A New Year’s Resolution

new years escalator

The morning starts as afternoon. A cotton pillowcase is the first texture of the New Year to greet me. Next comes the crushing pressure in the skull that only champagne and sweet bourbon cocktails can give. Then there’s the dry rub of dehydration on my tongue. My need for water is intense, but that want is superseded by the weight of my hangover.

Happy New Year.

It’s at this moment–the instant when I am overcome with a compelling need for something greasy, unhealthy, and heavy on the bacon–that I remember to write my New Year’s resolutions. Later, over breakfast, I’ll thank my lucky stars I didn’t drink more than I did and then jot something down in a notebook. Waiting until the last minute to write my resolutions was a convenient way of avoiding the deeper work of preparing for a new year. I could easily jot something cheery and hopeful down, post it up by my desk, and then do my best to work towards those goals. If I didn’t hit the mark, it wasn’t a profound loss because I hadn’t invested too much time into my plans.

At least, that’s the way things used to happen.

For what feels like the first time ever, I’m approaching the New Year with a clear vision of what I want to achieve. For almost two months now, I’ve been taking a sober look at my life. I’ve spent the winter holidays alcohol free and have used all the extra time and energy I’ve acquired to figure out what’s my place in the world. I’m wrestling with the question of what’s expected of me as a human being.

This year, I’ve got my resolutions written and a vision for my coming year penned way in advance of the ball dropping. Clearly, when you write your New Year’s resolutions says a lot about where you are at in your life.

Back in what feels like the olden days, I convinced myself that the reason why I waited until the last moment to write out my resolutions was because I needed to let inspiration run through the rough grains of the 365 days of the closing year.  But the real reason was that I was afraid to take an honest inventory of my life and see where I was headed. I was perfectly content to skim the surface of my life.

Luckily, things are very different around here this New Years.

This New Year’s day will start early. I’ll rise before the sun and don hiking gear for an early morning trek up one of LA’s bramble-covered canyons. I’ll have my typed out list of resolutions folded up in my pocket (in case I need it) and I’ll spend the morning communing with nature, fellow Angeleno’s, and my higher power. And, it should be noted, I will not be hung over.

Hollywood Christmas double rainbow2011 Resolutions

Rather than continue my life skimming the surface and doing what seems like the best choice, I resolve to be humble, get quiet, and listen to the inner voice inside that tells me exactly which way to go. For that reason, I’m not making specific goals for this blog or my career. Instead, I’m writing down a theme for my coming year: Truth. Faith. Dedication.

Here at this blog, I will embrace (and unearth) the truth, avoid the lazy post, and give as much as myself as I can. 2011 won’t be about conquering the world, mastering SEO, or winning any prizes. It will be about creating honest writing, insights, and food you’ll be excited to eat.

I will create an authentic life and pursue work that fulfills me and gives back to the world. This New Year will be about living a daily practice of giving back to the world; loving my husband, family and friends; and living a fulfilling artistic life. I want my work to benefit others and support my life.  I resolve to let go of regret and a life that’s phoned in.

I want to live in gratitude for what’s been given to me.

Thank You

To start of the New Year on the right foot, I’d like to thank you for coming here o’ these past twelve months. I want to thank you specfically for taking the time to read my words. I’m so grateful to have you in my virtual family.

I’m honored by the wonderful teachers, mentors, friends, family, chefs, and threshold guardians who have influenced and transformed my life. Thank you.

I’m indebted to the great artists—Matt, Shauna, Penny, Todd and Diane, Michael, David and lots of other incredible people I don’t have room to name—who inspire me to higher heights. I am humbled by the friendships of my food blog posse—you know who you are, you incredible and beautiful women, you—and the leader of the pack, Gaby. I’m blessed to have you all in my life. I’m thankful for my family and my friends Leah and Neal who got me through some of the darkest days of 2010.

I’m stunned by the incredible opportunities this blog has created. I thank those that gave me a chance to express myself about the things I truly care about: writing at the FoodBuzz conference, food blog ethics at Blogher Food, ethics of online food writing/criticism at the Columbia Journalism Review, and food journalism for Squid Ink.

I’m thankful of all the little and big things that happened along the way. The great meals, the beautiful journeys, the unexpected twists and turns. And mostly I thank God for showing me about the transformative power of love and faith.

Happy New Year to you. May you find and make true your vision for 2011.


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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.


  1. December 30

    and thank YOU, Brooke… you make the world a beautiful place. I love you.

  2. December 30

    I feel like saying, “WATCH OUT!” You are gonna be a trailblazer in 2011!!!!


  3. December 30

    It was so great to meet you in 2010. I hope we can meet up again in the new year. Best wishes for a happy new year in 2011.

  4. December 30

    Fantastic post. I love your resolutions. With so many blogs out there to make sweet mulha from SEO, post the easy post and so on, I am really glad to have your blog around. Well written, thought provoking, good food. LOVE IT!

  5. I truly admire you for being so open and honest in your writing. I won’t be going for a hike on New Year’s day – I’ll be cooking a special breakfast for the family but I too will be contemplating where my life has been and what I want it to look like. Funny, but one of my “resolutions” (and yes, I did write them down!!) is to “listen more and talk less”.. so a virtual toast to “listening”!!

    Happy New Year Brooke – looking forward to meeting you in Mexico!

  6. December 30

    Happy New Years Brooke!! So excited to see what the world has in store for you in 2011! You are such a fantastic and wonderful friend – I can’t wait to kick off the new year with you under the sun in Mexico!! xoxo

  7. December 30

    Sincere best wishes to you. I’m inspired by your words.

