Skip the stuff this holiday season and invest in your home, your health, and your happiness. Instead of shopping for overpriced items you may or may not need or want, give yourself (or someone you love) a gift that keeps on giving. Here are 9 projects and services—ranging from $45 to $150–that’ll make life better than ever.
Hire a Personal Trainer
Get a jump on your New Year’s resolution by securing a prime personal trainer before schedules fill up. Starting a personal trainer in the height of holiday season can keep you on track with fitness goals. The structure will save you from gaining unwanted chocolate fudge pounds, as well as keep your energy levels up with the natural stress-fighting endorphins of exercise.
Average price for a personal trainer: $50-85/hour
Relax with a Massage
A massage is glorious, life-saving, sweet relief from the chaos of holiday planning. It’s a known stress-reliever, fights off chronic illness, and—frankly—feels great. If you’re not sure where to start, this easy guide to 11 types of massage therapy will help you find the right kind of soothing for your soul.
Average price for massage therapy: $50-$65/hour
Get Glam for the Party
Holiday parties are only once a year, so you might as well look fabulous. Hiring a makeup artist or hair stylist (or cleverly bundling the two for a discount) makes big nights to remember that much more spectacular. Perks include: looking terrific in every group photo and feeling confident enough to take on the world. Cons include: none. You don’t even have to clean up the mess you made getting ready.
Average cost for makeup or hair: $80
Consult with an Interior Designer
Change is hard, but it’s not impossible. Instead of dragging the same old furniture pieces around in the same old variations, get professional help. An interior design consultation can cover anything you need. Find advice on how to rework existing pieces. Get input on color palettes or paint choice. Incorporate statement pieces seamlessly. Or maybe all three! Fresh eyes with a focus on interior style make your home celebration worthy, just in time for the new year.
Average cost for interior design consultation: $50 – $105
Get a New Headshot
Careers need regular updates for optimal performance, just like car engines and workout routines. Ramp up your professional life with a new headshot. If your current LinkedIn photo is outdated, you haven’t worn the clothes in the pic in over a decade, or your looks have only improved with age, it’s time to re-up. Modern headshots have life and warmth and convey your personality.
Average cost for a headshot session: $150
Take Singing Lessons
Singing lessons don’t have to be scary! Invest in yourself and get outside your comfort zone by learning how to use your voice. Singing lessons instill confidence and are just plain fun. If you’re excited by the idea but overwhelmed on where to start, check out tips for hiring the perfect singing instructor. You’ll be taking over the airwaves in no time.
Average cost for singing lessons: $45/hour
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Hire Someone to Hang your Art
You’ve got so many (so many!) fabulous framed photos, concert posters, and unique art pieces that are just dying to grace your walls. Trouble is, aside from your hammer, you’ve got zero ability to hang them properly, level them with right angles, and keep the drywall intact on your rental. Don’t worry. There’s a pro for that.
Average cost to hang framed art and photos: $90
Get a Personal Chef to Drop off a Week of Meals
Food. So good. Cooking. Such a challenge. Solution? Hire a person who loves to cook to whip up meals and deliver them to your house. Sound like a miracle? That’s because it is. Take tips from these three chefs on how to hire the perfect food wizard for you.
Average cost for a personal chef for 2 people: $125-$150
Take a Private Yoga Class
Everyone talks about how fabulous yoga is, but they never talk about how you loathe group classes, or you have an injury that always gets overlooked, or that you are just too freaking busy to make it to normally scheduled classes. Read it direct from top teachers about what really happens in a private yoga session. The attention is solely on your body and your needs and the classes work with your life to get you loose, lean, and full of om. Namaste.
Average cost for a private yoga class: $60
This year skip the stuff and soak up the good things that life has to offer.