The new year is upon us, and so is the annual post-holiday (and post-egg-nog-Champagne-gingerbread-cookies-credit-card-apocalypse) opportunity to make some positive life changes. Need some inspiration about what to shoot for this year? Here, a few Toronto people who are doing cool stuff in media, food, fashion, art, music, books, theatre and dance (among other things) tell us about their New Year’s resolutions.
Host and co-executive producer of CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight
I suppose I could say that I am looking for a different kind of inner quiet and I have a few ways to get there. Own less stuff, try to meditate and maybe even find a non-nurturing yoga class… But really, I just want to say “yes” more often than I say “no,” and be open to whatever comes with love and gratitude (and listen to more Slayer).
Co-owner and “Executive BarChef” at BarChef; author of The Bar Chef: A Modern Approach to Cocktails
It’s gearing up to be a very busy year for myself and the bar; we are looking at expanding very soon, so we’d like to get all that ready to go in 2014. Artistically, I will be continuing to work on new things. I have numerous notebooks on the go right now with various concepts and drink ideas, which I’m looking forward to working on. (Photo: Leanne Neufeld)
Owner and creative director of I’MONIQ Accessories
If Beyoncé’s surprise “visual album” release last month taught me anything, it’s that it’s time to go big or go home! So my new year’s resolution is to go after my dreams without fear. I plan to be fearless in relationships and in business. I want to empower women artists around the world through I’MONIQ Accessories. As big a goal as that sounds, I figure I have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé, so why not aim high? (Photo: Jzuntos Media)
Author of All My Friend Are Superheroes, The Waterproof Bible, The Tiny Wife, Born Weird and Selected Business Correspondence
My resolution is to spend 2014 being more like David Bowie. I say this with complete sincerity. I want to spend the year being cool, unafraid to take artistic chances and incredibly self-aware. Specifically, Bowie circa ’77. The Bowie who made Low and “Heroes.” That’s the Bowie I’m gonna be and I’m going to be it all year long.
Co-Host of CBC News Toronto at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 6 p.m.
I gave up chocolate-dip doughnuts [last year] and I’ve been able to keep that resolution. I’m going to continue to curb my sweet tooth this year and give up pop. The older I get, the harder it gets to stay in shape even though I hit the gym and play sports with my kids regularly. I have a reputation of being the “old curmudgeon” on my news team. As much as I relish that moniker, I’m going to try and not to live up to it as much. I also find it hard to say “no” and sometimes spread myself too thin so I’m going to say “yes” less. That’s contradictory isn’t it? I’m going to be nicer and meaner. Oh well, happy new year!
Co-Host of CBC News Toronto at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 6 p.m.
1. Get my parents’ stories/memories/recipes down on paper or video.
2. Have my photos from the past six years printed and/or put into albums. (FYI—I will pay someone to do this.)
3. Drink more water. Because it is free, it is health, and I think substituting coffee as a liquid is not working…
Head of Corporate Communications for the TTC
In 2012, I resolved to quit smoking. Eleven months later, I succeeded. I’m a bit slow, granted, but that was a big one. As such, I took 2013 off and resolved to not have a new year’s resolution that year, though I did manage to gain some weight. Therefore, be it resolved that I will lose 25 pounds in 2014. I will then reward myself with a few more tattoos! (Photo: Daniel Ehrenworth/The Grid)
Executive Chef of Marben Restaurant
My resolution is to do more in 2014—drink more champagne, eat more white truffles, fly private… normal stuff. Aside from that, I’m working on getting a cookbook published about my brand of Spanish-Northern Italian-Canadian cuisine—guaranteed to be a huge seller with that easy descriptor! I’d also like to collaborate with other chefs to explore new ingredients and techniques and to try and better define Canadian cuisine. 2014 is a big number year for me: turning 40 years old and 10 years married, so there will also be some big travel plans.
