2017 Was all about PRIORITIES for me. I think 2016 burned me out a little bit, and I was determined to change things this year. In 2016 I took my business to a more serious level, worked every hour under sun and made some amazing progress, but ultimately made myself ill. So 2017 I decided to lay out all my work, responsibilities and anything I spent a lot of time on; to decide what to drop and what to keep.
It made such a huge change to my life, and I feel SO much more free because of it. So today I wanted to talk a little more about how I did that, and also how I decluttered other things in my life too. 2017 Was the year I reassessed everything, cleared out what wasn’t working, and tried to build upon things that rocked.
So like I said, this was my first priority. I dropped The Girl Gang completely and all responsibilities for it. I closed the Facebook group, stopped the weekly chats, dropped the newsletter, stopped the giveaways, events, everything. I was so sad as it means so much to me, but it’s something I knew I had to do. I had been running The Girl Gang for two years(!!) and it was draining all my time, energy and motivation. I’m not saying it’s gone forever, but for now it’s just something not on my radar at all. I worked it out, and this actually freed up around 5 hours a week for me. This probably sounds like nothing, but it was a HUGE DEAL for me.
I also decided to cut WAY back on doing designs for people, like blog headers, logos, website design stuff, etc. It wasn’t bringing me joy, and I didn’t want to rely on it for money anymore. I wanted my Etsy shop to be my main focus of income, and my blog a secondary (much smaller) source. So I finished up all pre-agreed to designs, and then I decided to ONLY take on custom design work every now and again, and ONLY if it was something I really, really wanted to do. It has to be fun, straightforward or worth my time. I don’t regret making this change at all! This freed up around 10 hours a week.
My schedule these days is still hectic as hell, but it gives me room to breathe. I now feel comfortable taking off one full day a week if I fancy it (though I rarely do tbh), and I quit work around 8pm in the evenings, to spend it with Gary. I still have a constant to-do list, deadlines and I never seem to stop for long; but I feel so much better for it. And also it means the time I have spared up is now spent on projects I’m MUCH more passionate about; like painting or blogging.
Remember I wrote earlier this year about making the most of your beauty collection? Well I was serious about it. I have totally changed how I handle my beauty addiction now. I don’t buy anything unless I need it or have nothing else like it in my collection. Over the past six months the only things I’ve bought are a foundation, nail polishes (colours I don’t have) and lip balm; which I use every single day and go through a hell of a lot of. The rest of the time I’m using up my collection, and it feels SO GOOD. I could probably go without buying anything for about a year, and I’d be set; if I’m being honest. I have a lot of stuff, and I want to use it, rather than let it collect dust. I’ve also cleared out any old products, and I’ve given lots away to friends. I’m lucky enough to be gifted the odd gift here and there from brands, and I love this! But I no longer waste my money on things I truly don’t need.
Remember when there was a huge boom of the capsule wardrobe trend? I was like, nahhh I could never do that. And to be clear, I still can’t, because there are still too many rules with that. But I am seeing some of the benefits, and so for the past six months I’ve developed a new relationship with clothes that I think is much better for me personally. I struggle SO, so much with style. Sometimes I accept my body, and even like it. Sometimes I cry when I look in the mirror. But there are clothes that I almost always feel good in.
I often fall for the marketing ploys of brands and think, ‘If I just buy THAT dress, I’ll look amazing and everything will be solved!’ or, ‘I definitely just need a whole new wardrobe, it’ll fix everything!’. Well I think one of the biggest lessons I learned this year was that neither of these is ever true. I have to love myself first, and new clothes aren’t going to fix that. Loving myself isn’t easy, but I’ve definitely made HUGE leaps this year that show how far I’ve come. Even little things like sharing more photos of myself on Instagram show that I’m trying to appreciate myself more. And how have I done it? 3 Simple little techniques.
- Make note of the outfits I wear most, and why. It’s no use buying cocktail dresses if I’m only ever really wearing jumpers and leggings.
- Replicate these outfits, and stick to the style I’m naturally drawn to. Even if I jazz things up a bit, by investing in more beautiful jumpers, and better quality leggings, or new Vans. Make my ‘boring everyday outfit’ feel special still.
- Clear my wardrobe of anything that makes me feel bad. Whether it’s things I’m self conscious in, or things I hope I’ll fit back into one day – IT’S GONE. Life’s too short to be fretting over a top.
I’m definitely not saying I’m not a worrier anymore; but I have made huge, positive strides in 2017. If something bothers me, I ask for help. If I’m afraid of what might happen, I talk it out. If I feel to scared to make big, life decisions, I need to remember that it’s a privilege that I even have the choice (and it’ll all turn out okay anyway tbh!). I’m NOT saying this is the case for anyone else, but these are the things that have helped me so much in 2017, to let go of worries that have held me back.
The biggest worry I used to have, is worrying what people thought of me. This stopped me from being myself, taking opportunities, or saying how I feel. I aim to go into 2018 with that behind me. Not everybody is going to like me, or agree with me; and y’know what? That’s fine.
Are you guys decluttering your life in any way?
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