As told to Jess Graves
We asked some of our favorite Southern friends (many of whom you might recognize from our stories this past year) what they're promising themselves in 2016; the responses made us laugh and tugged our heart strings ... but most of all, they inspired us to sit down and think about our own goals for the coming year. Maybe they'll do the same for you.
Penny & Sparrow film a performance at Acre restaurant in Auburn, Alabama for The Love List Presents, October 2015. Photo: Caroline Fontenot.
"1. Spend less time in front of screens. 2. Learn to grow my own food. 3. Win the Showcase Showdown on the Price is Right" - Kyle Jahnke
"1. Publish some writings 2. Convince Anaïs Mitchel to record a song with me. 3. Use the technology from the movie Face/Off to body snatch Kyle for a day ... then brush my beautiful hair for 7 straight hours whilst watching Gilmore Girls and/or The Good Wife ... return to my own body ... tell no one." - Andy Baxter
John Planty, Palmetto Brewing Company
"I resolve to make high quality brewing essentials more readily available to the Lowcountry’s craft breweries through a co-op program that Palmetto will operate in 2016."
"Take time for reflection and appreciation by making a note of all good things that come our way and keeping them in a jar to read, revisit and reflect on throughout the year."
Vena Kim among her hand-dyed silk kimonos in Atlanta, Georgia as photographed for "Meet Our Makers", October 2015. Photo: Caroline Fontenot.
"My resolution in 2016 is to take better care of myself and rest more. All of last year, it was last on my priority list (until I absolutely needed it) but I'm going to try to be more proactive this year."
“To eat all the greens in my winter CSA.”
"I resolve to carry less in my pocket book, do more for others, and always say what I need to say … but in a loving way."
Former college and NFL quarterback; current owner of gusto! restaurant Nate Hybl with Buckley, as photographed for Southerners and Their Dogs, September 2015. Photo: Caroline Fontenot.
"I’m pursuing a purge by tossing or giving away most of my clothes. I want to start over. It's a chance for me to let go of some things, de-clutter, and focus on an efficient and current closet. Minimize, tidy, release-the-past, look-good-feel-good kinda thing...”
"To surf on the coasts of three different oceans this year. Surfs up!"
MIKE PLUMMER, SOUTHBOUND RESTAURANT
"To drink more mead."
"My new years resolution is [to make] an effort to experience more by putting myself regularly in uncomfortable situations. Another thing I'm seriously working on this year in my personal life is having more patience for those I love the most."
Elizabeth White + Jacquelyn Buckner, Twine & Twig
"This year our resolution is to be a design sponge. We want to soak up lots of creative energy and expand our growing brand. To collaborate with other talented designers. To inspire others just starting out. To find inspiration and new design ideas through travel and nature. To be happy and creative and stay true to ourselves and our style."
"My New Years resolution this year is formed around two words - 'dare greatly, [keeping this quote in mind] 'Who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly...' (Theodore Roosevelt, The Man in the Arena Paris, France, 1910). No matter where this year leads for Whitby, I want to look back and be able to say I know what it means to truly dare greatly."
"I'm going to attempt to drink less bourbon. In its stead, I'm going to try to sip on one of those green super smoothies ... with vodka in it."
"My resolution for 2016 is to get a very simple meditation practice going with my 12-year-old daughter each day. There's no doubt the restaurant industry is hectic, and we all know what it's like to be a 12-year-old, so here's hoping the meditation brings us a lot of peace in 2016."
"My New Year's resolution is to enjoy being in the moment, learn to play the piano, fly fish and ski with my boys and travel to a place I’ve never been before … thinking a food tour around Malmo, Sweden!”
Courtney in her Atlanta, Georgia studio, as photographed for "Meet Our Makers", September 2015.
"In 2016, I resolve to put as much effort into my little family as I do to my business. As a new mother, I know that "balance" will always be more aspirational than reality, but damn if I'm not going to try to have it all."
