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Itinerary: Keeping Resolutions

While we’d all like to think that our New Year’s resolutions are intensely personal, let’s face it, all resolutions fall into two categories: more and less. Eat less. Exercise more. Watch TV less. Read more. And so on.

The optimist would call this itinerary getting off to a great start. The cynic would suggest that no resolution will last, even until Sunday. (The latter should, perhaps, resolve to be more optimistic.)

Thursday

Quitting smoking should be easy at any bar in California, where lighting up inside is, yes, still illegal. But if you swore off alcohol, L.A.'s new oxygen bar O2 (8788 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. [310] 360-9002) may be just your cup of wheat grass juice.

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This alternative club has an organic New Year’s Eve planned with nonalcoholic drinks, including “mind-altering” herbal elixirs. As always, they’ll have oxygen-enriched air on tap for $13 to $15 for a 20-minute hit. If you don’t want to breathe on an empty stomach, there’s a full organic and raw-food restaurant. Deejayed and live music will be complemented by a guided meditation.

O2’s New Year’s Eve party starts at 9 p.m. and the $10 cover doesn’t kick in until after 10 p.m. The party continues until sunrise--there’s no last call, apparently, if there’s no booze.

Friday

Celebrate not having a hangover with a hike up to the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains, Sandstone Peak at the top of Boney Mountain.

The hike is five miles up and back from Circle X Ranch--though there are 30 miles of trails around the area to extend the trip if you resolved to exercise more strenuously. The trail head is off Yerba Buena Road North, about five miles inland from the Pacific Coast Highway.

The panoramic view from the 3,111-foot point encompasses everything from the Pacific to the San Fernando Valley--the type of spot that puts things in perspective and perhaps inspires a resolution to spend more time in nature.

This is also the perfect place to document your New Year’s resolution. A log book is kept at the monument atop Sandstone Peak, and for decades hikers have jotted their thoughts, observations or just recorded their presence. Here, your resolutions are for-the-record, though: The log books are collected by park rangers and archived by the National Park Service.

Saturday

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Read more and spend less--with one trip to Pasadena.

Colorado Boulevard near Lake Avenue is a corridor of used-book stores, all anchored near the venerable independent bookstore Vroman’s (695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. [626] 449-5320). Book Alley (611 E. Colorado Blvd. [626] 683-8083) is a good place to start--or, if spending less did not make your list of resolutions, check out Book Alley Too! (696 E. Colorado Blvd. [626] 795-0818), where they have collectible and antiquarian books.

House of Fiction (642 E. Colorado Blvd. [626] 449-9861) and Cliff’s Books (630 E. Colorado Blvd. [626] 449-9541) are also nearby. Guides to all the booksellers in Pasadena are available at any store.

Sunday

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Relax. There should be no car horns honking on Sunday. Write a letter--the kind that requires a stamp. Hide the TV remote control.

Finally, eat a healthy meal at Puran’s (2064 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz. Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. most weekends. [323] 667-1357), where all the dishes are made from organic ingredients. Even non-vegans enjoy the food here, which ranges from wraps to pizza to more elegant fish dishes.


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