Best Places to Make or Break Your New Year's Resolutions


One of the oldest, and most worn out, traditions known to human existence is the ol' New Year's Resolution that you're going to do for about a month and then get sick of. It may have been stupid in the first place, it may not really matter all that much, or it may be that you only made it because your wife, husband, boss, friend, dog, etc. pressured you into it with the seemingly harmless, but guilt-loaded, "Hey, did you make any New Year's resolutions?" For me, the answer is always "No" but if you are one of those people who finds yourself suckered into the the New Year's charade, this is the guide for you.

While many lists are dedicated to just ways that you CAN fulfill your meaningless New Year's promise, this one will also tell you the best places to go to strap a stick of dynamite to your resolution and blow it off the face of the earth, never to haunt you with its false promise of renewal again. Here are three of the most common resolutions and places you can go to try to embrace/force them into your lifestyle, as well as a place that will have you laughing with the devil himself as you plunge further into the excess that you swore you would give up. Cheers and enjoy the quinoa, or the 32 ounce porterhouse. The call is yours.


Eating Healthy

No list of resolutions would be complete without some version of "I'm going to start having salmon and rice with fresh vegetables three times a week instead of the blue cheese bacon burger and fries." That's fine if you really want to go down that road, just make sure you hug a tree and rescue an orphaned harbor seal while you're at it. You can eat like pig or like a forest sprite anywhere, but the make it or break it tour is starting in Portland, Oregon and Las Vegas, Nevada. I don't think it takes a genius to figure out which place is going to keep eating healthy off your list, but we'll let the prime rib and crab leg buffets do the talking.

Make: Portland
Portland, Oregon's Fremont Bridge weighs 6,000 tons and was lifted 170 feet, a Guinness Book of World Records entry for heaviestAlamy

Portlandia aside, Portland has been long established as a gathering place for granola making, nut gathering, tofu grilling hippy health foodies. You can find that mentality just about anywhere, but the key in Portland is that you don't have to search for it. Rather, it is the norm. Slide up to the bar at The Blossoming Lotus and ask for a menu. Then bask in the glory of something called organic vegan/raw fusion. There is a bar at least, and drinking doesn't count in an eating resolution, right?

Break: Las Vegas
Palm against the Wynn Hotel and CasinoGetty/Mitchell Funk

Vegas shouldn't even be allowed on this list, due to its place atop the throne of any and all things excessive, but there is no place on earth that has more calories per square inch than Las Vegas. Fat, sugar, and butter practically rains from the sky, and no place celebrates that more than The Buffet at Wynn. If you leave Wynn without a case of the meat sweats, that just means you weren't trying hard enough.


Drinking Less

Another common, and commonly soon forgotten, resolution on the list is the standard "I'm going to try not to drink so much." First of all, this is a horrible idea because you just got done with the holidays and now there is nothing in front of most us but cold, gray, winter boredom. It would have been easy to just pick a place where drinking isn't as accepted, and also to pick a place that just has a ton of bars. We went the other way though. If we aren't drinking, we need something to do; but if we are drinking, we are drinking the good stuff.

Make: Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, Utah skylineCaption:  Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah at night, with the Wasatch mountains in the backgroundCreaGetty Images

SLC is known for a lot of good things. Beautiful outdoor spaces are close by with tons of things to do. The people are nice, the city is high tech and modern. The bar scene is, well, not much of a scene. There are a lot of goofy rules/laws about drinking in SLC that are basically one step removed from bringing your drink with a scarlet letter "A" for alcoholic asshole. Your best bet is to pack in your favorite non-alcoholic hot chocolate, find something fun and lung-busting to do, like riding some of the miles of killer single track in the Salt Lake Valley Region or many surrounding areas.

Break: Russian River Valley
vineyards  russian river valley ...shutterstock

Although widely known for its gorgeous vineyards and award winning wines, we aren't here to sip a nice pinot on the veranda. We are in the Russian River Valley for the beer that has been repeatedly dubbed the best in the world, Russian River Brewing's "Pliny the Elder." People hoard this beer, they get happy pants feelings over it, and they gloat when they get a bottle and bring it back to Kansas and drink it in front of me, but I'm not bitter. The beer is, however, in that wonderful snap of hops and alcohol way that makes you so damn happy that you gave up on this stupid resolution.


Getting In Shape

New Years, also known as the time of year when gym and health club owners make their quota for the entire year. Forget about signing your name on the line this year. If you want to get in shape, go to a place where everybody is doing everything, outside, all the time. If you don't want to get in shape, don't pay some chump fifty bucks a month so you can put your yoga mat in the car and tell your friends "namaste" once in a while so they think you're actually going.

Make: Denver/Boulder
'Seating at the Red Rocks amphitheatre near Denver, Colorado.'Getty/Dennis Morris

If you ever want motivation to not look and feel like such a schlub, I dare you to go Red Rocks Amphitheater any day of the week when there is no upcoming show. Once you wheeze your way up the path and up the stairs inside (it's open to the public when shows are not scheduled) you will be greeted by the sight of an army of hard-ass, hard-body, people who are in way better shape than you. Don't fear though, nothing will whip you into shape faster than training a mile above sea-level.

Break: New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS, USA - JULY 14, 2013: Neon lights in the French Quarter in New Orleans, USA. Tourism provides a much needed source o shutterstock

It's not that you can't get into shape in New Orleans, but why the hell would you want to? You can eat, drink, and eat some more at all hours, the public transportation is great so you don't have to walk anywhere, and there are so many things to do and try that the thought of exercise will be nothing more than a fading blip on your radar from back on January 1st as you head out on to Bourbon Street.

Drew believes that if you're going to do something, you should do it right, even if it's just being wrong.