Hi there, friends! Is it too late to share one of these posts? Ha, I hope not. I am doing things completely different in 2020 and I am already loving it. I took a lot of time off during the holidays and allowed myself to slowly get back into the whole work thing. In years’ past, by this time of the month, I would never have let this post go this long without being shared but, lately, I’ve spent a lot of time reconciling my need for rest and a healthy pace at work with the pressure I sometimes feel in this industry. Let me just say … it’s been refreshing. So, here we are, in the middle of the month and I’m finally ready to reflect on 2019 and share some things I’d like to do different in 2020. And, if I’m honest, there are quite a few things on my heart that I’m finally ready to let lead me this year in a completely different way than in years’ past.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about how I want to use my influence for the better. This has always been important to me. Over the past couple of years, I have incorporated more travel content into this space, which mainly focuses on style, and I’ve become a respectable travel resource. For me, I’ve always wanted it to be clear that there’s depth here. There’s more than just someone who is recommending a great pair of shoes or the new latest and greatest. Because, for me, travel and investing in experiences is always something that is a more worthy investment than making purchases on clothing. It warms my heart when I hear I inspired one of your trips or I made you feel more comfortable about going somewhere ‘foreign’ to you. That was the goal. I’ve always realized the amount of travel that I do isn’t realistic for most people but it’s allowed me to provide more variety in the travel content you now have at your fingertips to plan the trip of your dreams.
In 2019, though, I spent a lot of time wrestling with a lot of unsettled feelings about what it takes to be successful in this industry against things that I think are important. I have become more aware of what the industry is doing to the environment and the world really needs us all to do our part. I’ve been so uncertain as to how to continue to do this job while also acting on these convictions. I’ve had to be really honest about how the monetary value of my business squares up to health of this world. For me, there’s nothing more valuable than the world we live in. I believe we all have to do better and, while this will always be a space for style inspiration and travel resources, I also want to be a more realistic and responsible voice in this style blogger space. From what I’m seeing, it’s desperately needed. And, believe me, I am not perfect. I’m not pointing fingers here. My hands are far from clean. I making too many purchases and welcome too many boxes full of plastic and clothing made of non-sustainable, cheap materials into my home almost every single day. I’ve built a business on encouraging like-minded women to take my recommendations and, essentially, welcome similar boxes into their homes. And, listen … I do this because I love it. It is FUN … the best job I could ever ask for as a girl who was raised by a momma who loved to take her girl shopping and find herself a good deal. Creating outfits is so fun for me. That’s where this all began.
But … as we grow and as we learn, sometimes we have to be honest about how we need to change. And, that’s where I’m at.
When I asked y’all what you wanted more of from me this year, you said you wanted real. You wanted authentic. You’ve always said that’s what you love about this space. So, that’s what you’ll get. I can’t be anything but, to be honest. You’ll see that I have a lot of goals / resolutions this year that revolve around these convictions. I’m scared to put them out there as I feel like I’m putting myself out there to be scrutinized when [not if] I mess up but, here we go!
Minimize single-use plastic use.
This year, this is a huge priority for me. It’s something that I’ve found to be super easy if I just make it a priority and am intentional about it. I always have a collapsible steel or metal straw and reusable cup with me, whether in my bag or car. I’ve replaced plastic cling wrap with beeswax wrap. I will be starting to bring organic cotton produce bags along with me to the grocery store, as well as the reusable grocery bags. I’ve also replaced the last few tupperware containers with these glass ones and plastic baggies with these silicone Stasher sandwich and storage bags. There are so many ways we can minimize our plastic use and make a much better carbon footprint. Linking a few things for you to consider below:
Cook more + make better food choices.
I was floored when I looked at how much money I spent eating out last year. This years’ aim is to strengthen my game in the kitchen by cooking at home more as well as eating healthier foods. I have recently discovered Half-Baked Harvest and The Defined Dish and now feel equipped and motivated to do so!
Wear more items already in my wardrobe.
Last week, I shared that this year you will be seeing me style some old favorites in my wardrobe, like this old Valentino I rocked all of the time in 2015 [see this post for proof, ha!]! While I love to shop and share new finds, and will continue to do so just on a smaller scale, I believe it is much more responsible, realistic and ecological to make the most use of our wardrobe for as long as we can. While I realize that part of my job is to help you build your wardrobe, I also think part of my job is not to encourage you to accept this ‘you need it all’ mentality that social media can sometimes sell you. The items that I pull from my closet and rewear might not be readily available for purchase but I will do my best to find similar items for you guys!
