1/7/15

The 2015 Resolutions

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I know there are a lot of New Year's Resolution doubters and haters, but I'm a believer. I'm a Resolution Person. They motivate me to make improvements in my habits, and even if I make a few missteps along the way, I still end up heading in the direction I want to go. On Monday I recapped my 2014 goals and renewed some of them (here), and today it's my 2015 edition.


1. Shop Smarter

At the end of December, I did a major closet clean out. It felt great when I was finished, but at the same time, it really made me re-assess my shopping habits. Some closet turnover is natural, but blogging and Instagramming definitely made me spend more than I would have before. I hate to admit that and I'm certainly not proud of it, but it's true. It's just much easier to find new things to blog about when you have new things in your wardrobe!

I knew I was going to need a realistic plan for improvement. I can't just say I want to "Shop Smarter," because that's too vague and doesn't give me anything specific to measure my progress. This was the hardest resolution for me to finalize, but I think I have a plan:
  • The Budget: First, I've always had a clothing budget and I've used an app to track my budget as long as I've had a smart phone, so this isn't an entirely new thing. But with the holidays I got completely off track, and the first thing I'm doing this year is getting back on my budget. I use an app on my phone called GoodBudget. It allows me to set budget amounts for various categories and each time I make a purchase, I enter the amount I spent into the app. It automatically deducts the expense and shows me how much I have left to spend in the pay period as shown in this example:
(Image via GoodBudget)

  • The Shopping List: The second part of my Shop Smarter plan for 2015 is to keep two wardrobe shopping lists in my phone (using an App called Meteor Notes).  The primary list is the Shopping List. Items in this list are the ones I've carefully selected to have a place in my wardrobe. They might be a One-Away item (meaning I've Pinned something where I have everything in that look except the one item on my list), or a replacement for something worn out, or just something I really like that fits my style.  If I have money in the clothing budget, I can shop for these items.
(Left: Sample Shopping List / Center: Image via Old Navy/ Right: Image via Romwe)

For example, on the Shopping List above I put "Light Gray Cover Up." In the center I have an image of this pin. I already have a pink cami just like the one pictured and could wear the Light Gray Cover Up with that cami. I also have a "Marled Black London" sweater on the Shopping List, and on the far right is a flat lay of my One-Away Pin. (I have something similar everything to pictured except the sweater.)
  • The Want List: My second list will be a Want List. These are items I see on blogs or Instagram or in-store that I suddenly think I want/need, but I haven't thought through how exactly I will wear them or if I might already have something really similar. When I put something on this list, I need to spend some time on Pinterest or looking through my closet to see how I can actually use it. If I decide it works, I can move it to the shopping list. If it's redundant or I eventually forget why I wanted it in the first place, I'll just delete it.

For example, I have Gray Converse on my Want List. I already own Black & White Converse and am not entirely convinced I can justify a gray pair, too. So for now, I won't be purchasing them unless I can find an outfit (or two!) where they would work but my black and white ones would not.

This was more complicated and long-winded to write out than I think it actually will be in practice! The ultimate goal for me is just to keep my spending in check and make thoughtful purchases, and I think these steps will help me improve. (Also, I'll just say right now that The Shopping List and Want List will go out the window with a 50% off sale at Express! At that point it's only about The Budget!)


2. The Shopping Diet
Just like there are food diets that restrict entire food groups (anyone remember the Atkins diet?), sometimes I try to refine my spending by eliminating certain clothing groups that are just not "me" or I know I already have enough of them. So in 2015 I'm planning to avoid purchasing the following:
(Images via Lauren Conrad)
  • Polka Dot Anything: In the final closet purge of 2014, I parted ways with all my polka dots. I've accepted that I'm just not a polka dot person. and will avoid purchasing this print in 2015.
  • Vests: I've never owned one of these and have gone back and forth about getting one. But no matter how cute they look on others, I think they are just not me. I am trusting my instincts on this and don't want to try one on and accidentally change my mind! 
  • Turtlenecks/Cowl Necks: My neck itches and I feel my breathing passages restricting just looking at them. I have seen some really cute chunky knit sweater turtlenecks on other bloggers and they are tempting, but I must resist or I will regret it for sure.
  • Colored Jeans: I think this trend is slowly dying (and so did a lot of people in my Trend Report), so I don't want to acquire any new colors this year. My fall/winter colored jeans (like burgundy and plum) survived my closet purge, but this might be the last season I wear them. 
  • Scarves: I loved scarves last fall/winter and bought several that I wore a lot. Then I cut my hair  to just above my shoulders, and now scarves and hair do not play well together. Occasionally I'll wear my hair in a ponytail, and in that case I can add a scarf. But I have plenty to choose from already, so I don't need to buy any more this year.

