If you've had a hard time making a new start in the new year, you may need to do one thing: Quit trying so hard. Willpower is admirable and all, but it might be time to take a fresh approach. Instead of knuckling down, sit back, relax and give yourself over to a rejuvenating spa treatment. No, it won't get you promoted or pay off your credit card debt, but it might just gently nudge a renewed you in the right direction.


Reconnecting with your significant other after a hectic holiday season needn't require careful research and planning. All you need is six hours and the Ivy Spa Club will do the rest. The ritzy hotel spa's Romantic Retreat starts with a private yoga class followed by lunch. Then the real bonding begins: couples massages, his and her facials, and mani/pedis served with Champagne and strawberries. The only question is how will you to top this next year?

$795 per couple; Ivy Spa Club, 201 S. 11th St., Mpls., 612-343-3131, www.ivyspaclub.com.GET REJUVENATED

It's that time of year when everyone this side of the Mason-Dixon line needs a pick-me-up. Sign up for the Salt Glow treatment at Juut Salonspa and you'll get a 60-minute dose of chill-defying invigoration. First, a full-body buffing with naturally detoxifying Dead Sea salts will remove your midwinter cocoon of dry skin. Then, a deeply moisturizing massage using rich aromatherapeutic oils will send you home softened, soothed and feeling human again.

$100 and up; Juut Salonspa, seven metro locations, www.juut.com.Treat yourself

If your idea of a facial is using a washcloth, the two-hour Dr. Hauschka Classic Treatment will blow your mind -- and transform your complexion. Using the cult-favorite line's holistic preparations and signature healing techniques, this luxurious experience is said to stimulate the lymph and immune systems while deeply cleansing and exfoliating the skin. More than a facial, it's a mind-body reset button that will leave you energized and balanced.

$130; Spot Spa, 1600 W. Lake St., Suite 100, Mpls., 612-823-7768, and 401 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-331-4182. www.spotspas.com.MAKE A FRESH START

If the eyes are the window to your soul, your skin is the window to your habits, for better or worse. When smoking, sun worshipping or sugar consumption show up on your face, it's time to call in a cosmetic peel. Harnessing the exfoliating power of professional-strength acids, the 30-minute Vitalize Peel decreases fine lines, mild to moderate acne, and all manner of uneven pigmentation, including melasma, sun damage and age spots. Bonus: The peel is also applied to areas that get hit the hardest, like the neck, chest and hands.

$150; Zel Skin & Laser Specialists, 4100 W. 50th St., Edina, 952-929-8888, zelskin.com.RELIEVE STRESS

Though it may feel like nothing is happening during a craniosacral session, this gentle therapy will lull you into a dreamlike state of relaxation. Through very light pressure to the connective tissues along the spine and skull, craniosacral releases restrictions within the body. Which is to say: Stress is lifted, neck and back pain mitigated, and migraines drift away, along with your cares and woes.

From $30 for 30 minutes; 526 Salon, 526 Selby Av., St. Paul, 651-222-3839.CLEAN UP YOUR ACT

Detox diets are so 2010. This year, resolve to clear out the internal clutter without self-deprivation. Aurora Spa offers a slew of deep-cleansing, calorie-burning treatments, including infrared sauna, body wraps, lymphatic drainage massage, ion cleansing foot baths and a new six-week homeopathic program during which customers can lose up to a pound a day. Can't decide? Ask the spa's holistic-minded proprietress, Barbara Jones, to select the best plan-of-attack for you.

$30 and up; Aurora Spa, 4224 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-922-1222, auroraspaonline.com.GET YOUR GROOVE BACK

Still recovering from a colossal breakup? Time to wrap up the pity party and rejoin civilization. Get your game face on with a little help from the Jett Makeup team. Book an appointment at this posh but approachable beauty bar for a set of party lashes and an airbrush makeup application.

Lashes, $20-$25, makeup application, $75 and up; Jett Makeup, 3940 W. 50th St., Edina, 651-373-1702, www.jettmakeup.com.Try something exotic

You don't have to leave the Twin Cities to experience far-off places. At its feng-shui digs in Deephaven, Fusion LifeSpa re-creates Asian bathing rituals using private soaking tubs and organic skin care preparations. Choose from four self-guided journeys, including the Hammam, a warming neroli-cyprus bath soak and lemon-coffee-olive stone scrub; and the spicy Thai soak with orange-cajeput bamboo body polish.

From $40; Fusion LifeSpa, 8142 Minnetonka, Blvd., Deephaven, 952-345-3335, fusionlifespa.com.Elizabeth Dehn is a Minneapolis-based lifestyle writer and the founder of BeautyBets.com.