I have plans to do a closet clear out. Would y’all want me to document this in a YouTube video? I’ll be doing this in an effort to streamline my wardrobe and see what ‘speaks to me’ at this point in my life.
Take the pressure off + just live.
I have already felt like I have been operating in a much more carefree, happy and shameless way. If I can’t get something together by a certain date … it goes undone. I’m not sacrificing sleep, depriving my body and mind of what it needs, to satisfy my to do list anymore. I do my best to plan ahead and stay on top of my to do list. I have an amazing team that facilitates productivity and getting all that we’ve planned out to you guys but, I also am reminding myself [a lot] that I am also still tackling a heap of other things outside of work [pet health, visa stuff, prepping for a potential move, social life, etc] and that life isn’t always about how much you can get done at work. I am allowing myself to just live. I want to work hard but I also want to do other things, as well, and just live.
Explore a new creative space.
I’ve been the little lady behind this blog since 2013. That’s SEVEN years. Almost exactly. Ha, I should write a post on what I’ve learned. But, I think it’s time for me to explore a new creative space and do things a little different. I absolutely love sharing myself on IG stories but, often, the aspirations I have for content on IG stories is much more suited for a space like YouTube. I shared in last years’ resolutions post that I have been craving a new creative venture and I think I knew then that it was YouTube but … I was juggling way too much between the blog and my personal life [tons of travel, my dental journey, tons of surgeries, meeting John, and prepping visa paperwork]. At the end of 2o19, I offloaded a lot of things I typically do here on the blog to other creatives who have been literally my saving grace. It has felt so nice to open up some of my time to something completely different. I’ve already learned so much and I can’t wait to share more with you guys on YouTube this year! Let me know in the comments below what you’d like to see from me on my channel!
Allow for more non-work weeks.
I am hoping to clear out my work schedule a more to allow for clarity. I want to allow myself to breathe more and tackle more things at home from time to time [I.e. closet clean out, etc.]. When you’re constantly working on a digital space like this one, it can feel like you can’t catch your breath and work on anything else without getting extremely behind so, I want to work in some non-work weeks to allow myself to dream up new ideas as well as work on things at home.
M O V E
I think that last resolution naturally leads me to this, ha! I mentioned last year I really wanted the move to happen before 2020 but it made more sense to hold off until now. I have experienced a few really frustrating speed bumps over the last few weeks but, I do believe this will all happen in His time. We are making slow progress and I think allowing myself more non-work weeks this year will give myself room to breathe during these huge changes. It just wouldn’t make sense to try to do it all in the midst of something so big.
Talk more about things that matter.
Over the last year or so, there have been a lot of things about this industry that have not quite sat right with me. While I’m not out to shame the industry or anyone in it, I’d like to to use my voice and platform in a bit of a different way this year. I want to talk about things that are important, things that will actually make a difference in more than just our wardrobes, and things that not a lot of influencers are talking about: sustainability, clean beauty, wearing stuff we already own, maximizing our wardrobes, how we can give back through the things we don’t need, and the list goes on. I’m not trying to make any bold statements outlining what I do and do not approve of or will and will not participate or stand for anymore, ha. Ultimately, I just want to be an encouraging voice that motivates you to want to do better and be better but that starts with me. That’s what I want for myself based on a lot of things that I have educated myself on, become curious about, and open-minded in understanding. So, in all the ways that I am trying to live a little bit differently this year, in an effort to live a more conscious and responsible life – as a consumer, as a business owner, and as a human – I want to talk with you guys more about those choices and why I think they are well-intentioned and good. It’s always a bit unnerving to talk about things like this openly on the internet because people automatically think you’re supposed to know it all and do it all perfectly. But that’s not the point. It’s about making small steps forward in the right direction. It’s about trying your best and being open to learning more. This may sound vague and I apologize but, keep following me closely on Instagram, here on the blog, and on my YouTube channel and I think you’ll get what I mean eventually.
Alright, I think that’s it! What are you aiming to do better or change up in 2020? I’m all ears! Leave them in the comments below! See you tomorrow! xo.
Something about the change in decade has me rethinking . I, too, feel like there is a need for more discussion around sustainability, how we can make changes to help generations following us, and also how to become more centered around things other than wardrobe, makeup, etc. I’ve been independently researching sustainability and clean beauty – even meditating for my mental health – so having your “voice” to turn to will make following those topics and actually making changes easier. THANK YOU!!
This post resonated deeply! Posts like this keep me coming back to your page, and they are way more important to me than any items I may purchase! This year, I realized that in order to say YES to the things that really matter to me, like my graduate studies, environmental sustainability, and longer-term financial goals, I have to say NO to some self-indulgent things like fast fashion for example.