3. Be Authentic
At the beginning of this blog, I really wanted to show anyone who stumbled on this page that my favorite store has something for pretty much everyone no matter your personal style or lifestyle. But over time and after learning a few things about blogging by trial and error, I have let that go. I now think that's a goal better suited for the Express marketing department rather than for me as a blogger. I have a lot more fun using this site to connect with people who have similar style and interests. And making those connections includes sharing mine, and not worrying if they overlap with anyone and everyone else. I'm sure some things I like are going to be basic and boring to some people, or immodest, irreverent or impractical for others. And I don't think that makes any of us right or wrong. It's just life! It's simply not possible to please everyone all the time, and it's not very fun to keep trying.  My goal now is just to keep this fun, to keep it realistic and down-to-earth (especially in terms of clothes and outfits I feature), and to keep making connections. If we happen to overlap a little in style or shopping habits or anything else, I'm glad you found me and I hope you'll keep coming back!



Linking up with:
 Alison Lindsey / Grace / Elizabeth / Brenna / Victoria / Shanna / Tara / JoLynne
Friday Favorites: ErikaAndrea and Narci

CONVERSATION

41 comments:

  1. I love how you broke down each goal and found app's to help you! I'm going to download both of those! I also like your shopping diet items! I don't know if I could stop buying scarves though!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  2. I looooove this post. I am with you on the shopping diet, I have all the vest I want and need. And we already had the colored jeans talk lol. This year I really want to work on being a smart shopper and the main goal is to avoid impulse purchases. I personally only want to add classic/statement pieces that I will own for a long time. Wishing us luck!

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  3. love love love this.
    i have a similar post in my drafts which i'm not even sure i will post but was therapeutic getting it out. i am sick of going over budget, buying things that aren't my style or don't work in my life. vests and i are over, i got rid of all my coloured jeans - they just aren't me. it's better to be truer to yourself, like you said.

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  4. Great post - I enjoyed reading through how you think through your resolutions. Definately tips here I can think through for myself. Right now, I'm making it a goal to use what's already in my closet and repeating what I recently saw on Facebook..."What are you currently obsessing about? Give it a month and you won't even remember it"...I like this because it's very true for me...no impulses :-) I too found myself buying more with this past year and blogging...I think I'm exposed to more things bc I follow more blogs than ever before, but this is the time to really think any new purchases through before buying on impulse.
    Kellie @ www.ie-style.com

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  5. Loving this resolutions, I need to make some serious blogging/shopping resolutions as well! Great post.

    xo, Jasmin
    www.jasmindaily.com

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  6. Budgeting better is high on my resolution list! I can't wait to start using that app to help me along the way. We are saving for a house so I need to stop eating out so much.

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  7. I really enjoyed reading your "don't" list. I tried on a couple turtleneck sweaters this past weekend but ultimately decided against them. I was only buying them for "blog land" and not my real life and it wasn't worth the money. I may try again if the price is right, but I held off for the time being! I keep shopping lists of things in my phone that I really want, too. I especially do this for beauty items because I seem to always forget what the brand or shade is I want when it is time to stock up!
    www.amemoryofus.com

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  8. I love this, thanks for sharing! I have had a clothing budget for some time, and it really helps me stay on track. My husband is a major finance nerd, so we use mint.com to categorize and track everything. It has an app too, so I can check it. I keep a shopping list on my phone too which helps me try to stay on track. Although I have not officially done it like you, I had decided on several things I will not buy. Polka dots, colored jeans, and puffer type vests also made mine. I love it! They seem a little too girly for my personal taste. I do love turtlenecks this season though. It is hard to admit, but I think blogging makes me want to shop more too. Ugh...

    Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

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  9. I loved this post. Thanks for sharing the apps you use to organize your budget and loved how you know yourself and am committed to not buying certain looks that are not you even if some would look good for the blog.

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    1. Thank you Amy! I'm so glad you found this post helpful. :)

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  10. I'm super glad I'm not the only one that has a budget app, my budget app is Mint, and thanks to that app, I realize how much I spend. I never had a clothing budget until I started blogging about fashion, and now I found that even that is not enough to keep up with every trend, BUT I do have other goals like being completely debt free by May 2016, and having an emergency fun around the same time. So remix will play a huge part of my fashion blog for at least then. That is why doing a "clothing" list is something I need to do, and will do soon. Thanks for sharing your thoughts; they always make me feel a little better about the direction I'm going.

