Happy New Year!
I don’t like to rush right into the new year with too much enthusiasm because it’s nice to keep savoring the warmth of the Holidays for as long as possible. But life moves on whether I like it or not, so I thought it best to start the year off with this year’s personal and professional goals. I like setting goals that I know will make me happier, and that also don’t take a HUGE amount of effort to achieve. That way I can end the year feeling proud for small steps taken.
Wear one weird thing every day.
I like simple style just fine, but what I really like is wearing my striped tees and jeans with something a little “off.” Big earrings, a funky vintage skirt or jacket, clunky shoes. I want to have more fun, and for me that doesn’t take a lot: just one weird thing every day.
Throw more “crappy dinner parties.”
Daniel and I have gotten out of the habit of having people over because we can never get our act together enough to make an impressive meal or clear all the clutter of the week off the table. In 2018, I want to cultivate casual community, and an environment where everyone understands that things don’t have to be perfect to be good.
I have come to terms with the fact that I don’t have time to take a dance class with everything else in my schedule, but I would still like to find ways to dance more.
Streamline my work schedule.
Instead of working 50+ hours a week (and scrolling social media for another 10), I want to create a distinct schedule for freelance work so that I’m not always on call. Right now, my plan is to photograph for the blog on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons and write Monday and Thursday, with each individual task taking no more than 2 hours at a time.
Read 10+ books.
I read all the time, but I don’t read a lot of books anymore. But I realized while dealing with the stress of August neo-Nazi events here in Charlottesville that the best remedy was getting out of the “hot take” culture and reading a full length novel or memoir. And I can process things with a lot more perspective if I immerse myself in a narrative that’s not my own.
Maintain a part time income through blog and freelance work (without overworking!).
Similar to last year, I want to continue to maintain and grow this space. I plan to take on less freelance work and focus mostly on blog writing and photography. I think if I can be strategic about what I post and who I work with, I can curate collaborations better without losing income. I’m very excited to have a plan!
Learn the power of saying no to things that aren’t right for me.
It’s really easy to guilt me into doing things. I may act stubborn, but I also have a strong sense of duty and that can overshadow the need to make tactful and useful decisions regarding my commitments. I want to cultivate discernment, not only in my vocation, but in every aspect of my life so that I can give my best to select things instead of overwhelming myself with everything.
Write something and get it published.
I’m willing to be gracious with myself on this one because I know that life happens and it’s hard to commit to a long term project. But I’d love to work on a guide, book, or poetry collection and get to the point of being able to publish it (even if it’s self publishing).
Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.