As far as beauty, I’m really looking to cut back on unhealthy ingredients and unnecessary plastic packaging in my beauty products. Last year I switched to unpackaged body soap bars from Whole Foods and downloaded the EWG Skin Deep app to understand which products are cleanest. In 2020, I am interested in trying out packaging-free shampoo and shaving products. I am curious to hear how a sustainable skincare and beauty routine evolves for you.
For wardrobe, walking into my thirties I am looking for less stuff overall, less trend-following, and more quality and sustainability. Being a blogger, you’re farther along at owning quality items. Maybe you could give advice about how to choose pieces that will last over time, and how to care for the things you already have.
I also relate to the “talk about things that matter”! MLK said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” This year, I want to attend a political event even though it makes me uncomfortable. Also, mental illness is hereditary in my family and I struggle with it myself. I am tired of hiding that and think it’s beyond time for the stigma to end! I want to be an advocate for that moving into the next phase of my life.
A lot of my resolutions are centered around making space for activities like studying, going to a sports game, learning a new skill. Contrast that to consuming more media and buying more cheap stuff! So I guess maybe my resolutions are about LESS too. Keep being you, we love it!
Thank you as always for your honest and vulnerability, Haley! I think it’s important to take sustainable steps to help the environment. For me I find it easier to make small, realistic and sustainable changes that I know I will continue to do rather than do a complete overhaul all at once (which I think is true for most things in life!).
I also use metal straws (although I need to bring them with me when I go out) and am trying to use more beeswax wraps instead of plastic wrap. When I bake in the oven I use the non-stick silicone mats instead of tinfoil to minimize that waste.
Love this post 🙂
I smiled when I started to read this post and shouted (in my head) “YES GIRL” when you wrote you wanted to carve out more ‘you/friends/family’ time away from social and to not get upset with yourself if something didn’t post on your initial time line. It’s so great to hear because I believe you truly need it. You’re one of the hardest working bloggers (I know some don’t like the word influencers) I ‘know’ and if He can give you grace, then you need to give yourself grace!
I never thought to actually purchase a collapsible water bottle and keep it in my purse and/or car! I’m totally going to add it to my amazon cart!
I’m hoping this year I can finally act and stay active on actually making healthier decisions for myself. Whether it be food related, friendship related, work related, etc. and to also just let things go/flow off my shoulders (if that makes sense). I’ll sometimes feel like I’ve let something go, but then my brain reminds me and in all actuality, I hadn’t. And it’s such a horrible hamster wheel!
I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for you! And for you and John and for you and the boy’s!!
So well said. I would love to see a YouTube video about your closet clean out! I have reached a place in my life as well where I am working on a more streamlined closet. I want to be excited about getting dressed in the morning and closet full of fast fashion just does not make me feel that way. I can’t wait to see more on these topics.
I really enjoyed this post. My goal the past few years is to my edit my life (closet, beauty products, stuff in general) to see what I truly use and stop buying excessively because i feel like we have too much stuff. Life is about experiences! Also everything is disposable now, so trying to eliminate buying plastic anything & reusing whenever possible.
Right on! I support you in all of these endeavors. I would watch anything you post on YouTube, and think it would be fine if you post a bit less on other media. Your resolution inspire me.
I love everything about this post! Thank you for always being real, honest, inspiring, and for not being afraid to be yourself. I keep coming back to your blog and have been for years. I love the addition of your YouTube channel too! Congratulations on your hair line! I am so excited to get my hands on them. While I cannot speak for anyone else, please know that you have encouraged and inspired someone else in the world. Thank you!
Yesss to all of this! I am making a lot of the same changes with moving towards “less” and being more intentional about a lot of things. I’m a social worker so being vocal and taking action on issues that matter are very important to me, and I’m so thankful to see others moving in that direction even when it’s not their profession to do so! Haha. Very thankful for this.
I love this post, I think these ideas all feed off one another and will be great overall. And yes a closet clean out post/video would be great! Like what you keep and why and maybe great ways to repurpose or donate (and consign, like TheRealReal for luxury items and maybe ThredUp for more casual? That’s what I did!). I too am phasing out single use plastic and have almost completed the replacements, I bring my lunch almost every day to work, actually most of my daily meals and snacks are homemade and packaged at home. I also am almost done converting my household products to natural and biodegradable via the options at Grove collaborative. They have paper products which are tree free which is very important to me. I make my own ‘swiffer’ wet wipes using white vinegar and microfiber cloths! Easy. Can’t wait to see what you have coming up for 2020!