    Kreyola Jounerys | Instagram

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  11. Great goals! I'm going to be doing a huge closet purge towards the end of this month too. I've just acquired so much stuff!! I swear I don't even wear half of it. I think the things that I will have to tell myself "no more" on is definitely going to be anything tribal print. I've got sooo much of it! I definitely agree with you feeling on turtlenecks...I just can't do it. Cowls are okay and I own a few but not the super tight turtlenecks.

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  12. Great goals! Love your honesty! I purge my closet so much and I still have many clothes to wear, it's amazing!
    Stephanie
    Positively Stephanie

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  13. This is amazing, I need to write this down as well haha :)

    http://floralsandsmiles.blogspot.ca/

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  14. Great ideas...I have always sucked at staying within my clothing budget but have gotten better about buying with intention.

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  15. This was great gina, as I knew it would be! I loved your breakdown, and may steal your shopping strategy! Keeping spending in check is something a lot of people struggle with, myself included. I used to buy aimlessly, and that's the worst thing I could have done. I appreciate your honesty, and I will try out this method. And you always come across as authentic :)

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  16. I love the organization, especially that app. I just download it so hopefully I can keep my spending on a budget. I started a smaller budget and started saving, but at the same time I feel like I'm not saving much.

    -Vogue&Heels
    www.vogueandheels.com

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  17. Really enjoyed reading this post ! Xx admire how you record everything especially with apps!! Xx happy new year and good luck, I know I will need it with some of my resolutions :D Check out my new blog post! I'm in need of some followers, thank you! X http://xbeyoutifulx.blogspot.co.uk

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  18. Love your budget app, I definitely need to start using one on my phone to track spending because it's always out of control 0:-)

    I also like the idea of a wants list which will keep me in check while out shopping. Great list!

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  19. Loved reading this and could totally relate to so much of it!! I really need to do a shopping diet---CI cannot buy one more scarf, or one more pair of printed pants that I don't need (because I have a gazzilion similar items in my closet) ha!

    Tori
    FashionBlingGirlyThings

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  20. Great post, I agree you should just do YOU, cause that's what all of us loyal followers flock here every other day to see and you and your style are awesome! I like those two apps you mentioned, I'd love to give them a try!

    www.dressed2dnines.com

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  21. Happy New Year Gina!! Great post and so helpful, I've never heard of those app's before. I agree about being true to yourself, I think with blogging it's sometimes hard because you have that I have to "keep up with" feeling but in the end I think your true readers want to see more of you. I know my style is more on the casual side and I sometimes worry that it may be boring or not glam enough but then I remind myself that one of the main reasons I started my blog was to show everyday style, that is hopefully relatable and realistic for women.
    Marta
    www.sweatersstripesandsweets.com

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  22. These are perfect, all three hit home with me! #1 ESPECIALLY, which is what I am working on. I am sure you will succeed!

    Eleventh & Sixteenth

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  23. I am so guilty of perusing Pinterest and then impulse buying because of the one-away items. I was one at least 5 sites this past weekend but I held strong and didn't buy anything. This is huge for me! I definitely don't need any more winter pieces (except for one more coat when the clearance sales start). I also love your last point. Late last year I started to dread doing posts - I hated my outfits, I had total writers block, and I got away from DIY which I truly love. I lost my "spark" and my true self. I need to go back to just being me which I am now trying to do. Okay, I totally didn't expect this to be a confession but this just resonated with me.

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  24. These are great resolutions! I'm so guilty of not sticking to my shopping budget but I really like the plan you've laid out to achieve your goals. I should create a list of what I need (but that would really be nothing...). I'm also trying to find my voice and figure out how to maintain it as I try to grow my blog.
    Good luck with these resolutions! I think we can all support each other to achieve what we have laid out.

    Nicole
    Nicole to the Nines

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  25. To shop smarter is a resolution we have in common, I really need to know on what to spend my money and invest it well so that's something I need to work asap and your tips were very useful.
    I wish you a great fashionable year!

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  26. Thanks for such a comprehensive post on how to maintain a budget. It's one of those things I say I will do... but don't end up doing properly. I make lists on my phone of what I want to buy, but using this app sounds way better and more organized. Thanks for sharing :)

    Mili

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  27. Such great ideas in this post! I love a good closet purge and really need to go about doing one sometime soon. I love the apps you have laid out here, especially the lists of items. I also love how you listed items to purge. I feel the same about scarves!

