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By Hannah Howard



New Year’s Resolutions are burdened by their abysmal track record. By the time Valentine’s Day rolls around, they’re often ancient history. But I love New Years and new days and fresh starts. I love visions and intentions. A guilty pleasure: self help books — the cheesier the better.

So far, the new year feels bright, hopeful. Last year, I moved from a sunny studio on 95th Street to a sprawling Harlem apartment with a lovely friend. Our big windows whistle with the wind. The street outside is dense with churches and wide, old trees. Last year, I had three jobs, two boyfriends, and family stuff that churned my insides like butter. My heart broke and burst and healed.

I ate so many great things — dumplings in Flushing, doner kebab in Berlin, spicy, porky ramen with endless noodles in Harlem. In the Hudson Valley, I grilled hamburgers so juicy they incited giggles. I mixed pitchers of sangria and twisted orange peel into negronis. There were adventures, hugs, tears, laughs, epiphanies, long windy talks, ferry rides across the Bosporus and to Staten Island, precious friends, family, picnics, chickens roasting, studded with cloves of garlic, late nights, hugs that healed everything.

Here are some of my non-resolution resolutions—goals, ambitions, visions. I hope all of ‘em stick. I hope all of my big dreams come true, and yours, too.

 

1. Cook new things.

I love my classics — winter is all about soup and stew, roasted root veggies, meaty braises, grains and pilafs. Once in a while, I want to make something I’ve never before attempted: hand-pull some noodles, braid some challah, play in uncharted culinary territory.

2. Move every day.

Whether it’s yoga, spinning, or a walk to Fairway or the future Harlem Whole Foods. Grocery schlepping = serious exercise in my book.

3. Have people over for dinner more often.

It makes a house a home. It doesn’t have to be a big production — simpler is often better. Feeding people brings me infinite joy. (When are you coming over?!)

4. Take more and better pictures.

Of food, and everything else. I’m a writer, but you know what they say about pictures and words and worth.

5. Meditate every day.

Feel my feet on the ground, my breath in my lungs. Pause. Sit. Remember.

6. Love fully.

Me. You. Pulling strands of spaghetti squash from the clunky gourd. Dressing my salad. The wind on my face, walking down Riverside Drive.

7. Write my book.

Or, begin it, at least. My first book.

 

Here’s to a year full of love and success, joy and deliciousness. May the new year bring you gigantically thrilling blessings.