The Inspired Mundane

reflections on life from a creative being made in the image of a Creator

Month: January 2017

How to Love Your Wardrobe

love your wardrobe

Perhaps you are familiar with this scenario: you’re standing in front of your stuffed wardrobe, frustrated at not being able to find your favorite top, and you don’t know what else to wear despite literally having a hundred options before you.

It’s such a common scenario, it’s a cliché. But that is how I used to feel every morning. Now I just feel that way the morning of laundry day. My closet has far fewer clothes than ever, but I am much more satisfied with my options, and I can put together an outfit quickly in the mornings. As an additional bonus, I get a lot more compliments on my style.

The secret is to keep only what you love, and ruthlessly eliminate the rest. But to do that, you have to go through everything, a la KonMari tidying.

Seriously, go try it, right now, with your clothes. Pull everything out and pile it on the bed. Loungewear, jackets, work clothes, PJs, yes, even undergarments. A little surprised at how much you have? Do you honestly think you actually want to wear all those things?

Before my closet purge, I had over 70 mismatched hangers in my closet, each one holding a piece of clothing. It was a little crowded in there. I also didn’t wear much of what I had, though ironically I never felt like I had enough variety. I ended up replacing my 70 hangers with a 40-pack of those neat Huggable Hangers. I really wanted matching hangers, and I figured that sticking to the cheap white plastic hangers made it too easy for me to just buy more hangers when they got full.

I’ve pared down my closet, bit by bit, by focusing on eliminating clothes I don’t particularly enjoy. “Does is spark joy?” is a very useful question when choosing what to keep. Of my 40 hangers, about fifteen of them are currently unoccupied (granted, a few items are in the laundry), and I now feel like I have too many clothes! It’s funny how focusing only on what we love reveals what we truly need and what is excess. Go ahead and eliminate those wardrobe pieces that you felt obligated to keep but aren’t otherwise attached to.

Is there room for more elimination after the initial process? Sure! My closet purge happened in two waves; both times produced about a garbage bag full of clothes to either throw away or donate. I was going to do another purge for this post, but after pulling all my clothes out of the closet (and setting aside all the stuff for warmer weather), I found myself stuck on only two items: a grey shift and a slightly large striped ¾-sleeve shirt. I ended up setting those aside for warmer weather as well.

I will admit, I only did my closet. I have a dresser with additional clothes in it, though it mainly consists of a few pairs of jeans, a couple of sweaters, and a lot of t-shirts and pajama bottoms. I skipped all those because most of them get more use during the summer, and I’d rather wait until autumn to evaluate warm-weather wear.

What are your favorite things to wear? Are there any pieces that you don’t wear as often as you like? Now is a great opportunity to piece together outfits with those! Do you have anything that you were relieved to finally let go of?

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3 Steps to Actually Reaching Your Goals

I remember one year when I was in middle school, I decided I would make a bunch of resolutions and become an amazing person. I filled several sheets of paper with resolution after resolution – and I can’t remember them now, so clearly the list was drowned in relatively unimportant goals. I ended up with 150 resolutions. I was pretty proud of myself.

Sometime later, I found the massive list in the bottom of one of my dresser drawers. I flipped through the list, wondering why I thought it was a good idea to make so many resolutions, since I hadn’t checked off a single one. I trashed the list, and for a long time afterwards didn’t bother with New Year’s Resolutions.

Until now. 2017, you are the year! I’ve come to realize that the reason I haven’t achieved many of my goals is because I’ve failed to plan how I will achieve them. There are three steps to reaching a goal, and I’ve only really done well at the first:

The Three Steps to Reaching Goals

1. Set the goal

Don’t be overly ambitious, but don’t underestimate yourself either. Start with what you think you could realistically accomplish, then push the bar just a little higher. There is your goal. And if you don’t  feel like it’s enough of a challenge, you can always set a higher goal once you reach your first one. On the other hand, if you set your goal too high, you may become discouraged by what feels like a lack of progress.

2. Schedule your goal

How much time do you have on a daily or weekly basis to dedicate towards your goal? What will you do with that time that will help you reach your goal? When specifically will that time be? If you miss that time, will you be able to make it up on a different day? Goals don’t reach themselves; you have to figure out in concrete terms what you will be doing.

3. Start your goal

You’ve got your goal and you’ve set aside time in your schedule; now follow through with your plans. Don’t give up if it doesn’t work out so well on the first or second sessions; you’re still getting used to having a new item in your routine. You can do it!

Just a few books I’ve been meaning to read…

One of my goals for 2017 is to read more books, especially literature and history. Here is what the three steps would look like applied to that goal:

1. Set: I’m going to read at least 24 books this year

That’s two books a month, on average; some of the books on my list will take more than two weeks, while others will take less. With a few exceptions, most of these books fall in the “I own but haven’t yet read” category. Some of the goodies on the list include: Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, Northanger Abbey, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, and The Call of Cthulhu. (Keep an eye out for book reviews!)

2. Schedule: I will read instead of gaming

2016 was the year I got a computer that could run Skyrim, among other games. I think gaming is fun and all, and it wasn’t like I had much to do while looking for a summer job, but looking back I wish I had diversified my free time activities. So to accomplish my goal, I’m going to read instead of play video games to unwind in the evenings before bed.

3. Start: I’m picking my book back up after I finish writing this post

Today I have been making significant progress on Story Trumps Structure by Steven James. I might get to finish it tonight! After that I’ll use what I’ve learned to continue my other writing projects.

Setting and achieving goals is not too complicated, as you can see. I’m already plowing through some other books that had previously been abandoned, and so far I don’t think I’ve spent any time gaming by myself.

I hope this helps! What are some of your goals for 2017, and how are you going to achieve them?

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