After the countdown reaches zero and the New Year glow fades away, we’re left to start off 2018 with confetti to sweep up, champagne glasses to wash and a list of resolutions to, not only make, but keep.

New Year’s resolutions can often seem like a burden, but they don’t have to be. The happy challenge is to find the fitness class that you’re excited to go to, the healthy food you crave, the volunteer work you enjoy and so on. Inspired by the most commonly made — and most commonly broken — New Year’s resolutions, here’s a list of places that will make changing your habits almost too easy in 2018.

Get fit

One of the most effective ways to stick to a fitness plan is to work out in a group. That type of support and accountability can be the difference between a one-week effort and a life-long change. At Greate Bay Racquet and Fitness, you can find a huge list of group classes like Zumba, Vinyasa flow yoga, kickboxing, SuperCycle and H.I.I.T. The best thing about Greate Bay’s variety is that if one class doesn’t suit you, you can try out another one, until you create your own perfect fitness regime. Located at 90 Mays Landing Road, Somers Point. Go to

Also try: Ocean City Aquatic and Fitness Center, Hammonton Health & Fitness

Eat healthier

Research shows that a plant-based diet will have you dropping inches off your waistline and adding years to your life. Locally, Greens and Grains is a 100 percent plant-based restaurant that offers salads, bowls, juices, wraps and sandwiches that are healthy enough to be worthy of your New Year’s diet and delicious enough to keep you on that diet. The menu is made up of things like vegan cheeses and imitation chicken and beef to give you the flavors of a non-plant based diet while keeping things healthy. Greens and Grains also has one-day, two-day and three-day juice detoxes available. Located in Galloway at 80 W. Jimmie Leed Road and in Northfield at 1600 New Road. Go to


Even the meatballs are vegetarian at Greens and Grains.

Also try: Starfish Café, Ohana

Get cultured

We love “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” as much as the next person, but perhaps indulging in entertainment that’s a bit more high brow is on your to-do list this year. If so, you’re in luck, as the Atlantic City Ballet will perform an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” April 14, at the Circus Maximus Theater in Caesars Atlantic City. This performance will increase your cultural awareness two-fold, since it combines the erudite enjoyment of a ballet and a Shakespeare text. A month later on May 6, the ballet will return with a performance of “Romeo & Juliet,” an excellent second act to your cultural education. Located at 2100 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City. Go to

Also try: Ocean City POPS, Bay Atlantic Symphony

Drink less

Alcohol literally poisons the body, so many newfound health devotees may be choosing to cut out cocktails in the New Year. While practically every restaurant with a bar will make a virgin drink on request, Tomatoes in Margate can offer New Year teetotalers its No-jito, a mocktail that won last year’s HEROtini Mocktail Challenge, which challenged local restaurants to create specialty alcohol-free drinks for designated drivers to enjoy. The No-jito — a take on a mojito — is no longer on the menu, but at your request, they’ll whip one up. Located at 9300 Amherst Ave., Margate City. Go to

Also try: The Windjammer

Drink more

Though alcohol isn’t an ideal healthy choice, stress is also toxic to the body. And since alcohol does a pretty good job of decreasing stress, this is a “pick your poison” scenario. For those opting to lessen the latter, we recommend checking out Dock’s Oyster House. It boasts one of the most creative cocktail programs in a city that’s known for its booze. And its wine list isn’t too shabby either. Located at 2405 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City. Go to

Also try: The Iron Room, The Washington Inn

Get out of your comfort zone

Few things get a person out of their comfort zone more than acquiring a new skill, which is exactly what artist Renee Leopardi has on the docket for 2018 with her “Painting the South Jersey Landscape in Pastel” class. The name says it all. During this six-week workshop, beginning 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, you will learn how to paint bucolic scenes of Jersey wildlife in pastels. Registration is required. Located at 9516 2nd Ave., Stone Harbor. Go to

Also try: Clay College, The Noyes Arts Garage

Save money

After the mad spending of the holiday season, it’s wise to sit back and pinch a few pennies. Saving money, however, doesn’t have to mean living like a nun for the next year. Golden Nugget offers free Flashback Friday concerts every week at 9 p.m., featuring some killer tribute acts. Don’t miss Rumours, the Fleetwood Mac tribute Friday, Jan 5., or the Van Halen act Completely Unchained on Jan. 12. With free admission and drink specials once you’re there, you’re looking at a pretty cheap night.

Rumours Fleetowood Mac Tribute

Check out Rumours, the Fleetowood Mac tribute, at Golden Nugget’s Flackback Friday.

Also try: Atlantic City Comedy Club

Do good

Beacon is a local animal rescue that is entirely operated by volunteers. This incredible organization takes in animals from other shelters that are either displaced or about to be euthanized. Though the volunteers do an incredible job of keeping things afloat, they could always use another dog walker. Or, if you’re looking to adopt, rather than volunteer, Beacon is a great place to support with your business. Located at 701 Butter Road, Ocean View. Go to BeaconAnimal


Beacon Animal Rescue is completely run by volunteers like Karyn Treibley, above.

Also try: Community FoodBank of South Jersey, Marine Mammal Stranding Center

Explore the spiritual

Getting in touch with your spiritual side can also have huge health benefits. Just ask Teri O’Connor, who has been teaching yoga for decades. O’Connor is so knowledgeable about the inner workings of the mind and body, she will have your body feeling stronger, your aches and pains dissipating, your stress levels lowering and — with different meditation techniques used toward the end of her classes — your spirituality more active. Check out her Flow Yoga 7:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 5, at the Sea Isle City Community Lodge. Located at 300 JFK Blvd., Sea Isle City. Go to

Also Try: Blue Lotus Yoga Studio

Get our Best Bets at the Jersey shore delivered to your inbox every Wednesday, just in time to plan your weekend!

Recommended for you

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: On June 26, 2018, we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account beginning June 26, 2018.