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“Practice Joy”: New Year’s Resolutions From Kerry Washington, Rachel Brosnahan and More


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Gabrielle Union: “I stopped doing resolutions but started doing vision boards. My whole family does them now, on New Year’s Eve day. We set intentions for the year, our hopes, dreams and intentions. Some folks pray over them. Some folks meditate over them. Some folks just look at them, lovingly. Then we put them in our rooms or wherever we can see them every day. I keep mine in my bathroom. I keep the one from the previous year, too, in case the things that I put in motion the previous year come to pass in the current year.”

David Mandel, showrunner (Veep): “My New Year’s resolution is to try and make 2021 as good as 2020 was. Fingers crossed!”

Devon Sawa: “I just want to plant my feet down on the Earth in 2021 and pray that it’s better than 2020. I hope that we get back to a political landscape where it’s boring to hear what the president’s doing most of the time.”

Kevin Bacon: “I’m kind of a New Year’s resolution scrooge. I’m more of a day-to-day type of guy. I want to make sure that I’m going to read a chapter of this book today and then I can get through that. But if I make a New Year’s resolution that I’m going to read 30 books, I’ll never make it.”

Hans Zimmer, composer: “We [composers] didn’t even know there was a lockdown because all we do is sit at home and write music. Ok, that’s not true. I got COVID, I got sick as a dog and I truly, truly say to everybody, put your masks on, wash your fingers and don’t come near me. I don’t want people to look forward to 2021, because why should a date change make a difference? The only thing that will make a difference is that people will actually take things seriously and learn something and take responsibility not only for their own lives, but for everybody. Because, if there’s anything that we’ve learned is that we can infect anybody with something really, really bad. I’m not necessarily talking about a virus. I can be talking about thoughts. I could be talking about all sorts of things. So my resolution is to be aware of this, to be aware of each other. And for us all to do our duties as humans here.”

Kerry Washington: “One thing I really want to make sure that I do in 2021 is to practice joy. Like to really see joy and living fully as an act of resistance and strength because I realize in the last month or so how little I’ve been breathing for four years, how much I’ve been holding onto, the terror that has been imbedded in myself and it’s not, there’s no magic wand has been waved, there’s still a lot of work to do, but I’m going to be able to sustain that work if I’m practicing joy.”

Amy Ziering, documentary filmmaker (On the Record): “Practice anti-racism, make sure this crack in the universe doesn’t go away, which it will be tempted to do when things go back to normal, but actively encourage everyone I know of privilege to actively participate in being part of the solution instead of the problem.”

Stacy Abrams, producer (All In: The Fight for Democracy): “Mine’s easy: Win these two U.S. Senate runoff elections on Jan. 5.”

Rachel Brosnahan: “I resolve to answer text messages in a more timely fashion. I make that resolution every year, but I have to keep making it so that I keep working on it. I am bad and growing worse with age.”

Bess Kalb, screenwriter (Amazon’s Yearly Departed): “The resolution I have is when I am allowed out of the house again to actually take advantage of that. Because I know my tendency is to just remain where I am. So I resolve to get myself out of quarantine even when the world opens up.”

Rob Freeman, entertainment lawyer, Proskauer: “I typically would say to spend more time with my family but, given the pandemic and my working from home resulting in my being with them almost 24/7, they may want me to come up with something else!”

Elizabeth McNamara, entertainment lawyer, Davis Wright Tremaine: “Better Zoom lighting!”

Janie Bryant, costume designer (Deadwood: The Movie, Mad Men): “Something that I started doing a couple months ago in a real practice way are my meditations, every day, of thankfulness. That was brought on by COVID, and I decided I’m going to spend 10-20 minutes every single morning just being thankful and thinking about all of the things that I’m so grateful for. That has kind of spread over into my New Year’s resolutions. It’s amazing how that simple practice can totally change your life, your attitude, how you approach life, how you approach people, how it makes you feel. Honey, you have to practice that every day.”

Gabriel Yared, composer (The Life Ahead): “To be always as grateful to music than I’ve been so far. Music came to me in a family where there were no artists whatsoever. And I know I’m born for that. Music gave me so much. I just want to be grateful and to give her back.”


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