new year reflections
Living

5 Friends of Coveteur Open Up about Their Approach to New Year’s Resolutions

What they’ve learned from this unusual year and how they plan to apply those lessons.

Each year, the facade around the notion of New Year’s resolutions cracks a bit more. As we shift from one year to the next, the concept of ‘New Year, New Me’ often awaits a grimace from all who hear it. That said, there is something intuitive, even productive, about using this moment in time to take stock, reflect, and reorient. What did you learn from the prior year? What do you want to achieve in the next? All are questions worthy of our attention. We’ve asked five friends of Coveteur across beauty, home, fashion, wellness, and more to reveal to us what the transition from 2021 to 2022 means to them.


Gabe Stone Shayer

Soloist, American Ballet Theater

new year reflections

Photo: Bryon Summers; Clothes: CHANEL

As you reflect on 2021, what are you taking away from your experiences? What did this year teach you?

“I’ve learned so many important lessons this year as well as gained clarity in places that were muddied by the constant that is life. I lived in a state of repetition for so long that putting off my goals and ambitions became routine. There are too many lessons to list, but three words that come to mind are consciousness, perspective, and transparency!”

What is your approach to New Year’s in general? Do you set resolutions? Do you view this as a time for a reset?

“In past years, I would search and plan for the perfect moment to have that countdown. More recently, I’ve found that what a lot of us are trying to replicate is pure joy, love, and connection to our loved ones. I realized that I like to have light plans so that I can ride ‘the wave.’ Sometimes I stop by multiple parties (pre-covid) to try and connect with all my circles of friends. At the end of the night (a.k.a. early on the 1st of January), I like to think about what drives me (besides the uber ride home), and what I want to create. Goals and resolutions can take on unexpected forms, so instead of drawing lines between where I am and want to be, I carve paths towards and through my ambitions!”

As you look to 2022, how are you beginning this year specifically? Are there goals you hope to achieve? Learnings you plan to apply?

“As I look to 2022, I want to begin by appreciating all that has brought me to where I currently stand. I always have the goal to stay on a path of discovery and innovation. I plan on integrating everything I’ve learned into everything I do, including a book I’m working on!”

new year reflections

Photo: Alberto Zanetti

As you reflect on 2021, what are you taking away from your experiences? What did this year teach you?

“Every year, I feel like I get these huge downloads of new breakthroughs, etc. 2020, in a lot of ways, was so positive. Apart from the crunch of COVID, which was so uncomfortable and disastrous in so many ways, I also loved the solitude. I loved being by myself at home for three months. It was something that was not frightening or panic-inducing for me at all, but instead, allowed me to find great liberation. 2021, when we were back, was really about a lesson in temperance, how to temper that solitude with regular life. Coming back into real life after all that solitude, I think the lesson is really how to remember the lessons. This year for me, the word I used a lot was embodiment because a lot of people can talk. They can talk about their spiritual practice, they can talk about their exercise regime, they can talk about their food regime, they can talk about wanting to be a certain way but really, we have to learn how to absorb that into the deeper parts of ourselves.”

What is your approach to New Year’s in general? Do you set resolutions? Do you view this as a time for a reset?

“I always laugh when people ask me this question because I'm a big firm believer in setting intentions every day of my life. It's part of my spiritual practice, my prayer. Calling in what I want to manifest everyday is a really important part of keeping yourself light and bright and focused on what's going on. We get so knocked off our path from the day-to-day business—the busyness of our business, let's say. I also set a lot of intentions that are based on the moon cycle. Every month’s new moon is the time to plant them. Then, the full moon is that moment to really see the ultimate expansion of all those intentions. I'm a firm believer in intentions, not just for New Year's.

“I'm really attuned to energetic portals and auspicious moments of the cycle of the earth, the cycle of our sun and moons—obviously the New Year is a very auspicious moment. That's not to say that I don't set intentions on New Years, but I just think it's important that people think about this on a more long-term scale. Even before COVID, I wasn't the type to do big New Year's Eve parties. Last year, I was in Bali by myself on New Year's Eve. I really like to do things that allow for a more personal introspection. If it is such a moment of reset, you don't do that by being around a lot of people with a lot of chatter and a lot of noise. There's nothing wrong with the party part, but if you want to get with your intentions, that's a time to be by yourself, clearing the noise, getting into an empty space. I love to be connected to nature. This year, I'm going to be in Los Angeles. My mom lives in Santa Monica right near the beach, so if I can stomach it, I will definitely jump in the water.”

As you look to 2022, how are you beginning this year specifically? Are there goals you hope to achieve? Learnings you plan to apply?

