April Goals

With the first quarter done and the sun’s warmth returning (kinda), I feel as though I’ve gotten a seasonal boost of motivation and I’m ready to get back into what I was working on before March’s hiatus.

Clothing:

The average temperature through to the end of the month is supposed to be around 12C, so I don’t think I’ll be pulling my sun dresses out just yet. With this being the last month before I do the seasonal swap out, I’ll mirror my February challenge of finding things I’ve not worn yet – but with a focus on unflipped hangers, rather than remixing combinations. It’s mainly tops and dresses that fall into this category, which shouldn’t be too difficult to pair with the rotation I have for trousers and skits for work. What I’ve done so far is separate the unworn from the worn items and placed them at the middle of my closet so they’re easier to see – and with the 20 or so items, I should be able to wear each one at least once by the end of the month, especially if I plan what to wear either the night before or at the beginning of the week.

Books:

I’m going back to picking my own books now that I’ve finished reading the last of my library loans (digital and physical). I’m going to read at least two art history books, one about Friday Kahlo and the other about Marc Chagall. I know a bit about both, and I’ve seen Chagall’s works in person, so I think it would be easier for me to get invested in their stories. The books are also visually pleasing and roughly 110 pages each, so it should be easy enough to get into.

Using What I’ve Got:

With the prospect of travel back on the docket, I’ll focus more finishing up my bottled body care products that wouldn’t be allowed through security – as opposed to alternating between bottle and bar soap. For planner stickers, I will finish working on doing a memory spread in my planner of my two weeks away in March, especially since I have pages of stickers dedicated to travel, dinners, and other fun plans. I haven’t got anything specific in mind for yarn, nor for writing and stationery supplies, but I’m keeping an open mind if something crosses my path.

For Fun Money:

I want to be more intentional about treating myself for my efforts or if I feel like it, especially with there being a handful of new places to eat having popped up in town in time for spring. If the weather is nice and I just so happen to walk by the mom & pop smoothie shop, then why not support the local economy? But on a more earnest note, having felt guilty and hesitant about spending the for fun money while traveling because I forgot about it isn’t a feeling I want to carry forward. I need to get in the habit of being aware that this line in my budget exists and shouldn’t only be spent at the end of the year because I held out for 11 months. I don’t so much have a negative relationship with money (I’m quite fond of spending it, actually), but I don’t want to develop any miserly habits and miss out on little blips of fun for food and experiences in between the bigger stuff.

Later this week I’m dropping a spicy opinion storage bins, and then on Monday, I’ll be back at another instalment of psychology and shopping. Thanks for reading!

February Goals

February has been a slump-ish month for me in the past: the shiny wow-factor of the new year is gone, the sky and slush are the same dreary grey, and the next holiday feels as far away as the sun – and when I was still a student, it usually meant that midterms were ripe to pop up. However, I want to go into this month with the mindset that I’m going to choose to make it fun, rather than let the shortest month of the year drag on (especially after a January that felt like being trapped behind someone standing on the walking side of a long escalator). The overall vibe I’m going for will be “fun and flexible” since I can’t predict what the month ahead holds, but I can choose how I want to approach it.

Clothing:

I found that in January, I would reach for outfits that I’ve worn before – or combinations that I’ve tried in the past, but this time with a different colourway. I want to challenge myself creatively to switch it up a bit with what I’m wearing. I work in person, so I’m not going to throw together something that I’d feel uncomfortable wearing, like a tartan blazer, striped shirt, and a polka dot skirt (I don’t think even the Emily in Paris wardrobe team could make that work). More so what I want to focus on is to not just wear the same outfits on rotation each week, and try to flip more hangers throughout the month. I’m not setting a specific number of specific pieces to be worn, but I want to try to do about once a week either something that hasn’t been worn yet this year, or not yet together. We’ll see, this is for the fun of it, after all.