Really excited for this! I’m feeling burnt out on seeing new things, honestly. There are so many great bloggers now, so many people having collabs, being sent things, etc. it’s A LOT to have thrown at you day after day. Or I’ll buy something off the recommendation of a blogger and then never see them in the item again to get more inspo for how to wear it— haha.
My resolution is to be more intentional! Intentional in my moves in my workouts, intentional to follow through with hangouts with people— not just saying we should hang out, etc. Love New Years and the chance they give you to reevaluate.
I LOVE this post! You keep doing YOU girl and we WILL follow! I love your dedication to being real and I think you have already been successful in doing that. You haven’t been pushing fast fashion like the rest of the industry and you have reminded me to invest in quality pieces when building a wardrobe. You will always be my favorite blogger/influencer! Much love! Jenny @herbestalways
Great post! Looking forward to what 2020 brings to you and what you share with us
I LOVE what you’re doing and am right there with you. I want to live a more intentional and meaningful life. For my service today, I identified a domestic violence shelter to donate all (sooooo many) free make up samples to for the women who may have nothing. How many eye shadow pallets do I need? They’re just collecting! So I can pass it along, share the self care and beauty and free my limited space. Xoxo
I can’t believe how many of these are things that I’m striving to achieve this year as well. I feel like I will be holding myself accountable following along with your journey of trying to achieve these goals as well!
This is one of the best style/travel blog articles I’ve read in a long time. I have so many similar goals this year in terms of making more sustainable choices. I would love a peek of your closet clean out to get some insight into what you consider long term staples. Thank you thank you!
You are welcome, girl! And thanks for the kind words. Happy you enjoyed it! xo.
Thanks for this post. The fact that it comes a few weeks into 2020 let’s us, as readers, really hear you.
As I transition from season to season I usually change my closet. Fall/winter to spring/ summer. I want LESS. I want to know the staple pieces that I should keep, a few trends that might stick around, and the basic casual wear I’ll never get rid of. Other than that, I want it all GONE. I’d love to see some help with that…..
100%, girl! Yes. Yes. Yes!
What a unique concept for this post – not framed as resolutions or goals in a pressure way, just thoughts to do things differently. Please do share the closet clean out – your approach, rationale, etc. – and more!
Love all this, getting more use out of my wardrobe is a resolution of mine as well. It would be great to see certain pieces styled a variety of ways, transitioned from work to evening etc. For sustainability and health, consider replacing dryer sheets with wool dryer balls and a few drops of essential oils! Also, in the first photo I see an uncanny resemblance to Jennifer Anniston 🙂 Best wishes, you’re doing a great job!
Oh wow! that’s a great suggestion, thank you!! I will definitely look into that!
This was such a refreshing post! I really like how you touched on sustainability and becoming more aware of our environment and the small changes we can contribute to making it better! Yes it’s so fun to see you post outfits, but it’s a nice change of pace to talk about stimulating topics like this!
It was also refreshing to know that you too see how your platform is changing and not necessarily for the better.. what people are putting out there can be very saturated, unrealistic, and sometimes not financially responsible to encourage others to replicate certain lifestyles or images.
Excited to see more of this from you in 2020 and hoping you continue to take time for yourself this year!
I LOVE everything you said here!! 🙌🙌 It’s so nice to hear and know there are bloggers out there who don’t constantly want to push for more ‘stuff’. While I enjoy shopping too, there are only so many things you can wear on your body or put on your hair or face. A lot of times it just seems so wasteful and useless to me, not to mention overwhelming. ‘Does this work?’ ‘Do I need this?’ Just because I can have more stuff , doesn’t mean I need it. I just love that this is where your thought are! This is awesome girl and go you in 2020!! I have a feeling it will be your best year yet!! 💕💕
Thanks so much, Rebecca! I hope so!
I love love love this post. Honestly I started following you sometime this year on Instagram because of some giveaway thing but I’ve continued to follow you because of your depth and the fact that you remind your followers NOT to buy if it’s not necessary. I so appreciate you stepping up to the responsibility of educating your followers to better themselves. And no, of course you won’t be perfect at it, nobody is, but even tiny steps are steps in the right direction. I love fashion and makeup and home goods but I also love hearing other people’s views on deeper issues than just what great sale is happening. I hope we get to see a mix of it all from you this year!
Definitely! I’m so happy to have you here. Thanks for sticking around 🙂 xo.