  8. Leah
    December 30

    So proud of you, dearest Brooke. And I know you will accomplish all you set out for 2011, because your goals come from the heart, they are far from superficial and, most of all, they allow you to honor yourself and your path. Love you, lady.

  9. December 30

    Rock on woman – now those are some resolutions I can get behind. They’re realistic, yet lofty. I wish I could be there, hiking those canyons with you.

    And getting to meet and hang out with you was the highlight of my two months in CA this past summer – I know I said it then, but I’ll say it again. Thank you so very very much.

    • Food Woolf
      December 30

      Right back atcha, Caitlin! I loved our days together, too! Congratulations on your wedding and all your great work. Here’s to a happy New Year to you, your husband, and your family. xoxo, B

  10. December 30

    I can’t say it enough. You are a wonderful person and I’m so honored to know you. Looking forward to much more of your writing in 2011. Cheers!! xo

  11. December 30

    This made me smile. I wish I could go on that hike with you. Here’s to 2011 and more great things to come!

  12. Brooke, I am so honored to have you as a friend. You are a wonderful woman inside & out. Can I please borrow your resolutions because they are so well written? You will not be the only one sober on NYE. The hubs & I have not touched a drink in well over a decade. See you in a few days! XO

  13. tallnoe
    December 30

    Inspirational. Thank you. I’m pleased that I live in the same giant metropolis as you, and I’d be honored to meet you, if ever our paths should cross.
    Happy New Year, and I’m looking for that faith part. It got lost this year, for me.

  14. December 30

    Looking past the obvious resolutions of eating less and exercising more, I find myself overwhelmed by the true inventory of my life. For me, personally, there’s a lot of work to be done and that can be a scary endeavor. It’s a comfort to know that not everyone is asleep. Thank you for the wakeup call. Happy Everything in 2011!

  15. Kate @ Savour Fare
    December 30

    You have always struck me as someone who is both thoughtful and deliberate, both as a writer and as a person. Can’t wait to see what 2011 has in store for you.

  16. December 30

    Brooke, our New Year resolutions are similar. Mine started a couple of years ago, after our lives changed over night. The priorities became much clearer.
    Thanks you for your beautiful voice that carried me over some really turbulent days when I did not want to get up and face the day.
    I admire your strength and your honesty. I enjoy your writing and consider you a kindred spirit, not only by profession, but by what’s in your heart.
    I hope that the New Year brings you and Hans much joy and laughter. I wish for a chance to get to know you better IRL (you have no idea how much I wanted to go to Playa de Carmen:)
    I will be thinking of you New Year’s Day, when I get up before dawn to go to work. All the best, you deserve it.

  17. December 30

    A very thoughtful, calming post, Brooke. I wish you all the best in 2011. I have a feeling this new decade is going to be a turning point. It’s time. We all need it.

  18. Anne Deneen
    December 31

    Dear Brooke,
    thanks for posting this, and know that you’ll get all kinds of help–it’s the best part of tending your spirit–the whole universe lends a hand.

  19. Susan
    December 31

    Hmmmmm…I don’t think you were as lost as you think you were in 2010. You’ve accomplished some pretty great things Brooke, and writing resolutions down doesn’t make them so. Resolutions are a daily ritual…being happy, learning something new, returning calls and emails of those who have thought about us for whatever reason, thinking of loved ones, making big plans, dreaming, being the best friend/wife/stranger/self you can be. No such thing as “skimming the surface” of your life, so be kind to yourself. Sometimes the water laps over our heads and we have to kick harder, granted…but a day lived is a day fought for. Be happy. Happy New Year!

  20. What a beautiful post. It’s been a pleasure and such a huge blessing getting to know you this year. My favorite line of yours this year? “We are connected up like electrical cords on the same power strip.” What a beautiful way to say it. I can’t wait to see what 2011 holds for you and I look forward to many long chats and laughs together.

  21. I’m so proud of you, Brooke. It takes great strength and bravery to be completely honest and you have achieved that. I like where you are headed and I only see wonderful things on your horizon I’m grateful to know you and so look forward to going deeper! xxoo!

  22. I agree with matt…: “you make the world a beautiful place”!!!
    I feel so lucky to have “met” you in 2010. Here’s hope this 2011 is magic and blessed for you. I look forward to your future posts.

  23. Wow. You had me right away with the escalator photo Brooke.
    What a wonderful blog post. I could relate to so much of what you said.

    I am bummed I won’t be “the other Brook (e)” at FBC this year. By the time I heard the dates for FBC we had already booked a trip to Kona (for the next 2 weeks) and we couldn’t fit a trip to the Yucatan in too. BooHoo.

    Have a wonderful time with everyone, laughing and learning.
    I’m jealous…what a great way to kick off 2011!

  24. January 6

    wonderful post! truly fitting for the new year and always.

  25. January 6

    Only you can make a News Years resolution list read like poetry! Happy New Year. GREG

  26. January 6

    Your resolutions make me want to be a better person – forever forward in 2011 x

  27. January 26

    I don’t know how I missed this post! I’m so glad we had such a wonderful chance to get to know each other better at FBC. I love that rather than a list of goals you chose a theme for your life that you want each decision to fit into. You are a beautiful person on an incredible journey and I am truly blessed to be your friend. Love you!

    • Food Woolf
      January 26

      I’m so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time with you on this trip and deepen our friendship. Thank you for coming by. And don’t worry, your picture has not been forgotten. I’ll send it soon!

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