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We’re eight days into the new year and it’s just as well I didn’t make a resolution to be less lazy or have a more regular presence on my blog because I’d have failed that before I even began. Luckily, I’ve never been into resolutions and I think I’ve worked out why: they imply that the old you was rubbish in some way. “New year, new you!” is the catch-cry. Because the old you is useless. The old you is too lazy or unfit or bad at croquet (or whichever sport is trendy with the hipsters now). It’s no wonder resolutions don’t work: they put us in a defeatist frame of mind before we even begin.

So forget that. Resolutions are out; goals are in.

Last year, I had a list of ten goals I wanted to achieve in 2015, which seems a little excessive now I think about it. While I did achieve at least half of them, the rest were either forgotten about or became less important as the year went on. This year, I’m keeping it nice and simple, which I hope will guarantee I won’t forget about half of my goals by the time Autumn rolls around.

Goal No. 1: Simplify

We have so much stuff. Too much stuff. I want to spend the year cutting down on what we have and trying not to acquire too many more things. This is easier said than done, given our obsession with op shopping and bringing home interesting new items.

How will I know I’ve acheived Goal No. 1?

When everything is uncluttered and stored away in its right place and I don’t open a cupboard and ask myself questions such as Why do two people own twenty-seven dinner plates?

Goal No. 2: Become An Expert Dressmaker

This is a completely normal, non-crazy plan that I am sure is achievable. Essentially, I plan to make myself a fifties inspired wardrobe from scratch. And I mean completely from scratch. As in, I will be making the patterns, too.

Normal, right? What could possibly go wrong?

This will fit in with simplifying goal as I will also be using material solely from the stash I didn’t think I had. The only things I can buy are various notions such as bias binding or zips, but I’m hoping I can pick those up from op shops.

Oh, and I’ll need to buy some wool for the knitted items.

And a new sewing machine. I was undecided about this, as my current machine is perfectly adequate – I am constantly underestimating it and I’m sure it must be sick of my lack of confidence in it at this point. But honestly, for every time it sews through more layers than I think possible, the bobbin will get clogged up because one tiny thread happened to glance against the needle.

As I said, I was undecided until I started reading my $5 copy of Practical Home Dressmaking Illustrated and its helpful directions for setting up your sewing area. (Did you know that you can simply plug your sewing machine into the light socket if you have no outlets? Fascinatingly useless advice for modern times! Yes, I am slightly tempted to look for an machine I can plug into a light socket…)

“A machine will, if well cared for, last a lifetime,” the book says, “so treat this purchase as an investment rather than an extravagance.”

Whatever you say, book. Let’s invest.

I won’t be going over the top with the sewing, though. After all, my first goal is all about simplifying and that applies to as many aspects of my life as possible. So I’m sewing something of a capsule wardrobe here in an attempt to challenge the twenty-first century idea of having a new dress every time you change your mind. This is what I’m planning at the moment:

Jan Goals 01

(This is how my cats thought that photo should look.)

There are fourteen items in total, with a bonus two extras to make if I’m really good. (One is a dress made out of a fabric I really want to use but doesn’t fit with the base colour scheme of the capsule wardrobe and the other is a cardigan with a fair isle yoke inspired by the recent Call the Midwife Christmas special.)

Essentially, my 2016 wardrobe looks like this:

Jan Goals 02

How will I know I’ve achieved Goal No. 2?

When I have a dozen or so new items of clothing in my wardrobe that fit me perfectly and go together nicely.

Goal No. 3: The Mystery Goal

The mysterious Goal No. 3 is a big goal and I’m not sure how to make it happen, so perhaps my third goal is to work out how to make the third goal a reality. It sounds a little convoluted and contradictory, perhaps, but it would be a start!

According to the articles I read on resolutions, one of the keys to making them work is accountability and sharing your goals with friends or family. So let’s keep each other accountable: what are your goals for 2016?

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