Thank you for this post… I enjoy following you as you have been a tried and true (favorite;) blogger I follow for last few years now… I too love this blogging industry and have thought about delving into it myself (I blogged for about a year re: grief after losing my husband) …. so I’ve thought about perhaps a lifestyle blog, but my struggle has always been the exact reasons you’re sharing! I want simplicity… I don’t want a closet full of even more clothes…. and I don’t ever want to “influence” people that they NEED this or that (especially in today’s fast fashion industry- there is ALWAYS something new and the greatest)… I just can’t do that. So thank you for being real… and helping out world move in a better direction! I’m looking forward to following along on your journey. xoxoxoxo…
Meg, omg … I can totally attest to how writing and sharing can be extremely helping in working through grief. I used this space to do the same thing after the death of my mom. But yeah, you are so welcome. I’m glad I am not the only one feeling these things. xo.
I am new to your blog, i have been an instagram follower for a few months now(I have been praying for fish!). I love your plans for 2020.
Thanks so much, Chansley! I love your name! It’s so unique! xo.
This post is a breath of fresh air and I agree completely with your convictions. Our society has a “more is better” mentality (I’m guilty of this as well) but at what cost? A lot of cheaply and even not so cheaply made goods are produced as the cost of someone’s well -being- usually a woman (as they manufacture the fast majority of apparel). They aren’t paid fair wages or they work in unsafe conditions. And as you mentioned, what is the environmental cost? So many fast fashion brands end up dumping their unsold goods in landfills or use material such as polyester that don’t ever biodegrade. Would love you to feature some pieces from more sustainable stores such as Cuyana, Amour Vert, etc. I applaud you in your efforts and goals for this year. Way to go!
Girl, yes. You are clearly privy to all of the info that I have learned over the last year. It’s incredibly sad. Have you seen The True Cost on Netflix? To have a visual makes it all the more real and inspiring to want to change. I have done a ton of research on sustainable brands and will definitely be investing in their products this year. And, of course, can’t wait to share those with you guys! xo.
I love everything about this post! It really resonated with me. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and I’m excited to be following you (always have).
I love these resolutions and goals and a lot of mine are the same 🙂 I’m excited for your closet clean out and hope I can snag a few pieces again from the shopalysonhaley handle since we are the same size!! How do you like the stasher bags? Was trying to figure out which brand to buy.
Sound like awesome goals! I’m trying to do better with my health and have more bible time.
Well said, Haley! You are truly an inspiration, and you should be very proud of yourself for standing out amongst your peers. Keep blazing your own trail! Cheers to a prosperous 2020 🥂
Are you kidding me??? This is THE BEST post I have ever read. Love every single part of it. Thank you for being you.
Love, love, love this!
Ok I jumped on the environment train in 6th grade…so about 25 years ago 😳, and it’s the most important thing we can do. I’ve said 100 times, that if an each influencer got a reusable cup to replace that plastic Starbucks once a week, maybe we could eliminate one of those plastic islands in the ocean. I can basically unfollow everyone else now, so I don’t have to cringe!!!!
Have you thought of selling on Poshmark? You could give good life to your clothes, and no doubt we’d all love a crack at your cute stuff! In the last three years, I’ve only bought 5 new things (not second hand) and they are almost all workout clothes (cuz, gross). You’d TOTALLY be successful there.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your resolutions.
Hey Carolyn! Good for you! That’s amazing! I actually sell my gently used goods on another instagram account: @shopalysonhaley // While I know donations are well intentioned, I really want to re-home most of my clothing so as to prevent them from ending up in a landfill.
Amen, sister! I absolutely love everything about this post, and I L-O-V-E your vision to inspire and encourage your readers in the things that really matter. We need to support each other to be strong, informed and aware women who truly make a difference for the better in our world!
My favorite posts of yours have always been when you open up about what’s going on in your life and what really matters to you. I am so happy to hear there will be more of that in 2020, and I admire you so much for putting yourself out there. You are truly an inspiration and we are so grateful for everything you do!
Thank you, Christi! xo.
Love that you are slowing down to rest. We rest to work and not the other way around! Keep walking well in the season you are being called to. Your calling is much more than what you do. Thank you for speaking into this space on this!
I am very happy to read this post, your goals for 2020 are exactly what we should all be aligning with. We need influencers to show us how, share their knowledge… continue influencing but change the dynamics and we can all profit!! Good stuff 🙌🏼👏🏻👌🏻
Love this💕. I also enjoyed your most worn items for 2019. Can you please suggest a straight denim crop that every one is wearing. Maybe an. Agolde? Love your style!
Hi there! The ones I’m wearing in this post is a pair of straight jeans that I am loving right now. If those don’t work for you, I also have these and love them: https://rstyle.me/+WOLKlCZjWjH5MX3BmJ24Lg
Loved this! Good for you!!