A new year is like a new notebook.

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Photography by Simon Emmett
| Credit: Photography by Simon Emmett

I've never been one to make resolutions. They can set you up to feel really bad about yourself. To me, the start of a new year shouldn't be about giving up stuff but about building on who and what you are.

I make general promises to myself. Going into 2019 after a big election year and a big birthday, I am mindfully trying to listen more. To find more patience, more understanding. To be more present in my day in every way. And I think about what I still haven't conquered in life. I still haven't mastered the drum kit! I've taken lessons, but I want to get good. I want to finally be fluent in any of the languages I study, including Danish, French, and, of course, Italian. Rosetta Stone calls me and beats me over the head all year long!

Of course, I also want to grow as a cook. When I go to places where I fall in love with the food—Olmsted, Casa Enrique, Nick's, Le Coucou—I get to know the people doing these mind-blowing things. They inspire me and I want to be part of it. So I try to find ways to translate an idea and make it accessible. I take away a nugget and put it into stuff that people can cook on a weeknight. 

What will you try this year? We all have constraints—jobs, commitments, family. But my mom taught me to just close my eyes and see myself trying something new. The worst thing that can happen is you land back where you started. That's all good! Your life as it is—that's your safety net. If you're already trying to be the best you can be, you're doing great. So what's the risk? Why not try?

A new year is like a new notebook. You can write any story you want. You're the author. Close your eyes and see it, and write it.


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