I have a track record of starting projects and never finishing them. From memoirs I began writing in high school that now exist on a dusty flash drive shoved into the back of a drawer to daily photo series I shot in college that I missed too many sunsets of to come back from to countless leather-bound journals that sit on a shelf with more clean pages than worn. I rarely see my work to fruition for one reason or another. Breaking that streak is something I’ve been working on, but, you know, don’t hold your breath.
Last year was a big one for me. I traveled a bunch, landed my first job as a journalist, and moved into my own apartment. I started writing and reporting and editing again, and I remembered how much I loved and missed connecting with people, telling their stories and piecing together a newspaper from scratch.
I settled into a routine that simultaneously felt new and familiar; I started cooking and reading again and for the first time in a long time, I felt like I was finding my footing.
Last year was also a rough one. I lost my grandpa, gave toxic people and unhealthy relationships the power to make me bitter, and outgrew most of the places I used to call home.
New Year’s resolutions were never an integral part of my life. I’ve always been indifferent; some years I’d scribble down a few goals in my planner and some years I wouldn’t even bother. True to form, I never held myself accountable. On the rare occasions that I did resolve to work out or eat healthier or read more or study better, I’d find myself slipping by February and giving up by March. It didn’t really matter.
But there was something different about this year. All the negativity I associated with 2015 made welcoming the dawn of a new day a celebration in itself, and for the first time in a long time, I felt a surge of motivation to break the streak of breaking my streak. I wanted to make a small gesture to guarantee myself 52 weeks’ worth of something to work toward and look forward to, regardless of what shape 2016 ended up taking.
I decided to make my resolution a tangible one. I tend to mentally negotiate my way out of achieving abstract goals, so I set one that I could count on, and in turn, be held accountable for.
Thus birthed the idea for 100 Doughs of Daynuts.
The goal is simple: Eat 100 doughnuts in 2016.
The only stipulation is I can’t eat the same doughnut twice. I have to eat 100 different doughnuts within the entire year, translating to roughly two doughnuts a week. Since doughnuts are pretty trendy these days, with artisanal bakeries — some chain, some independent — dotted around New York City, all boasting to offer the most original, groundbreaking flavor profile, I doughnut think tracking down 100 different goodies is going to be a daunting task. And yes, I did just make a doughnut pun. Don’t worry, there’s a hole lot more where that came from.
To help hold myself accountable (and for all doughnut lovers’ viewing pleasure), I created an Instagram profile and Tumblr blog to track my adventures. I publish an update around twice a week, providing information about both the doughnut itself and the vendor. I also post about any interesting doughnut-related news, including information about a $100 doughnut currently being sold at a Filipino restaurant in Brooklyn (should I set up a DoughFundMe for the grand finale?), and coverage of New York’s first official Donut Fest.
Setting a goal and inching closer and closer to completing it is a feeling I’ve forgotten, but it’s one that I enjoy. Even if my goal is as menial and seemingly insignificant as sitting down with a doughnut at the beginning, middle or end of the week, it gives me a chance to write, photograph, and — my favorite part — eat.
This is one New Year’s resolution I doughnut want to break.