"Since we recently moved back South, we've gone a little overboard with the sweet tea, so our New Year's resolution is to not drink it with breakfast."
Paint with my children often
Try an Orange Theory class
Master a handstand in yoga
Be a Vegan at home (and eat anything when out)
Richard Patton in downtown Opelika Alabama, as photographed for "Meet Me in Lebanon...", May 2015. Photo: Caroline Fontenot.
"What I resolve to do in 2016:
1. Thong Thursday: this is long overdue, if women love them so much, then [it's] time for me to give [them] a try.
2. The year of lazy/zero exercise in 2016: gain weight, screw vegetables
3. Charity: I'm starting a non-profit. Sole purpose, give to Richard Patton
4. Spend more, save less. In other words, I want to create lots of debt.
5. Appreciate life as little as possible and sweat all the small things.
6. Spend as little time as I can with family and friends.
7. No travel, who wants to see the world? I live in Alabama, what else would I want to see?
8. No new experiences or meeting new people.
9. Only listen to top 40 country music. I live my life like my music ... trucks, dirt roads and tan girls in blue jean shorts.
11. Never get up early.
10. Aspire to mediocrity.
Or maybe I should ...
1. Attend more live music and spin records more frequently.
2. Read a little everyday.
3. Sip whiskey.
4. Be grateful
5. Aspire to be more like my mother (kind, honest, joyful).
6. Take more naps with my dog.
7. Collaborate with folks in other cities.
8. Grow the creative community.
9. Give love where needed.
10. Embrace the shortness of life.
11. I own a piano, guitar, and mandolin. I think it's about time to learn a chord or two."
Sally King Benedict, Artist
"Cook and host more at home. Not enough dinner parties or cocktail parties being hosted these days ... and I will definitely be making the effort to change that among our generation, kids or no kids alike!"
"After having a baby and opening a restaurant in the latter half of 2014, it has been challenging to get away over the last few years. One of my primary goals in 2016 is to find more time to get outdoors—do more day hikes in the north Georgia mountains, a few weekend camping trips and get back into kayaking.”
Chef Whitney Otawka hosts a Lowcountry boil at The Greyfield Inn, as photographed for "Marsh Mud and Sea Salt...", August 2015. Photo: Emily B. Hall.
"To finally open a restaurant!"
BUTCH WALKER, MUSICIAN
"Up my cycling miles and cadence, smoke more marijuana, drink WAY less alcohol, delete another social media account, take James to dirt track, improve Hifi rig at studio (new stylus, re-tube amps), finish '49 Panhead and '46 knucklehead, DT360, get R100r from Apex Cycle, clean all my guns (buy another 1911), record new album NOW, book tour, band, crew now for summer, weed out shitty friends, play more local shows, stop saying 'moist'."
"Our New Years Resolution isn't much different than our every day resolution. Which is to better at what we do today than we were yesterday. The fact that we don't take reservations makes it kind of like the wild wild west of casual fine dining in here sometimes, so we are adding another piece of the puzzle so we can try to round out our potential a little bit. We just got our building permits and as soon as everyone gets back from holidays, we'll start renovations on the east side of our building. We are adding a kitchen, bathroom and small dining room so we can start booking private parties and events in that space. It'll give us a chance to entertain guests in a more intimate and controllable environment. Whether we're talking a family style birthday party or a coursed dinner, it'll be a great opportunity for Chef Jeff to show off his skills in a dining setting that we have a lot more control of."
"1. Plan more meals ahead (I love to cook almost to a fault) so instead of going to the grocery store every day, I resolve to plan at least three meals a week in advance. 2. Cook a new vegetable for my kids every few days; repeat. You never know what they will go for until you try it. 3. Try two new recipes each week from all the great cooking magazines I get every month instead of flipping through and tossing them in my magazine basket."
