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A New Year and New Hopes.

I’ve noticed over the past seventeen days that many folks in the blogosphere are taking a stance against resolutions for 2o16. The preposition being that resolutions are often end up being broken promises to ones self by the the end of January. It appears that while resolutions are out, intentions are in! So what’s the difference? A resolution might be ‘I will quit smoking in 2016’ while an intention would be ‘I will nurture my health in 2016’. Some might argue that an intention is really a bit of generalisation or a non committal ‘cop out’ but as someone who has spent a great deal of time studying and practising yoga (a world where setting intention is commonplace)  I personally find intention setting to be a useful tool.

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Reflections on the year passed.

I’ve mentioned a few times in recent posts that 2015 was an incredibly rewarding year for me but it was also one of the hardest ones to date scheduling and workload wise. Between study, work, writing (here and freelance), fundraising, working a FIFO relationship with my Mr, and generally attempting to have a life outside these ventures, it was a struggle. Fortunately for me the majority of these activities bring me great amounts of joy, and for that I am eternally grateful. However I did learn one big lesson in 2015 that actually came from a tea bag (of all places). That lesson was:

Patience Pays.

It can be easy to get wrapped up in the endless onslaught of emails, social media updates, work schedules, family schedules, events, deadlines, etc. But realistically you can’t do it all. As I’ve mentioned previously, Dr Richard Carlson hits the nail on the head in his bestselling book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff with this very important point:

Remind yourself that When You Die, Your “In Basket” Won’t be empty.

No matter how hard we try to keep up with this endless list of things we have to do, respond to, attend, wash, clean, walk, entertain… blah… blah, we will never get it all done. Fighting to get to the bottom of a bottomless pit of things to do will result in burn out. Trying to complete this feat is the equivalent of running on a hamster wheel and expecting to arrive at a final destination. Carlson mentions that we should consider a ‘full’ in basket (or for many of us a full email inbox) as being essential to success. a person with a schedule of endless options and jobs to do is a person in demand! He argues that our ‘in basket’, by nature, should always have items to be completed.

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What is ahead in 2016?

Based on the experiences of 2015 and the very important lesson I learnt from a tea bag (with all that money invested in formal education it’s surprising that some of the most important lessons come from such inexpensive places) my intention for the year ahead is to go with the flow. My studies will be changing from part time to full time as I intended to complete them by years end. This may or may not affect the number of posts I am able to contribute to Sustainability in Style. However, more likely than not, my studies will compliment the writing process and result in blog content, which was the case in 2015 outside of final deadline times. Fingers and toes crossed that 2016 will be the year that brings a level of abundance that allows me to introduce a collection of writers to this space and to be able to remunerate them for their efforts.

In order to make space for this study commitment my plant science project management is wrapping up and I will move back to reduced hours and less responsibility. A thought that provides great relief as it was very tricky to manage plant science experiments while having a head in sustainability education assignments, and a heart in writing about sustainability and ethics in fashion. It kind of felt like being a balloon full of paint thrown at a wall. I was there and making an impression (apparently a good one in some areas) but it was a bit all over the place for my liking. In order to make up for lost income in cutting back from plant science I will be offering my lovely readers e-books on styling, how-to workshop guides for clothing swaps and more, and will continue to work with local ethical and sustainable brands (which was also something I was doing in 2015) to improve their standing in the local Sunshine Coast community through a venture called The Conscious Style Collective.

I’ve also been working on the beginnings of a small second hand clothing venture that I will be launching soon. I toyed for a long time about the idea of selling vintage, or starting my own label, but it never sat well with the Sustainability In Style platform. Surprisingly the time I’ve had away from fashion and retail has made me miss the joy that came with matching the right person with the right garment. A few trips to sell secondhand clothing at the market in 2015 highlighted just how much I love being able to do this for people and how making someone feel right on the outside can have a profound effect on who they are on the inside. This secondhand clothing venture will be external to Sustainability in Style but it will be complimentary and I will likely be using images and/or ideas between the two (mostly because I can’ t be out taking pretty pics all day every day or my studies won’t be completed). July last year I had the most wonderful sustainable fashion based art exhibition idea appear mid way through a meditation (it all sounds a bit mystical for a woman of science but that’s how it happened) and I hope to have to have it all worked out by March or April of 2017. Please feel free to badger me about it so I keep on track to having it ready to go by then. No idea where I will be showing it but hey, the 2016 intention is to go with the flow so it will all work itself out.

Did you commit yourself to a 2016 intention or resolution? Has it epically failed already? Perhaps you achieved your 2015 resolutions? Blab all about it below.