My Top Five Reflections of 2016

January 1, 2017

I’m almost done working through Gillian’s Top Five challenge and this week I’m sharing some favorite reflections of 2016. Today, the first day of the new year, feels like a good day to reflect on some things I got right last year and want to carry with me moving forward.

Reflection 1.) Don’t Try, Just Do. I could easily list this blog post as my one and only major reflection and leave it at that because it’s a huge one for me. I found myself repeating this mantra (in the voice of Master Yoda) a lot over the course of the year and it’s definitely a slogan-for-life that I will take with me into the new year and beyond.

Reflection 2.) Make small goals to support huge goals. I think people often fail reaching goals because the bigger picture is unclear, or the path to reaching the small goals isn’t well defined. You have to know WHY you want to do something if you’re going to be motivated to make it happen. For example, I want a me-made wardrobe. More specifically I want to wear something homemade every single day and I want to feel comfortable in it (both literally and figuratively). That’s the huge goal.

I started the MakeNine challenge to help me visualize what I need to make in order to reach that goal and to give myself a definitive starting place. I picked the patterns on my MakeNine list because I want to replace my RTW clothes with versions I’ve made myself, however, I don’t have a desire to make my own jeans or underwear at this point in time so those items didn’t make my list. In the future? Yeah I’ll probably make jeans, but right now I’m not focused on anything besides what’s on my MakeNine list, which is basically all pajamas in disguise, and that’s the point – Small, clearly defined goals that will help chip away at my bigger goals.

Reflection 3.) Cut The Crap. This year I developed a sort of anxiety for “stuff”. I can’t handle clutter like I used to. I need everything to have it’s proper place or I can’t focus.

I used to dream of having this huge sewing stash like a library of fabrics just waiting for me whenever I was ready to use it. Well this year I decided I don’t like that at all. I seem to have acquired a type of guilt for collecting things and then letting them sit around. Some people enjoy re-discovering things at the back of their closet because it feels like Christmas all over again but the few times that happened to me this year I just felt really bad. How could I spend money on fabric and then not use it for years?! Especially when I bought it in the first place because “I NEEDED IT!” …well clearly I didn’t.

I donated a lot of clothing this year and started wearing the same things over and over more than I ever have before. I really like the idea of creating a minimalist capsule wardrobe but I know it will take a lot of planning in order to do it right and not create more projects that miss the mark in the process of working towards that goal. This year I’m going to make better plans and buy fabric and yarn with a clear purpose in mind.

Reflection 4.) If you can’t change your situation, change your attitude. I have that power. Simple as that. This year, and this sounds really silly, but this year I got really sick of penciling in my eyebrows everyday. It’s something I’ve been doing since high school and I had grown to feel like I “needed” to do it before my face felt complete. To make matters worse 2016 seemed to be the year of ‘bold eyebrows’ in the fashion world. I saw more tutorials and more memes than I ever have on Pinterest regarding eyebrows and how to create a thicker brow. Well that actually helped me rebel against the whole idea in favor of a “Claire Danes in the movie Stardust” kind of look. My natural look. Imagine sporting what you’ve got and feeling pretty regardless! Why wasn’t I doing that?!

Having or not having eyebrows is such a trivial thing for one to stress about so I decided I was going to stop stressing and I did! I fell in love with a lighter hair color which helped me transition to a lighter eyebrow, plus I really really love the movie Stardust so it was easy for me to pick that look as a new “beauty standard” when everyone else seemed to be doing the opposite. I realize this all sounds a bit crazy but do you know how powerful it is to feel happy with yourself on this level? Once I figured out I had this kind of power to change I started applying it to much bigger things besides eyebrows and I’ve been so much happier for it! 2016 was an excellent year for self acceptance.

Reflection 5.) Give Back. I spent most of 2016 sharing things that I’ve made but I didn’t spend a lot of time sharing tutorials or much of what I learned last year by sewing for myself. This blog space of mine is personal but I don’t want it to feel guarded. In 2017 I want to share more gifts of knowledge and encouragement with fellow sewers and knitters.

That’s actually a good note for me to stop on because my big goals for 2017 involve doing exactly that 🙂

Happy New Year everyone!

Week One: My Top Five Hits
Week Two: My Top Five Misses
Week Three: My Top Five Highlights
Week Four: My Top Five Reflections
Week Five: My Top Five Goals for 2017