"I've decided that for 2016's resolution, I will vow to become a runner again. This attempt was made recently and resulted in a very embarrassing fall along a very busy road- and of course I'm blaming it on my shoes! So now Ive got some new kicks, ready to hit the ground running, literally. There is a special kind of mental toughness and clarity that comes with running and I know it will bring positivity to all areas of my life, especially creatively. I have no doubt 2016 is going to be a hell of a year!!"
“In 2015, we celebrated our brewery’s first birthday. In 2016, we’re expanding! Our production will increase by about 150% as we add new tanks and a new tasting room. I’m also moving on from my second job in technology consulting and sales to focus all of my time on the brewery. My resolution is to keep growing, tasting, exploring, and learning, while remembering that I get to do what I love every day.”
Natalie Chanin. Photo: Rinne Allen.
"Work less but work more efficiently. Make time to write and to take more photographs. Cook more dinners at home from all the great cookbooks that I love so much. Spend more time walking dogs (hopefully in the woods) and jumping on our (new) trampoline (in the backyard)."
“I love the New Year—it's a clean slate moment and time to review, assess, evaluate and re-calibrate. As I look back on 2015, I’m humbled by how much I learned and grew as a human being and businesswoman. In 2016, I resolve to continue this trajectory. I want to continue to improve: to be a better boss, a more inspiring leader, a more creative problem solver, a focused manager, a more thoughtful wife, daughter and friend, a better caretaker of my own body, and a more dutiful citizen of the city, the earth and the universe. Each week, I’m going to dedicate time to recharge and enjoy being alive so that I can be the best I can possibly be.”
The men of Res Ipsa. Photo c/o.
"Our 2016 resolution is to be more intentional. 2015 was a great year, but we spent too much time reacting and not enough time focusing on things we wanted to happen. We are committing to make time for things that are important but get left out if we aren't intentional: meditation, gratitude journaling, reading. And we also plan to arrive at the airport earlier for flights--we're still working on this one from 2015."
"I've been telling myself for years I was going to take time to become 'well-read', but it's never materialized. Every couple of months, I'll go grab a new music biography, a classic or a friends recommendation so it can inevitably live under my bed with zero attention. Or maybe my small, but meticulously crafted collection will impress someone if they come over? Dunno, but for Xmas this year I got Just Kids by Patti Smith and Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein. SO ... my New Year's resolution is to listen to a lot of Sleater-Kinney and Patti Smith and to actually READ those two books. I think I could learn a lot from 'em. Figure I'll start simple, and then make my way towards War and Peace some other year."
Square Feet Studio's John and Vivian Bencich at Ponce City Market's food hall. Many of the stalls were designed by their team. Photo: Mary Kelly Clary for The Love List.
“To practice more yoga, period.”
"My New Year's resolution is to appreciate life's simple pleasures and enjoy them every day."
"2016 will be a big year! This spring, I’m opening Saint Leo restaurant, with a focus on bringing sustainable, local food to Oxford, Mississippi. Last fall, we hosted a series of pop-up dinners and private events, honing our menu that features charcuterie, wood fired pizzas, house-made cheeses and pastas. Just in time for the New Year, we’ve found our perfect brick-and-mortar location just off Oxford’s historic square. My resolution is to stay sane during this crazy, but incredibly fun, process!”
Hutton Snellings. Photo c/o.
"My New Year's resolution is to set aside one full day every two weeks to do work where I'm not worried about the end result: no working on commissions, or the the pieces that sell most. When you do what you love for a living, the business side still matters. I have to think about top sales and popular colors, etc. My resolution is to spend that day with my phone off blasting Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album and doing what inspires me at that moment."
"For 2016 I want to be more present. I know that sounds simple, but with the craziness of a full staff [at Hampden], four trips to Europe a year, New York once a month, and my NBC styling gig ... I want to learn to be present in each moment and not rush through just to get it done. So, I think that involves taking more personal time off work, doing yoga when I'm in Charleston to create balance & clarity, and continuing to read every Brene Brown book I can get my hands on. Ha!"