    Denise
    www.fashionloveletters.com

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  28. You rock! Always keep doing you because at the end of the day, it's your mind, body, and soul that benefits from every great and amazing decision you do, for you! I also want to say I promised my husband that I will no longer spend on clothes until black Friday. He laughed & doesn't think I can do it but I'm going to try really hard to keep to that. I have way too many items in my closet with tags and truth is, they stay this way until I do a closet purge. It's awful, it's wasteful. The bright side is once I do purge, I find oldies but goodies that I wore once or twice. A closet should only have about four or five of every type of item (i.g...4 diff white tops, 4 diff types of sweaters, and so on). But for jeans, you should have like a thousand. Now this is just my thought process...no way is it the rule. It's trial and error and this is my horror every year. And I'm rambling and acting like I have lots of time to comment this morning when I should be making my boys their lunch for school. Oh and good morning and good day! I SAID GOOD DAY!

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    Replies
    1. It's always a treat when you stop by!! And yes, I agree goals and limits on items are going to be different for everyone with our different lifestyles and tastes etc. Hopefully you and I can help each other stay on track this year. :)

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  29. I love your 2015 goals! You are so organized; a girl after my own heart.

    I too need to do a bit of a closet purge; there are way too many worn out t-shirts, blouses I don't wear, etc., that should go.

    Funny story about turtlenecks (because you mentioned 'em): I love them now and wear them all the time, but as a kid I HATED them. So, so much. And apparently, when I was 4 years old and my grandma was trying to bundle me up in a turtleneck, I said, "No, I can't wear turtlenecks because I was a cat in a former life and was choked to death." WHAT A WEIRD CHILD. Seriously. Haha. :)

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  30. I love that you are breaking down your wardrobe goals! I think have two lists is really a great idea because I'm such list breaker!
    xo Adri
    www.adrilately.blogspot.com

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  31. I love the way you formed your shopping resolutions!! Its so organized, i'm a little jealous! Its good to get items you know for sure you can use for several outfits with things you already have. The items being cute just isn't enough. I will not be shopping any collabs this year, i never keep the stuff!

    Cha Cha The Fashion Genius

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  32. I have to look up the apps you use, they seem neat. I have been on a shopping stop since the beginning on this year, not a resolution , but generally I seem to have lost interest in buying and hoarding stuff just because I want it vs I need it. I am now trying to get back to working with what I have, which is how i had started blogging to beging with, to showcase outfits with pieces I owned, not new stuff each week. I need to do a purge to clean out stuff I never wore last year and either replace them or let them be gone. Thanks for the motivation and for sharing this. Always a pleasure reading your insightful posts
    xx

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  33. Nice post :)

    http://byfoxygreen.blogspot.sk/

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  34. I loved this post & love how you broke down the items & even found the apps to help you.
    I've always just kind of been.. love it, buy it (within reason) but getting so much better about shopping my closet, making lists, etc. Loved your tips & thoughts.

    Andrea @ mommainflipflops.com

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  35. Great post! I love both of those apps, never heard of either of them but I am going to check them out now! I love the idea of a shopping diet! Very smart! I am way behind on my resolutions and I see so many good ideas! Thanks for the inspiration!
    Marianne
    www.goodgirlgoneglam.com

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  36. OK, you can blame my sickness on me not reading this yesterday. I started to in the car like normal, but I was just ugggh, and I wanted to digest all of this goodness properly!
    I love the idea of a wish list vs a shopping list. I have a shopping list, too, but it is one in the same with the wish list. That is a great way to save money by keeping them separate - thoughtful purchases for the win!
    I also like your little epiphany at the end when you realized you don't HAVE to be an Express marketing manager. Although to be honest, I never felt that you were not authentic in what you were highlighting on your blog - I think just showcasing all the things you love from Express proves that Express is worth shopping. I think it has a stigma that it is more like a Bebe or something like that, when in actuality, there are a ton of "normal" clothes that are still on trend but not one-season-disposable. Before we met, I will admit that I was a bit ashamed that I shopped so much there because of this reputation it seems to have. But you have made me PROUD to shop there and excited to share all my goodies with you! And now I love you even beyond our Express addiction, and I know that was the goal of your blog all along, right?
    Anyway - sorry for the soliloquy! Just really loved the post!
    Carylee | more pieces of me
    Enter the $225 Nordstrom Giveaway HERE!

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  37. I completely adore resolutions posts (because they help inspire me...I haven't made my list yet but I plan on it!)...I love how the New Year is a time to re-set and see what changes you should make.

    I love your idea of one-away and a want list - it's a good way to plan and really think before committing to a purchase.

    Also - your view of blogging is mine exactly - you usually end up reading people you trust and who share similar tastes to you - and it's good to not let yourself be limited or try to be all things to all people - there's a place for everyone :-)

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  38. I absolutely share your thoughts about smart shopping - and not only clothes shopping! I find myself so many times buying so many useless stuff at supermarket or drugstores, I totally need to work on those spontaneous buying habit of mine! Thanks for sharing your great tips!


    Oly | TLV Birdie Blog
    http://tlvbirdie.com

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