periodically remind you that there’s more to life than fried cheese. —Katrina Brown Hunt

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