Co-founder of Solid Citizen Market, an online curated lifestyle market
Stay in and cook more often, and enjoy the simple things. I will talk less, worry less, drink less Jameson, and maybe more tequila. I will eat healthier and buy more local. I need to drink more water, way more water. Oh yeah, get more sun. A lot more sun. (Photo: Jackie-Mckweon)
Manager and bartender at The Huntsman Tavern
I’m pretty excited about this year! My overall resolution in 2014 is to do everything with more passion and more dedication. From creating cocktails to my yoga practice, from eating well to spending time with friends and family, I feel inspired. Oh, and I think I’ll probably snap if I don’t end up on a beach sometime this winter, so that’s a pretty serious priority. (Photo: Eugenio Taburini)
Humble the Poet
“Author, Rhyme Slinger, Son of a Cabbie, Your Future Ex-Boyfriend”
My new year’s resolution is to have no resolution, but there are a handful of things I’m aiming to accomplish in 2014. I want Rob Ford in a music video, [I’m] going to get my book [done] and available by winter’s end, visit South America, and do something destructive in celebration of a potential Leafs playoff victory. I also want to revisit my previous life in education in some manner, possibly returning to the classroom in September. I also intend on getting some more tattoos before winter is over. (Photo: Digitology Studios)
Designer at NEEDS / W A N T S studios; brand director at The Art of Reuse
Get a bigger studio
Go to Paris
Master the handshake
Meet Grace Coddington
Reinvent The Art of Reuse site
Open a pop-up shop in Europe
Eat out less
Jog at sunrise
(Photo: Sid Singh)
Writer and the author of I Hate Today, a book of essays about HBO’s Girls, forthcoming in 2014 (ECW Press)
I’ve recently accepted that falling asleep on my desk at dawn with empty cups of shitty diner coffee strewn around me is a futile way to work. I rolled my eyes at that Elizabeth Gilbert interview in The Believer earlier this year, the one where she says she wakes up early, eats at proper intervals, and writes “methodically and carefully” for only four hours a day, never in inspired blitzes. It sounds so passionless and reasonable. But she might be onto something (she is a New York Times best seller). I’d like to try being less of a maniac in 2014. I’m going to sleep like a normal person—in a bed, at night—and stop getting dinner from the candy region of 7-Eleven.
Kena Paranjape (pictured at right above)
Co-founder and crafter of BRIKA
I always choose one word to focus on for the year because it is a lot easier to remember than a list of resolutions, and it becomes a mini mantra. My word for 2014 is “mastery” because I want to focus on getting infinitely better at what I do at work. Uh oh—now that it’s in print, I actually have to do it!
Jen Lee Koss (pictured at left above)
Co-founder and builder of business for BRIKA
As a start-up founder, wife, and mom of two little kids, life in the past year has been somewhat overwhelming… to say the least. For me, 2014 will be about being more present and in the moment—with my family, my friends, in-person anywhere. Life as an entrepreneur can make time feel like it’s whizzing by, but I will aim to press “pause” every once in a while!
Host on E! and guest correspondent on Movie Night
If you think back on your life, there is always that one year that stands out from the rest. For me, that year is without a doubt 2013. I went from being a McGill University student studying the brain, among other things, to becoming a host on E! It’s been a whirlwind year and I cannot wait to see what 2014 holds. Maybe I’ll finally cross “run a half marathon” off my bucket list? My new year’s resolution is to appreciate everything life has to offer. That includes the important stuff, of course, but also the minor things, like when the TTC arrives on time. I would also like to give back and join a volunteer organization based out of Toronto. Oh, and I really need to floss more. (Photo: courtesy of Bell Media and E!)
Singer-songwriter whose third album, Tall Tall Shadow, was released last September
2013 was an incredible year for me. I spent most of it in studios and on tour. So for 2014 my resolution is to spend more time with my family that doesn’t involve Skyping, texting, or emailing with them. I especially want to spend time with my grandmother, in my mother’s kitchen—cooking and baking and learning all the Polish recipes I’ve been slacking on recently!
Reporter, The Morning Show on Global TV
My resolution for the new year is to lose my muffin top. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the whole “OMG, the camera adds 10 pounds” thing. (Tip: Blazers hide the overhang.) Living healthier and happier is an annual goal that I’ve had since high school when I [was a] 240-pound barbershop quartet singer. Body image aside, I want to tell more stories on The Morning Show that inspire, enlighten, and entertain, whether it’s interviewing an indie-rock band or a celebrity, or going live from the community. If I can make the early mornings less painful for our viewers, then I’ve accomplished my job. Finally, I want to floss more and get better sleep in 2014.
Online editor of FASHIONmagazine.com
It’s my nature to never be satisfied, so my new year’s mantra is basically always just “more, more, more.” This year, I want to sink my teeth into more creative projects and turn inspiration into more real stuff. I’ve also been on a real YOLO streak lately, so I plan to keep pleasure-seeking all year round. (Photo: Stefania Yarhi)
One of the resident drink slingers and owners of The Harbord Room
I never really have any major new year’s resolutions, like most people just trying to keep a healthy balance, which isn’t always the easiest in my industry. I’ve made a promise to someone that I would not take on as much this year and make a little more room for personal time; I think I say that every year, though. (Photo: Valentino Antonio Calautti)
Principal Dancer with The National Ballet of Canada
This coming year, I will make sure to take the time to slow down and be aware of every moment, travel a little more, and worry a little less. (Photo: Christopher Wahl)
Creative director of fashion accessories line Jenny Bird
First is to finally figure out a way to store my messy heaps of jewelry at home. The second is to increase my mediation practice from once every two weeks to every day. I have so much energy, it’s hard for me to be disciplined enough to sit still, but I always enjoy an instant peace and balance from meditation. It grounds me in the present moment and fills me with gratitude. I also see things (designs, ideas, future, etc.) I wouldn’t otherwise see when my eyes are closed and when I’m connected to my breath, my life source, and the divine. Considering all of this, and that those visions often impact my actions in life after the meditation, I would say the practice is life-changing in the most positive sense and I want more. (Photo: Felix Wong)
The creator of Nirvana the Band the Show and The Dirties
My goal for 2014 is to guest-edit The Hook Up and set myself up with Robyn Doolittle.
