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Ahead of the Curve

If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got."
–W.L. Bateman

January: the month of noble resolutions and pumped-up willpower. We’re ready to change, improve, live longer, live better; get fit, stop smoking, organize our lives. A Google search of W.L. Bateman, alas, turned up only "Bateman’s Principle," which turned out to be a thesis on the sex lives of fruit flies. Rather than winging it—as they say in fruit-fly speak—we turned to some local gurus here along the Gulfshore. If you don’t have resolutions of your own, feel free to borrow ours.

1. LOSE THE CLUTTER: If you do only one thing for your mental health all year, get rid of that stuff you’re hanging onto that you don’t need, don’t use and just plain don’t like. If it doesn’t make you happy, says Marco Island certified feng shui consultant Debbie Roddy, out it goes. Overwhelmed? Consults start at $150. (239) 404-0678.

2. USE YOUR LIFELINE: You’re motivated to stop smoking, and you’re feeling strong. But first, get acquainted with your new best friend on the other end of the free, 24/7 American Cancer Society Quit-for-Life Line, (877) 822-6669. Your trained support buddy will help you plan your cessation date and program, and be there for that inevitable moment when a relapse threatens.

3. GET A GREAT HAIRCUT: Skimp on some things, say beauty experts, but not on a really good haircut. Regain some youthfulness by updating that 1988 hairdo. According to Franceine Moros at Naples’ Le Chic Hair & Nail Salon, (239) 596-3555, the look for 2008 is a sleek, asymmetrical bob, as worn by Victoria (Mrs. David) Beckham.

4. GET OVER IT: Easy for your friends to say, but even an amicable divorce can be devastating. Divorce Care, for those ready to recover and move on, is guided by trained leaders at many area churches and synagogues. Check with Julie Berchtold at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, Fort Myers, (239) 939-4711 or Sue McDonald at North Naples United Methodist Church, (239) 821-0066.

5. EASE INTO BALANCE: To overreach is self-defeating, says Naples yoga instructor Suzanne Saltsman, (239) 253-7631. Be realistic. Wake up half an hour earlier. Take a walk. Go to bed an hour earlier. Have a healthful breakfast instead of the croissant and double latte. Leave the work at the office. Do something that makes you laugh. A life in balance feels good, physically, mentally and spiritually.

6. SAY NO TO SUGAR: That quintessential resolution, "lose weight," may be too big a bite to take, metaphorically speaking. Weight Watchers International’s lesser-known Core Plan is based on nutritional balance and no points to count. Want instant gratification? Start by eliminating just two things: sugar and white flour. (800) 651-6000.

7. DANCE LIKE THE (HOT LATIN) STARS: It may be the most fun cardio workout you can have with your clothes on. The body-sculpting dance/fitness craze called Zumba, invented in Miami, is a world sensation. Check out the moves on YouTube; then sign up for a class at your local YMCA. For authentic Latin dancing, Friday and Saturday nights at Bice, 300 Fifth Ave. S, Naples, is the place to be. (239) 262-4044.

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