I’m not big on traditional New Years resolutions. Sure, I know that I could stand to lose a few — okay, 20 — pounds. I need to eat better. I need to exercise more. It’d be good if I watched less TV and read more books. Oh, and of course I’d like to find (make?) more time for writing as well. Those aren’t really resolutions though. That’d just setting myself up to fail. I will work to do all of those things though. Really. I will.

I do like to have somewhat-more-formal goals when it comes to my food and beverage hobby — a list of things I can check myself against throughout the year. It’s still a fluid list though. Things will be added. Things will fall off. Maybe I just have commitment issues?

Anyway, here’s my personal list of culinary goals for 2013. Many will impact NYCR either directly or indirectly.

Cook More
I know what you might be thinking — “I follow you on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, Lenn. You cook every day.” Yes, I do get breakfast and dinner on my family’s table most nights, but that’s not the kind of cooking I’m talking about. Before we had kids, my wife Nena and I would plan elaborate, days-to-prepare meals and dinner parties. Even when we just had one kid, we’d undertake time-intensive kitchen projects. Now it’s all about the quick and the easy.

Cooking — the non-hurried type — is like therapy for me. I want to make sure that I’m doing it at least once a month in 2013.

Publish at Least One Review Every Weekday
Again, this is a goal that hearkens back to my pre-fatherhood life, when I wrote at least a review every day for this website. I need to get back to that. It’s that simple.

Drink More Regional Wines
I drink a lot of New York wines already — obviously — so that’s not what I mean. I want to explore other off-the-beaten path regions. I’ve dabbled in places regions like Virginia and Michigan in the past, but I’d like to taste more of those wines. I’d like to examine wines from Texas, Missouri and Colorado more. Heck — I’d like to try some unique, not-the-norm wines from more established regions like California, Oregon and Washington too.

Explore Spirits and Cocktails
Looking around New York today, you can find spirits of seemingly every ilk coming from every corner. And I honestly don’t know enough about them to write about them or possibly even enjoy them to their fullest. I know how I like my whiskey — single ice cube, please — and I love gin and tonics in the summer. But beyond that, I’m just not that savvy. You can find dozens of artisanal bitters, grappas, vermouths, cordials and other spirits being produced in New York now. I want to not only learn more about them, but learn more about cocktails in general so I can enjoy them more.

Stop Treating NYCR Like a Hobby
When I first started blogging, it was primarily as a diversion for a somewhat-boring day-to-day work life. I needed a creative, non-tech outlet. It started as a hobby and has largely been treated like one for almost nine years. But, when life gets crazy (kids, busier day job, etc.) hobbies sometimes go on the back burner. That happened a lot in 2012, which is unfortunate.

2013 is the year that I start treating this website like a second job. It doesn’t pay much (yet) — but it never will if I don’t give it the time and effort that it deserves.

So there you have them — in writing. And you can hold me accountable along the way. In fact, please do. Happy new year, everyone.