Peter Cheung Reveals His New Year's Resolutions For 2021
I don’t even recall any of last year’s resolutions, but it’s safe to say they’d been forgotten by the end of January. Navigating this not-so-new normal is going to take a steely mindset and a strict set of rules. After a blur-year of blur-days and blur-months, here are my new year’s resolutions to rocket into 2021 with verve and vitality. Hold me to them!
1/10 Out of the frying pan...
Yes, I have packed on Covid weight (and so have you). It might have been acceptable last year but now the gut has got to go. Not just for vanity; last year my blood pressure and cholesterol levels went out of whack. I even had my first bout of gout, after which a friend tried to console me by saying I should be proud, as it means that I know how to indulge and enjoy life. They say weight loss is 80 per cent down to diet, and that means the basics: don’t even look at carbs and, “Hellooo, my dear friend broccoli”.
2/10 ...into the fire
Learning how to cook healthy meals will help me lose weight. I can make a mean fried rice (lots of eggs and Spam are needed for the ultimate), but can’t indulge anymore. My friends know that when I “make dinner”, it usually means making a great reservation: my kitchen is usually where I store my offseason clothes. I treated my closest friends to a Shake ’n Bake special at my last dinner party at home back in 2002. Shockingly, not many have come around since. However, I have decided to stop the insanity and I will stock my pantry with food items, learn how to cook something healthy and—bonus points—edible. Don’t be scared if I invite you over this year.
3/10 A life less sparkling
My friends know I enjoy champagne, and lots of it. A friend recently told me: “When I see a photo of you on social media, you seem to always have a champagne glass in hand.”
Fizzing flutes just seem to gravitate towards me at restaurants or events, even when not requested. On many an occasion, a waiter has followed me throughout an entire event with a bottle of champagne. That’s service, but not to my waistline. Let me go one month without it and see how the pounds drop off. Green tea, anyone?
4/10 It's a match
Last year I did do one healthy thing: rekindle my passion for tennis. I was a competitive junior and a coach in my youth in Canada, but had not really set foot on a court for well over ten years. I enlisted a great coach, Stefan Yates, who has set me a goal to win a tournament this year. Although there is not much at stake at my age, I do hope to get a ranking in Hong Kong and reignite that competitive fire.
5/10 Turning the page
When I share “behind the scenes” memories from my career in fashion and luxury, I am always told I should write a book. I even have an editor friend who has offered to publish it. When US Vogue’s former editor-at-large André Leon Talley released his memoir The Chiffon Trenches, I got calls from around the world saying: “See! Now you have to write that book”. I don’t have as much drama as he did with Anna Wintour, but the truth is always stranger than fiction. Like André, I think I will release it when I am retired, because even if names are changed, you will know exactly whom I am talking about.
See also: The Most Anticipated Book Releases Of 2021
6/10 Slow and behold
As someone who races around, I never liked activities designed to slow me down. I fall asleep during meditation classes and never got into yoga. My friend Kaye Shu is a calligraphy instructor and when I took one of her classes several years ago, she used the term “living slow”. I never understood why. Who wants to live slow? Well, after a year of pause, I get it. I will resume classes with Kaye soon and I hope to enlist other teachers, like my friend Andrew Pang, who makes incredible Star Trek-inspired origami, and Denise Ho, who once tried to get me into knitting. Start getting excited for your birthday gift this year.
See also: 7 Meditation Apps To Calm And Guide Your Mind
7/10 Don't call me idle
After living slowly, I’ll need to balance with something fast. Back in the day, when my gang went clubbing nightly to hotspots like California, Club 97 and Propaganda, we would dance all night long. I have forgotten how fun it was to bust a move and imagine you’re nailing a dance routine while lip-syncing. Now I want to learn how to dance like a K-pop star. You might think BTS would be my bag but I am looking at Blackpink. Watch me channel Lisa’s moves and grooves.
8/10 Don't you know who I am?
I have a habit, when someone says “hi” to me and I have no idea who they are, to emit an enthusiastic “hello” followed by “how are you doing?” As the conversation continues, I try to buy time while I figure out the person’s name. If I have a friend in tow, I say, “Have you met my friend Rachel?” And that is the cue for the two to introduce themselves. Although this trick works a charm, I read that making an effort to remember people’s names helps with dementia, not to mention embarrassment. I die when they realise and say, “Peter, you don’t remember who I am, do you?” Gasp!
9/10 I just called to say
I don’t know about you but I am Zoomed out. It is a great tool for WFH, but I find Zoom parties so unnatural. I just don’t think anyone has a flattering angle with the focus on their chin. Incessant WhatsApp groups are getting to me too: you put your phone down for five minutes and come back to a ballistic onslaught of more than 50 messages. Recently, I had an impromptu, good old-fashioned telephone session with my friend Sharie Ross Tse while she was in hotel quarantine. An hour went by in a flash. Gossip cannot be done any other way. So don’t be alarmed if I call you. It’s not an emergency; I just have something juicy to impart.
10/10 Rule of the jewel
Home isolation, social distancing, dining restrictions, events cancellations? Pah! The true tragedy of this year is that all my jewellery and watches have not seen the light of day and have been stuck in the safe. That is not acceptable. I vow to wear more jewellery this year: every day and even with sweats. Bring out the bling!
See also: 5 Timepieces To Start Your Watch Collection, As Told By An Expert