Craftician, installation artist, window dresser, small business owner, part-time book slinger
I’m super grateful for all the opportunities 2013 brought my way, but man, did they ever kick my butt. The new year will have to be all about self-care and avoiding burn-out so, to that end, I hope to: learn how to cook and take time for proper meals every day, sleep in, start watching television, drink water, enjoy doing nothing, wear nail polish. I also look forward to: learning how to make my work move and light up and make cute noises; devote more time to writing and drawing, collaborating and spending more time outside of the studio; getting better at saying “no”; getting better at asking for help; getting better at getting paid. Oh, and I want to do a continuous, city-block-length storefront window installation along Queen West. And finish reading Arabian Nights. (Photo: Angela Lewis/The Grid)
General and artistic director, The Theatre Centre
2014 is going to be pretty special: we’re unveiling The Theatre Centre’s new home in the former Carnegie Library on Queen West, a project that has taken nearly nine years to complete. Making a building is all-consuming, messy, full of compromise and disappointments, so I am looking forward to falling back in love with work. My resolution is for the building to be a vibrant public space that welcomes people from all walks of life, a space that creates community by encouraging participation. And I am determined to walk to work three days a week, floss more, and drink five glasses of water a day. (Photo: Bronwen Sharp)
Make-up artist and hair stylist for Judy Inc. and the resident make-up artist for Hair on The Avenue
For me, 2014 is a year to pay it forward. I have been really fortunate in my life and career. So many people, out of the kindness of their hearts, have helped me along the way. This year, I would like to do the same by doing more for charity. My plan is do six things—big and/or small—to help those in need. I feel that the opportunities to help are all around us if we look for them. It will be great to know that, in 2014. I made a difference in someone’s life. (Photo: Riley Stewart)
Director and founder, Common Good, a “directing collective that merges the worlds of film, design, and animation to create compelling narratives across a multitude of genres”
To be honest, I never actually make new year’s resolutions. Instead, I write a big list at the beginning of every year—basically a stream of consciousness that outlines all the things that I succeeded at or failed miserably at over the last year. I compare it with lists from previous years and use it to inform my goals moving forward. It’s interesting to see what patterns emerge and how long it takes to achieve goals… it’s usually way longer than I think. This year, learning patience is big for me. I also want to learn how to hold babies and be around animals. Currently, I’m bad at both.
Author of the Dead Kid Detective Agency series of books for young readers (ECW Press) and the publicist for Coach House Books
Last year was the first year I actually followed through on my new year’s resolution—take up hip-hop dance classes—and that worked out really well, so I’m trying to keep the streak alive. I’m going to try to learn how to drive in 2014. I’ve lived for 33 years and worked as a book publicist for eight without a licence. Though I’m a big fan of walking and public transit, I should probably learn how to drive, just in case I happen to be sharing a cab with an expectant mother who suddenly goes into labour and our driver passes out from shock. I apologize in advance to my future driving instructor, because I am a terrible, terrible, and nervous driver. Get ready to use that passenger-side brake.
Principal and creative director at The Public, editorial and art director of Shameless magazine, singer in Cat Caves, and professor at OCAD University
We’ve had a lot to be angry about over the past year; my 2014 resolutions are to re-centre my activism so it comes from a place of love and imagination and to focus on appreciating the chosen family that comes from being a part of a radical community. Also: get a driver’s license, learn to play guitar, and sew most, if not all, of my own new clothes. (Photo: Jenny Rowsom)
Roz Weston (pictured at left above)
Co-host of The Roz & Mocha Show on KiSS 92.5 and co-host on ET Canada
To not accuse people who claim [to have] a “gluten intolerance” of faking it. To go a whole year without slicing my girlfriend’s heel with a toenail that should have been cut weeks ago. Work less. Love more.
Mocha (pictured at right above)
Co-host of The Roz & Mocha Show and DJ on the Set It Off show on KiSS 92.5
It’s totally cliche, but I plan on hitting the gym a little… a lot more, and will try to eat healthier. My love of burgers, beer, and wings will have to be limited as I will be getting married in November and don’t wanna look like a complete slob. Also, I want to be able to answer “Yes!” when asked, “DO YOU EVEN LIFT BRO?”
What is your new year’s resolution? Let us know in the comments section.