Fresh New Year, New Resolutions

I usually start the year with a Resolution or Goals post.

I know people shrug their shoulders at New Year’s resolutions (“why bother?”) and this Popular Science article talks about why our brains make following resolutions so difficult. I watch my Hauteyoga studio and healthclub Zum become crowded in January, only to taper off in February and March. So why do I persist in something that can seem so fruitless?

tsavorite ring by Rephinery

New Year, New Ring!

Quite simply, for me, stating an intention really works. As a lover of words, I feel that they have power. Once you express yourself, you make it real by saying it out loud to someone else, or writing it down.

One of the main reasons resolutions can fail to motivate people is that we focus on what we haven’t achieved in the past. So I choose to focus on what has worked for me. Previous year’s resolutions to stick to yoga and green smoothies have been successful (I still have a variation of this green smoothie nearly every day). For the past few years, I’ve had a list of words to use as mantras that I filter through, like Ease, Play, and Fearless. Last year my mantra was “Dream Big” with the subtext of “and get shit done” because without that part, dreams just stay ethereal and unrealized.

Pink garnets from Tanzania, some of the last gems I received from Gichuchu Okeno.

Venice, January 2016.

It can be nice, and also a little humbling, to sit and reflect about what worked and notably DIDN’T in a year. Reflecting on 2016, there was a particular rhythm of joy and loss in 2016. Almost as soon as I posted about Words and Intentions last year, INDESIGN published an essay I wrote about the meaning and importance behind jewelry. A couple of weeks later while in Italy with colleagues, we received the news that Cindy Edelstein, a mentor of many and champion of jewelry designers, had passed away. Also in 2016, ANZA Gems really took off and we were starting to achieve my goal of more vocational training and support in East Africa, but in March my friend and Kenyan gem dealer Gichuchu Okeno died unexpectedly. Throughout the year, even as I learned I can ask the universe for anything I’m willing to work for, I was also reminded of the realities that life can extract. Sometimes success looks like three steps forward, two steps back.
Erika Winters for ANZA Gems

A gorgeous garnet pendant by Erika Winters for ANZA Gems. Photo by the talented Erika Winters.

Dorothee Gizenga

A highlight of 2016 was seeing Dorothee Gizenga of the Diamond Development Initiative speak at the Jewelry Industry Summit in NYC. Click for post about the Summit.

So at the start of a shiny new year, the eternal optimist in me still finds hope and beauty top of mind. But there is a lining, a thread stitching some holes together in my heart. Since this is me, you get a jewelry analogy: that thread is platinum, as platinum is extremely malleable, durable and has incredible tensile strength. It doesn’t corrode. And it can stretch to hold everything and still be supremely strong.
Ruth Batson

Loved interviewing women leaders in the jewelry industry in 2016, like Ruth Batson, outgoing CEO of the American Gem Society. Click for article.

My husband Dave and I in a mine in Tanzania in August 2016. Click for article.

Here is what will guide me through 2017. What are YOUR Words, Intentions, and Resolutions for the new year? I want to know!

WRITE like my life depends on it. Not just about jewelry, but other thoughts as well. I’m not going to use the phrase “Journal More” because I feel like that term has been loaded as a resolution that begs to be abandoned. There is nothing so sad as a journal with a perky cover that is 90% empty. I will write on my phone’s Notes application if I have to, a napkin at a coffee shop, this blog. #Justwrite.

Focus on Connections. Work will always be there. And I won’t remember the project I thought was so critical in the coming months or years. But I will remember getting together, picking up the phone to speak or Facetime someone, or writing an actual note.

Tackle the PITA* administrative stuff with zeal. Of course, no one likes to do the admin stuff necessary to running a life or business. I have a particular talent or tendency to procrastinate these things to the point of panic. But I have found that if I change my mindset to “I am capable and smart and can figure this out” the same way I tackle other major challenges in my life, it makes a world of difference. So, first up: passwords (signed up for LastPass) and taxes. Wish me luck.
*Pain In The Ass.

Assume the best, and aspire to compassion. I’m trying to see other people’s actions and words through this lens. I think I might be failing at this already, a few days into 2017. But I’m going to TRY.

Peace out, everyone. Now tell what YOU’RE thinking!


ANZA Gems, July 2016.

Barbara Palumbo Adornmentality

Rooting for my friend and fellow writer Barbara Palumbo, aka @adornmentality, for the Women’s Jewelry Association Award for Excellence in Media, July 2016.

Vicente Agor Precious ANZA Gems

I’m lucky to work with friends like jewelry designers Vicente Agor and Michael Pfeffer, creators of this ring around a rough Aquamarine from ANZA Gems.


My girls at Coachella, April 2016.

Highlight of 2016: a speaking engagement and visit to the vault at the Harvard Museum of Natural History and this necklace of tourmalines–all from Maine!

A moving moment with a woman miner in the Tanga region of Tanzania in November 2016.

Share Your Thoughts!