16 Inspiring Locals Share Their Best Resolutions Yet

We'll give you this: New Year's resolutions can get real ambitious, real quick. Suddenly, on January 1, after stuffing our faces for weeks, we're going to wake up early and work out? And, give up processed foods? And, try to shop less, relax more, and be "in the moment" at all times? C'mon, now — we're only human. Sticking with those resolutions would bring us to a Gwyneth Paltrow-level life perfection. Translation: Not gonna happen.
But, what we can do is this: Set reasonable goals and give ourselves a clear road map to get us to our own personal goop-y finish line. For a little motivation, we checked in with some of the DMV's most inspiring movers-and-shakers to see what they're hoping to achieve in 2014 — and how. Read on for some real talk that'll help you have the best year yet.
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Catherine Zinn and Raelynn Johnson, owners of NEAT Method

Zinn: "Learn how to be a homeowner. Since my recent home purchase, it has come to my attention that I would benefit greatly from acquiring a few handyman skills. I need to expand my DIY expertise beyond home organization and decor to pipes, drills, and yard work."

Johnson: "To manage my workout schedule as effectively as my business calendar. By implementing my color-coding skills, setting aside designated time slots, and planning my schedule around them, I will be able to hold myself accountable and achieve a healthier lifestyle."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Victoria Milko, photographer and partner at Wild Hand Workspace

"In 2014, I have plans to travel across nearly every time zone for a personal photojournalism project. My resolution for the New Year is to continue to follow through with this project, while making every effort to work as hard as I can to properly capture and pay due respect to the people and stories that unfold in front of my lens.

"I’m fortunate enough to have friends, family, and collaborators that regularly check in on me to see what progress I’ve made on this project, which constantly keeps me motivated to keep pursuing this project and, in turn, pursue my dreams."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Aba Kwawu, owner of The Aba Agency

"I stopped doing the typical New Year's resolutions about 10 years ago because, like most people, I would stick to the plan for about three months and then fall back into my old ways. I've started making life changes throughout the year and standing by the resolutions, whether they be in July or October. My life is insanely busy and in order to keep up with myself, I need to be super strong across all areas — so my 'resolution theme' for 2014 is strength.

"I am working on physical strength and have enlisted the help of a trainer who is hardcore and not the least bit fazed by my whining over burpees. I've also added the support of a nutritionist to help me discover really amazing new foods and help me keep my promises.

"I'm committed to strengthening my relationships both personal and professional, as well. There are so many amazing people in my work and personal life, and my plan is to be more mindful and take the time to listen, connect (outside of social media), and get to know people.

"Lastly, I believe it is difficult to maintain my feverish pace of life without being mentally and spiritually strong. Focusing on my spiritual growth with apps like YouVersion and giving of my time and resources to build up others is critical in 2014."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, founders of Georgetown Cupcake

Berman: "My New Year's resolution for 2014 is to try to slow down and smell the roses — this past year has been so chaotic! From operating six Georgetown Cupcake locations across the country to giving birth to my first child, it has been a nonstop marathon of activity! I want to spend this year really taking the time to enjoy everything that I have accomplished. I look to my daughter, Isis, to help keep this resolution, because she is growing so fast that I am constantly being reminded to really slow down and relish these precious moments we have together."

LaMontagne: "My New Year's resolution is to take a family vacation! [This] was a crazy busy year for us, [and] we weren't able to take any time off to travel. I'm planning a special vacation to a place where we can get some inspiration for some new cupcake flavors and bring the entire family, so that we can all get some much needed R&R, too! It won't be hard to keep this resolution, because the entire family is already pressing me to book their travel arrangements!"
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Isabella Polles, owner of Via Gypset

"In 2014, I would like to get more sleep by breaking up with my late-night Bravo boyfriend, Andy Cohen. In addition, I would love to find more time to travel...maybe with more sleep, I'll be able to dream up a plan."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Kim Putens, co-owner of Bellacara

"My resolution for 2014 is to make myself a priority. I am a mom, a wife, a business owner with three storefronts, and an executive in a management consulting firm. I always put work and my family ahead of myself — that needs to change in 2014. I need to — and intend to — carve out time to make myself a priority."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Maurisa Potts, owner of Spotted MP

"As a working mom running my boutique marketing/PR practice, it's important for me to utilize the power of 'no' in order to achieve a better balance of work time/family time/me time. The freedom to choose how to manage my time in a way that benefits not only me, but my company, community, and family/friends is very important to me. To achieve this, I will challenge myself to not rush to a decision or an answer without fully making myself aware of the pros and cons. Allowing myself to say 'no' doesn't make me weak, but most likely makes me stronger.

"There should always be a zest for life and a zeal to try new things. You are never too old to learn something new or pick something up [again]. My 80-year-old aunt learned how to swim in her 70s. Hitting 40 this year triggered a master 'bucket list' of things I want to do in 2014: [pick] up my love for dance, [learn] to swim better, travel more, and learn a new language. Learning new things is the easiest way of keeping open the window to your mind."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Anna Fuhrman, owner of Proper Topper

"In 2014, I resolve to: Answer emails before they fall off my screen (and sprout wings and float through my head tauntingly on sleepless nights). Write actual pen-to-paper notes to people I think of, when I think of them — or at least closer to that time than never, which is the current time frame. Keep a daily garden journal. (My husband has resolved to photograph it daily, so maybe we can keep each other on track!) Call my mom and dad every day. Breathe big, deep yoga breaths, and follow my favorite yoga instructor's advice: Inhale 'let,' exhale 'go.'"
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Ada Polla, owner of Alchimie Forever

"This year, my wish is to find inner calm and stillness. In a world that is ever-changing, where information moves ever faster, silence and stillness are the utmost luxuries. I will work to not let my electronic devices control me; I will work to enjoy being still; I will attempt to not always be doing something."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Lauren Rothman, stylist and author of Style Bible: What to Wear to Work

"Wear less black, add more color. Learn to master my own blowout. Turn off the TV and turn on the family dance party. (Hip hop!)"
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Stephanie Breijo, photographer and assistant editor at Brightest Young Things

"As a chronic resolution breaker, I rarely make New Year's resolutions when January rolls around. Each year, I swear it will be different — it really will! I will stop buying frozen taquitos. I will keep my nails manicured, and marathon-watch something (anything) other than The Twilight Zone in my spare time.

"But, 2013 was an exceptionally productive year, and it's only motivating me to keep going harder, better, faster, etc., and make goals I really feel driven to follow through. Come next year, I'm striving for more photo documentaries and long-form pieces up on Brightest Young Things, as well as designated magazine and think-piece reading time each week — which is always important in terms of staying abreast of trends and, quite honestly, entirely necessary for keeping one's sanity. More work, more relaxation. Hopefully 2014 will be the year of perfect balance for both."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Holley Simmons, lifestyle and dining editor at Washington Post Express

"For yeeeears I’ve vowed to stop biting my nails. I think 2014 will be the year I set my sights on a more realistic goal: to cook at home more often. On nights I’m not eating out for my job, I crave simple, healthy dishes full of flavor. I’ll get by with a little help from one of my favorite cookbooks: One Good Dish by David Tanis."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Cathy Chung and Katerina Herodotou, owners of Treasury and Meeps

Chung: "My resolution is to become more connected to my community by opening myself up to new places, people, and happenings."

Herodotou: "I'm resolving to be slower, more mindful, and more deliberate in the next year. I want to stop rushing and cramming a million obligations into my days and start taking my time."