Three Fashion Tips to Jumpstart Your New Year Style!

December 31, 2010

I gave up on New Year resolutions a long time ago.  I got tired of feeling badly when I didn’t do what I said I would do.  Since then I have learned that it’s all about me and not about the expectations of others or the time of year.

By now, most people have either made their New Year resolutions or have cynically (or just indifferently) poo-poo’ed them as a waste time.  It seems that these days few people embark on a resolution with gusto and determination and even fewer actually maintain it.


My philosophy is that we bite off more than we can chew and expect big-time instant gratification.  Guess what…the problem is not with the instant gratification…that can happen.  The problem lies with the “big-time” part.

We don’t want to just lose 2 pounds.  Anyone who has seen the Biggest Loser knows that unless you’re losing double digits every week, you’re not cutting it, right?  Wrong!

What about starting an exercise program or carving out time to meditate.  We expect perfection immediately, e.g., an hour a day at the gym or 30 minutes of focused breathing when in the past all we’ve ever done is buy a gym membership and tour the facility or we’ve sat quietly for 30 seconds (which felt like 2 hours) before we’ve given up on our intention.

The same can be true when creating a wardrobe and personal style.  I’ve seen it happen over and over — good intentions mixed with unbridled enthusiasm.  Yay!  Then, a week or a month later, the intentions get watered down or they turn completely sour and the enthusiasm, well, let me just say that there’s more despair than joy involved.

Don’t let this happen to you!

I’d like to share 3 very important steps for creating a resolution that truly inspires positive change.  Use these steps to strengthen your resolution and your resolve and make the experience fun and inspiring.

1. Be Kind To Yourself.

If you go into a resolution with the sentiment that, “I’m a mess.  I look terrible in all my clothes because I’ve gained weight since (fill in the blank).  Nothing fits…I’ll never look good in anything…I’m too short…my hips are too big…I hate to shop”…you get the idea, then guess what!  Your mind is saying, “Yikes, get me out of here.  Let’s just live in sweats and forget it.  This is going to be too painful and not fun!”

Stop right there!  Catch yourself the next time this happens (sometimes we do it so automatically that we are not even aware of it).  I can tell you that every time you say something mean or demeaning about yourself (even in “fun”), your mind takes you seriously.

But, that can be a great first step: become aware of self-talk that is not serving you. Find something to replace it.  Maybe something like, “Every day I feel better and better about my body and am excited about creating a style I love.”  Check out books by Louise Hay – for guidance in learning how to bring more personal kindness into your life.  Just try it (even if you are rolling your eyes and think I’m crazy).

It works…just ask Kim Raymond:

“I have been using your mantra of ‘more and more I feel…’ and it is so empowering.  Saying I am beautiful wasn’t working for me but the ‘more and more I feel beautiful, powerful, etc.’ is absolutely working AND happening!  Woohoo.”  — Kim Raymond

2. Be Specific About Why!

Why do you want a wardrobe and personal style you love?

Yes, maybe being able to get dressed quickly and easily every morning is a part of it.  Maybe you are sick of wearing the same old thing or maybe you decline invitations because you don’t know what to wear.

That’s all important stuff to know.  But, be absolutely sure to also think about how it will make you feel to have a wardrobe and personal style you love. How will it change your life and your psyche or your inner spirit? Take a few minutes and write down what this will mean for you.  If it feels scary, admit that.  If it feels like a weight will be lifted off your shoulders, acknowledge that…whatever it is, just listen.

This is the step that will catapult you from wishing and longing to making progress toward your dream.

3. Have a Plan.

Most people create resolutions about things they don’t like to do or don’t really want to do but feel like they should do.  That’s a recipe for disaster and failure.  It often features deprivation, coercion and requires lots and lots of self-motivation.  So guess what…when the going gets tough, it’s natural to say, “I can’t do this.”

Who wants to spend her life beating herself up every minute because she “should” be doing something she doesn’t want to do or doesn’t know how to do.

A plan will help and, by all means, make it manageable and, yup, fun!  If you need to clean out your closet, invite a friend over for tea or wine to help, or if you want to go shopping, don’t just wander out aimlessly to the biggest department store you can find.  If you hate to shop, this will make your head spin, and it definitely won’t be fun!

Instead, find a small store that looks interesting (be it a cute, little boutique or maybe a new consignment shop).  Go in with a plan.  Decide you want to look at tops or accessories or jackets.  You don’t necessarily have to buy anything but just look around (keep it light and fun).

Explore and see what you learn about yourself.  If you come out empty-handed, applaud yourself for not buying something mediocre or settling for something that you had any questions about.  If you buy something, be sure you LOVE it and that it makes you smile.

If you try this and you feel overwhelmed or frustrated, then a little extra support will serve you well.  You could go with a trusted (not pushy!) friend, seek the help of a saleswoman you like, or get support, for example, by way of my body image, self-esteem and style home study program “Who Taught You How To Dress?” (

Most importantly, don’t give up.  Just remind yourself that you learned something about yourself and go to plan B (get support!).

So, here’s your homework:

___   Be kind to yourself

___   Be specific about why you want a wardrobe and personal style you love (how will that change your life and your inner spirit)

___   Have a plan (and go to plan B (get support) if you need a little extra TLC)

I know what some of you are thinking.  Hey, I thought you were going to tell me 3 things that I should buy that will update my wardrobe for the New Year.  This other stuff feels like work!

Be honest…is this what you were thinking?  If yes, let me tell you that I completely understand.  Here’s the truth, though.  How long have you been struggling with your wardrobe and personal style?  How many new years have passed at the end of which you are still in the same stuck place?

It’s these steps above that set the groundwork for making a huge breakthrough!  If this were not true, you could read one fashion magazine or book and be done with it.  You’d be all set.  It really doesn’t work that way, as I’m sure you know.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing well,” (words of wisdom from my mom). And, feeling good about who you are and having a wardrobe that supports that definitely falls into this category.  And, let me add that it can be fun.  It doesn’t have to feel like hard work all the time.

What’s really hard work is living with a wardrobe that doesn’t inspire you! So, take the challenge.  Do your homework and the payoff will be great.

Let this be the year that you honor who you are and let your inner radiance shine through.  All it takes is one step at a time!  Begin today and you WILL see results.

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