New Year, New You

Looking back on 2009, your greatest accomplishment was getting Miley's "Party in the USA" out of your head. While that is admirable, you could look back on 2010 and say, "I learned how to speak Spanish and got rock-hard abs." Goal-setting and hope for the future is what sets us apart from animals, so here are some ideas on improving both body and mind. (Photo: Shutterstock/Kzenon)

Updated: January 11, 2010


Yogaone Studios

3030 Travis Street, Houston, TX 77006

This studio not only offers multiple types of hot yoga classes for different experience levels, but it also hosts belly dance every Sunday. Friendly, helpful instructors make the contorting easier and you're already used to the sweating thanks to Houston summers. From time to time, classes taught by teachers-in-training are free.

Texas Rock Gym

1526 Campbell Rd, Houston, TX 77055

When the treadmill and weight-lifting routine become ho-hum, challenge yourself with some hardcore rock climbing. Houston's largest indoor rock gym has walls of varying difficulty levels and trainers to ease you into things. Pretty soon you'll be ready to take it to the limit!

Discovery Green Park

1500 McKinney Dr, Houston, TX 77002

If you want to start exercising but don't have the cash for a gym membership, try the free classes at Discovery Green. All classes except for yoga, which takes place every Saturday at 9:30am, are on pause during the cold winter season but check back in the spring for Zumba, Latin rhythm dance aerobics and more.


Central Market

3815 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027

It's never too late to learn your way around the kitchen and at Central Market's cooking classes, students often learn from notable Houston chefs and authors. Grab your cutie for courses in Asian noodles and winter meals or brave sushi-making, seafood 101 and Mediterranean mezze alone and impress your pals later. Make reservations early because spots fill up weeks in advance.

Inprint Inc

1520 W Main St, Houston, TX 77006

Other than "Twilight," did you read any books last year? Don't answer that. Either way, Inprint has a number of resources for negligent book-lovers. Readings by famous authors, a book club and creative writing courses for aspiring writers are among the offerings from this nonprofit. Sign up for a 10-week course in poetry writing and resurrect your college hobby. It might feel good.

Menil Collection

1515 Sul Ross St, Houston, TX 77006

Yes, it is a serious art museum but you might be surprised at how much you enjoy it. The art in the small galleries is constantly rotating, but at any given time you could glimpse big names like Duchamp, Magritte and Warhol. Admission is free and, even if you don't go inside, the expansive lawn surrounding the Renzo Piano building is a lush place to picnic and appreciate some sculpture.

Greater Houston Preservation Alliance

712 Main St, Houston, TX 77002

There's no reason to live in such a great city and not know more things about it. Monthly walking tours in different parts of the city by the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance highlight architecture and history. Upcoming destinations include the Heights, Glenwood Cemetery and Houston's evolving downtown skyline.

Houston Food Bank

3811 Eastex Fwy, Houston, TX 77026

Now that you've gotten yourself a slammin? bod and learned how to cook a spinach tart, you're in fine shape--but what about everyone else? Use your powers for good by volunteering. Give some food to the Houston Food Bank or sign up to organize donations one Saturday morning. Citysearch made a trip in December and looked pretty cute in the blue sanitation gloves.