7 Ways to Kick-Start Your New Year

See the first sunrise of 2017, eat osechi and other reasonable resolutions.


Seems like the general consensus is that 2016 was a rough year for a lot of people, but hey, it wasn’t all bad. As we look back, there’s also a lot to be thankful for. We played plenty, met good people and we ate—oh, how we ate! And, with 2017 right around the corner, we came up with seven ways to start off the new year on a good note.


1. Watch the first sunrise of 2017 from Makapu‘u Lookout.

The state is opening up the gate for the two-mile round-trip hike along the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline, and you can’t beat the views of the neighboring islands of Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i and Maui, and the gorgeous sight of breaching humpback whales. There will be a Native Hawaiian blessing, a pū greeting and taiko drumming by the Taiko Center of the Pacific. The access gate will open at 5:30 a.m., to give participants plenty of time to climb up and see the sunrise (which happens at 7:09 a.m.). It’s a paved and easy hike for all levels—families with strollers included.


2. Eat more vegetables.

Make it a goal to support local farmers and visit a farmers market at least once a week. You can check out the link here to find your closest farmers market. Tip: Kale, citrus fruits, broccoli, beets and leeks are all in season in January.


3. Join a gym.

We talk about losing the holiday weight, but let’s change our mindset and think long term. Set a realistic goal for yourself that’s not about the pounds, but about your fitness and health. Right now, there’s a free three-visit pass that you can use at any YMCA facility, valid from Jan. 1 to 31. You can also join the YMCA in the month of January and save up to $72.


4. Treat yourself to one of Ala Moana Center’s fukubukuro grab bags.

The fukubukuro is part of a Japanese retail tradition where you can buy “happy grab bags” full of unknown merchandise valued at twice the cost of the bag. Approximately 80 retailers at Ala Moana Center will be participating, and the mall will open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Jan. 1—we recommend you go early to line up. Click here for more information.


5. Attend Honolulu’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration, sponsored by Bud Light.

There’s going to be more than 25 food trucks and vendors, musical performances by Far East Movement, TWRK and local artists, and all the fireworks. The fun starts on Dec. 31, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. and prices range from $45 to $150. Tickets can be purchased online here.


6. Eat osechi ryori, the ceremonial New Year’s cuisine that’s traditionally eaten in Japan.

Although it’s too late to buy premade osechi sets from Marukai Market, you can buy specific foods like the kamaboko (fish cake), kuromame (sweet black soybeans), kuri kinton (sweet chestnuts), nishiki tamago (egg roulade), nishime (braised root vegetables) and of course, mochi.


7. Shameless plug: buy a subscription to HONOLULU Magazine, for yourself or as a gift.

You’ll receive a beautiful print magazine every month that’ll keep you enjoying life in Honolulu throughout the year. You can subscribe online here.