January thinks it’s hot stuff with all its resolutions and determined energy, but I think February is a way better month for rebooting your life. After all, you’ve had a minute to get used to how the new year feels, to get a sense for the vibes, to really mellow after all the craziness of the holidays. You’ve got a better sense of what you want and need in the next twelve months. Plus what else are you going to do while it’s cold and rainy and that groundhog is convincing you that you’ll never see sunshine or warmth again? Resolutions are the perfect way to kick the last of winter’s ass so that you’ll be ready to hit the ground running into your new normal as soon as spring is here.

My dear friend Hannah Messinger of the blog Nothing But Delicious declared that she has but two resolutions for 2015: drink more whiskey, eat less kettle corn. I love her approach to resolutions. Simple, easy to stick to, and, true to her blog title, full of delicious. It got me thinking about what my whiskey resolutions are this year. Not just resolutions involving actual whiskey, but those in the spirit of the drink. Here’s the ten I intend to live by:

1. Get adventurous with simple syrups. My roommate recently invented a cocktail that involves turmeric ginger simple syrup, made at home from herbal tea. It was amazing to discover a whole new flavor palate!

2. Avoid social situations where you feel like you have to drink as a buffer against something uncomfortable. Relish and seek out social situations where the warmth of a good drink in your belly is equal to the warmth your companions build in your heart.

3. Keep my whiskey in a suitable and deserving container. Ever since I put the every day stuff into a crystal decanter from the thrift store, I feel like my whole life is elevated to a level of fanciness unaffected by my ability to pay my electric bill.

4. Drink less, but better. Life is too short for handles of Evan Williams.

5. Eat food equal to your whiskey. You wouldn’t take a beautiful, finely crafted bourbon and pair it with a Big Mac. You might have it with some nicely seasoned rice and beans. It’s not the cost of the food or the pretension, but it is about the quality of intentions.

6. Speaking of pairings, I want 2015 to be the year I try more whiskeys and learn to pair them with food the same way I know what to do with wine.

7. Live a life equal to whiskey. When I drink whiskey, I feel adventurous. It makes me feel smart. It makes me feel warm and generous and like a total badass heroine. It’s not the whiskey, though, it’s the fact that I’m doing something special that gives me a chance to focus on myself and what I like best about me and the people with whom I share my life. So even when I’m sipping tea, I want to live the kind of life worth celebrating with my favorite rye or Scotch. More travel. More friends. More cuddles. More being strong and smart and uncool.

8. Cook with whiskey more. That stuff is great in cake frosting (). It melts into pork. Maple bourbon ice cream sounds like a treat. It makes chili kicky. I want to incorporate my favorite whiskies into my favorite foods. Why just drink it when you can eat it too?

9. Discover new whiskey cocktails. Sure, bourbon gingers are my old reliable, and Sazeracs my go-to festive beverage. But what about all the whiskey drinks I haven’t fully explored? Let 2015 be the year of Su Jung Kwa, Alpine Rabbits, Pedro’s Revolver, Whiskey Rebelions, Baltimore Bangs, Whiskey Sours, French Connections, Rhubarb Smashes, Old Fashioneds, Vampire Blues, and Suffering Bastards.

10. Bring out the aspects of my personality that I like in my drink. I want to be warm and edgy, complex and flavorful, inspire good stories, and bring people together. And that’s how I want this year to turn out, too.

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Meghan O’Dea believes in three things above all: writing, witchcraft, and whiskey. Writing for giving people a voice no matter what their story, witchcraft for celebrating strong, smart women overcoming adversity and limitations, whiskey for being the magic elixir that helps the words flow sweet and the magic of female friendship burn even brighter. Meghan lives in a one hundred year old bungalow with a pack of spooky cats and too many books. She writes personal essays and journalism pieces, teaches and guest lectures, and travels whenever possible. She can also be found cooking, hiking, and collecting crystals.