“The list of goals is long. Rather than think about specific things like, ‘I want to make more money,’ or ‘I want to get that house,’ or ‘I want to get a better butt,’ or whatever it is that we want; for me, the thing that is most important is asking, ‘what are the qualities that I want to cultivate within myself? One thing I know that I have to cultivate is patience. As Type A individuals and career girls, we're always running, running and going, going and doing, doing and achieving, achieving. There's not a lot of tolerance. The sort of intolerance that's coming from cancel culture we're seeing everywhere is endemic to us as individuals. How tolerant are we of ourselves when we fuck up? When we don't get what we want right when we want it? Cancel culture mixed together with the Amazon next-hour delivery has made all of us want what we want right now.

“Patience is such a wimpy virtue that never gets any air time, but I feel like that's such a big one. Listening is another one. I don't just mean listening to other people, although that's really important, but listening to myself. What I really need to listen to is my body and my heart and my feelings and intelligence, the wisdom that's within. We have it all within ourselves. I really believe this. We have everything we need to take care of ourselves, to heal ourselves, weather any storm, get through any crisis. You've got to start treating yourself like the guru that you are.”


Eloghosa Osunde

Writer & Multidisciplinary Artist

As you reflect on 2021—and the wild ride that it’s been—what are you taking away from your experiences? What did this year teach you?

“Everything passes, without exception. Let it happen, let it pass. Disappointment is just a darker shade of surprise; you can breathe through it. What’s (not) yours is (not) yours. Release things at your pace and with gratitude, always. To be truly free, one must understand also, that others are free. Not everything lost is worth grieving over. Acceptance really does lessen suffering. We don’t always have to fight reality by staying in what we wish had happened, we can just accept what is.”

What is your approach to New Year’s in general? Do you set resolutions? Do you view this as a time for a reset?

“I do set resolutions. Every year, a stack of memories accumulate and all that can really stay in the body. I like to reflect in December (which is also my birth month), check in with myself about how I’m feeling, shed the unnecessary, and put the year to rest. This one was heavy for so many reasons, so I need the reset. End of year is my time to clear cache and give myself the chance to begin again.”

As you look to 2022, how are you beginning this year specifically? Are there goals you hope to achieve? Learnings you plan to apply?

“With quiet. Next year, my book is out and it will change everything. My goal is to be here to see it and to be present through the process. I’d like to keep practicing how to keep myself grounded in myself, to only do things that make sense to me and honor my needs. I want to remember—as a resting state—that I’m safe now. I realized last year that fighting for peace is one thing, but when you get it, you still have to learn how to use it and what to do with it and how to take care of it. I have it now, but next year, I want to spread my peace across the entire width of my life since I’m (finally) at a place now where I can just be, just rest. I see that for myself.”

As you reflect on 2021, what are you taking away from your experiences? What did this year teach you?

“This year has been about reflecting on the latest version of myself. I’ve been doing a lot of work over the years on myself and I noticed things, people, and routines weren’t serving me the same. I’m learning to be okay letting go because this will in fact create space for something better.”

What is your approach to New Year’s in general? Do you set resolutions? Do you view this as a time for a reset?

“I honestly view my birthday as the ‘new year.’ I don’t make resolutions, but I set certain expectations from myself that aren’t bound by the year to come but instead focus on where I want to align spiritually, as a parent, a friend, etc. Approaching the new year really has me in my bag about who I want to be, but I feel it’s important to reflect on who you were.”

As you look to 2022, how are you beginning this year specifically? Are there goals you hope to achieve? Learnings you plan to apply?

“I set really big goals for 2022—honestly my largest ask from the universe yet. To keep specific plans close to the chest, I’ll just say that all of the learnings about self-worth, prioritizing wellness, and the importance of taking breaks will be applied.”

new year reflections

Photo: Steven Simione

As you reflect on 2021, what are you taking away from your experiences? What did this year teach you?

“That you can't control what's going to happen, only how you react. I'm not by nature a patient person, but this year has taught me that patience is something you can learn and it's a virtue as it helps you keep your peace, which subsequently leads to less unnecessary stress. I'm learning to react well, to not attempt to predict or control the future, which is truly an exercise in futility.”

What is your approach to New Year’s in general? Do you set resolutions? Do you view this as a time for a reset?

“Resolutions feel specific and like too much pressure, which invariably I avoid doing (I already have enough pressure!). I like to reflect on what I've achieved in the last year. Reminding myself of what I've accomplished tends to lead to inspiration on a vague roadmap for next year. Where do I want my business to be? Where do I want to be personally? Focusing on the macro feels less overwhelming than a micro checklist, so that's how I tend to approach it.”

As you look to 2022, how are you beginning this year specifically? Are there goals you hope to achieve? Learnings you plan to apply?

“Keep the patient energy. More often than not, everyone is doing their best so rather than assume the worst or get frustrated because something isn't going your way, always assume the best and let people prove you wrong. In doing so and changing the tone, it's been incredible to see the relationships and things we've built in the last year.”

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