LAUREN + JASON MORROW, THE WHISKEY GENTRY
"Play more golf, eat better, stay off social media as much as possible and love my dogs even more than I already do." - Jason Morrow
"My resolution is to get really good at crocheting. I picked it up about two months ago, and I'm obsessed. I want to be making full on blankets by the end of 2016!" - Lauren Morrow
"I always think in terms of two approaches with resolutions - personal and professional. Personally I'd like to learn something new this year I've never tried - surfing is top of the list. Professionally, I'd like to schedule time for an work trip somewhere that is purely inspirational and not about networking, sales, or marketing. Just finding time to take new things in, design wise. That can be hard once your business is off the ground but I think creative breaks are essential for growth. I am thinking a retreat, a quick trip to a new city or country or even just a a fun road trip."
Candy Shop Vintage jewelry in Heirloomed Collection oyster shell jewelry dishes from our 2015 "Gift Guide for The Reveler". Photo: Caroline Fontenot. Styling: Candice Beaty.
"I have a whole list of pretty focused goals but overall I'd say my resolutions are all about simplification in 2016. Cleaner, wholesome foods, a holistic workout routine, more straightforward business initiatives that lead to more directed results, and maximizing / scheduling in my time to be most productive."
"One thing I wanted to do this year is take [my sons] Austin and Anders on a 'bro-trip.' Like class 5 river riding or some adrenaline adventure trip. Austin is a [high school] Senior and will be headed out after the summer so ... "
EMILY LIVEZEY, W.PORT
"To stop at nothing."
Cheri Leavy and Whitney Long of The Southern C. Photo: Gina Towson.
"My personal resolution is to travel more and see more of the world. This will also encompass spending more quality time with loved ones. My professional resolution is to be a better marketing resource than ever for Southern entrepreneurs by providing more opportunities at The Southern C Summit and online at The Southern Coterie + guide2athens to #connectcollaboratecreate. To do this, I am starting my year with several clear goals and steps to reach those goals. I must be better organized, prioritize better and create the right team for each goal. Look out 2016; I’m coming for you!" - Cheri
"Why stop at just one New Year’s resolution? I am going with a trio. At the risk of sounding selfish, I am resolved to take better care of me! A healthy body equals a healthy mind and vice versa. Healthier eating, more sleep, drinking more water, regular exercise, technology downtime are a few things I want to incorporate. I also want to be more conscious of living in the moment – so many distractions in today’s world but I want to be invested to appreciate the interactions with my family, friends and for work. Lastly, I want to be intentional in recognizing the many blessings that surround me every day. Having an “attitude of gratitude” is often times easier said than done as life gets crazy busy and is filled with peaks and valleys. Somewhere in the middle, there is always something to be thankful for or a lesson learned." - Whitney
"1. No new businesses in 2016! I want to focus on nurturing and growing The National, Seabear Oyster Bar and Condor Chocolates. 2. Snack less at work. I work next to a freezer full of ice cream so it's tough. 3. Call my mother more often."
Chenault James Van Winkle, Louise Breen Van Winkle, and Carrie Greener Van Winkle at their parent's home in Louisville, Kentucky as photographed for "The Family Story of Pappy Van Winkle", December 2015. Photo: Caroline Fontenot.
"To embrace and enjoy the crazy day come dinner time and laugh more because its exactly what I wanted; to raise a family and have a job that I love!"
"My resolution is to spend more time with my family this year."
Mandy Rye of Waiting on Martha. Photo: Kathryn McCrary.
"I've made the same three resolutions for the past five years and I'm confident that one of these years I'll follow through on at least one of them: drink less wine, work out more and be nicer to my husband."
Ashley Longshore, Artist
"My resolution is to continue pushing myself into uncomfortable situations so that I can grow and learn more about the world. I need to travel more and learn French and Italian. I need to take care of my body and meditate more. I need to push my creative boundaries fearlessly. I need to confront my demons with honesty and humility ... demons include tacos and Snicker bars..."