Hey there, friends! Thank you for all of the kind responses and words of encouragement for what I shared in Monday’s post. It’s so nice to hear that you’re ready to hear a different message and that you’re also wanting to be better in regard to how and what you’re consuming. So, let the journey begin! Today, I wanted to build off of Monday’s post and share the word I’ve chosen this year. Have you ever chosen a word of the year?
I started doing this back in 2014 but, back then, I picked a bunch of words to keep at the top of my mind throughout the year to outline my desire for how I wanted the year to turn out. Then, in 2016, my best friend, Whitney, and I decided to narrow this down to ONE word. So, what’s a focus word? And, why choose one? Ultimately, it’s a word that you want to help guide you in the direction you want to go throughout the year. In 2016, I chose ‘nurture’ because, at the time, I was working full time as a nurse [usually overtime] and full-time on the blog, as well. I felt so accomplished because I was able to earn quite a bit moremoney, pay off debt, make strides in my passion project [this website] but, I also felt utterly exhausted and depleted. I felt like my professional life was the only area of my life that got any attention. I lost touch with friends. I rarely went out. It helped me to really understand that there’s nothing wrong with working hard, and sometimes making sacrifices to get where you want to be, life can feel really empty if that’s all you have. I wanted to ‘nurture’ other areas of my life and I wanted that word to help guide my decisions. So, for example, every time a friend asked to schedule a phone date or get together for lunch, I would think about my word and remember that it’s important to say yes in order to nurture that friendship. These words, ultimately, help you to make decisions that will lead you to have the year of your dreams.
Have you ever chosen a word? Check out my word for 2019 HERE.
Last year, I watched ‘The True Cost’ on Netflix and it propelled me into this sort-of ‘age of enlightenment’ that I feel like I’m in right now. For so long I lived completely naive to the environmental impact of the fast fashion industry, how damaging the materials of a lot of the ‘cheap’ clothing we consume are to our environment over time, and just how close we are to not being able to make a positive change in the crisis this world is facing. And, because of what I do, I felt a bit resistant to wanting to do something about it because, it would require me to live differently and operate my business differently. So, I kind of chose to ignore what I knew while also continuing to consume the messaging that this industry seems to convey, which is … more is better … and it got to a point where it just didn’t sit right with me.
Over the last few months, I’ve been challenging myself to start the process of sorting through my belongings and deciding what goes where. For someone who lives alone with two dogs, I have an exorbitant amount of ‘stuff’, almost to the point that I’m almost disgusted with how I’ve been operating, how much I’ve been consuming and not actually using, etc. And, the truth is, a good majority of it cannot come with me. There’s no space for it in London. Flats [apartments] and homes are so much smaller there and, honestly, for me right now, that is so appealing. When I think back on a lot of what has stressed me out over the last few years, I can easily say it comes from chasing ‘more’: committing to more blog posts on the blog, making plans to take more Instagram posts for Instagram so you guys had more outfits to draw inspiration from, traveling more, placing more orders before a long vacation just to make sure I have enough ‘in stock’ items so as to not frustrate my readers when I say ‘it’s old, I’m sorry but I linked similar’, making more plans and filling my calendar with too many appointments, aiming for more self-care hours when there aren’t anymore hours to use up and then shaming myself for not doing more to serve my need for rest, the list goes on. And, this cannot just be me. The idea that we’re all being fed through social media – and dare I say I may very well be contributing to – is that we ‘need more’ and it’s a lie. And, I believe, it’s depriving us of so much joy that is at our disposal in life. We’re all just moving too fast and consuming too much to be able to access it. I don’t believe that many of us can sit and be happy with what’s in front of us.
So, you may have been able to guess this from my 2020 resolutions post but, my word for this year is … LESS.
Some things I want to be intentional about having LESS of this year …
• Less blog posts + pressure on myself – I feel like I say this every year. Ha, it’s a constant struggle that I never seem to find a solution for or actually follow through with. But … this year, I want to pull back on scheduled content, like blog posts, and just provide myself with the space and bandwidth to just … create. Whether it’s IG TV or more well-thought-out YouTube content surrounding what you guys are asking me for like ‘how to curate a wardrobe you’re proud of’, ‘essentials in every girls wardrobe’, etc. So, I basically want to commit to less of what I’m used to doing to make room for more meaningful, quality content that will be helpful for a lot of women and to help you with purchasing decisions for your wardrobe for years to come. Would you be okay with less blog posts here on AlysonHaley.com to allow for the ones I share to be even more helpful?
• Less time spent on my phone – While our smart phones serve us in so many amazing ways, I am completely guilty of wasting so much precious time just mindlessly scrolling. The trouble is the fact that checking my phone constantly has almost become a habit so I really need to set some boundaries for myself. Do you have any tips on this? Do you have boundaries you’ve set for yourself? While I love interacting and answering you guys via DM, I may have to only allow myself to go into DM’s for 30 minutes a day. I spend SO MUCH time getting back to as many people as I can and I know it eats in to my work flow and takes away my ability to have time to do other things like watch a documentary without distraction or read a new book. Less screen time, I think, can really fuel a more healthy outlook and perspective and take away unnecessary stress and misuse of time.
• Less mindless, impulsive, and trendy purchases – I really want to become a more conscious consumer and invest in the right pieces made out of the right materials this year. I also want my wardrobe to be more carefully curated. To do this, I am doing A LOT of Googling. I’m researching what it takes to have a sustainable wardrobe, what materials cause the most harmful emissions, what brands are prioritizing sustainability, etc. I’m also going to be getting into my closet and narrowing it down to ONLY include the pieces that I know I will be reaching for over and over the next few years. I want to shopping my closet much more this year and hope to inspire you all to do the same. I will also be putting together a large moving sale [either before or after my move] in an effort to re-home as many of my belongings, as possible, to prevent them being sent to thrift store or donation centers that are overloaded and have the potential to ship a lot of it off to landfills. [Sidenote: I know they ALL don’t do that but, with the amount of clothing waste they see, it’s something they’re having a hard time managing.] Rehoming as many of the pieces as possible, in my opinion, is the best way to ensure that these products are going to be USED. Going through my closet will also allow me to identify gaps within my wardrobe, which will help guide my future purchasing decisions and steer me away from being tempted by what I see online. Is anyone else hoping to make changes like this this year?
• Less stuff, in general – Most of us have more than we need and, for me, I’d rather just have less. I am craving simple and easy. Doing what I do for a living, it might be something that I am always really striving to achieve but, when I see what just what having more is doing … it really does help me realize that we are more than blessed and having more isn’t always the answer. Sometimes, less is more.
Alright, friends! That does it for today. How do you feel about all of that? Is it too idealistic? Let me know in the comments below. I’d also love to hear your word for the year. Also, for any fellow royal lovers out there, I published a new video on my YouTube channel sharing my initial thoughts to the big Meghan and Harry news. Part two will hopefully be up this weekend! xo.