Books:

So life got busy and I’m still only half done the linguistics book, though I will soon need a new bedside table read. I’m taking a second go at reading the Monet book for the month, but I think I’ll keep that more for day-time reading – since part of what takes me so long is that I just run out of energy at the end of a my busiest days and fall right asleep. Also, as fascinating as any topic is, reading nonfiction before bed feels far more like cramming for a test than reading for fun, so I’m much less motivated to reach for it. If all goes well, I should be able to line up finishing reading Monet in time for my hold on “Do You Really Need It?” by Pierre-Yves McSween becomes available. I found this ebook while browsing through the personal finance section of Libby. The humorous tone and straight forward approach (from what I’ve read in the sample) will offer a look through categories I struggle with, as well as categories I may not have even considered. Which I think is important – seeing another perspective about how to approach spending/what’s worth bringing into my home will be something to reflect on as I go through it.

Using what I’ve Got:

I’m starting the month with a new tube of toothpaste and bar of soap (side note: had you told me even two years ago that I would think the previous sentence was content worthy of sharing on the internet, I would have cackled and continued scrolling through the Old Navy sale page). I will start a second lip balm before finishing the small tin, but that’s because I’ve found it incredibly annoying to fetch it from my work things each time I want to use it while I’m home, and possibly forget it for work the next day. For yarn, I’m going to be making a few things for family when I visit in March, but beyond that, nothing else is on my radar yet. Finally, for planner stickers, I’m entertaining myself so far with seeing just how many stickers I can use on a monthly spread page, and still make it look like a cohesive theme. I’m not at all taking this seriously, and it’s more of a “funny because I’m doing it ironically” thing – as opposed to last-year me painstakingly lifting stickers off the page because I set it down at an 80-degree angle instead of 90.

I’m focusing on smaller, more bite-sized goals for the month with the plan to turn that into regular habits, rather than carrying too much throughout the month – which my guilt goblin thrives on (the name I’ve given to the second loudest critical voice rattling around in my brain).

Coming Up Next Week:

Saturday will be the next set of printables, which focus on productivity; Monday will have part two of my relationship to shopping, and Thursday will go into more detail about small changes and sustainable goals. Thanks for reading!

Using What I’ve Got: Yarn

I thought I was going to be able to open this blog post dramatically with a claim that I have amassed and used the equivalent metre-age (yardage) as a percent of the distance to the Moon. Thankfully, however, my yarn stash total – used and unused – works out to just under 26 km/16.2 mi. Who would have thought that taking a step back and assessing how much I have makes the volume of it less daunting? I’ve just frogged/unraveled a blanket, have left over yarn from gifts I made, as well as abandoned-projects-that-are-more-technical-than-my-skill-level yarn – so, I’m certainly not lacking craft materials.

The gap between my desire to make something and my skill level has only been the cause of over-buying yarn once. The remaining 23 km of yarn comes from either left over yarn from completed projects (I’m not great at estimating how much yarn is needed for something I’m making without a pattern), or from the idea of a project and the mixed feeling of “I want to have enough to make what I want, when I want” and “if I don’t have enough, I can’t make the piece.” Oh, and I’m a sucker for marketing when things are in my favourite colourways.

Most of my yarn, clothing, jewellery, home decor, and cookware fit at least one of these colours

Yarn, and other craft supplies, is one of the no-buy categories for the year – and I am planning to use it for various projects (maybe I’ll get a jump start on making for the holiday season this year). Crocheting is one of my hobbies that I can do on autopilot once I’ve figured out what type of stitch or pattern of stitches I’m using, so I like to pair it with listening to a podcast or catching up on my “Watch Later” playlist on YouTube. Or, if I’m feeling spicy, I can be alone with just my thoughts and not have any media on while crafting. For reference’s sake for project size, I’ve made both scrunchies and blankets, which are equally rewarding to me.

I have no desire to monetize this hobby. Frankly, dealing with the post office is about 30% of the reason I don’t want to, but the other part is the “quiet” that I have when I’m working away at any project. If something is for myself, it’s allowed to be imperfect and wonky. If it’s a gift, I’ll make a bit more of an effort or go over a line of stitches twice if necessary. In essence, I’m genuinely doing it for the fun of it and my brain is happy to see a physical representation of my efforts (as opposed to the majority of my work being digital or otherwise abstract). I don’t feel that I need to maximize my skill level, compete with anyone else (whether for sales or complexity of projects), or be perfect (crochet is great for this: messed up a stitch? Undo it and start again).

What I do desire, however, is to be able to minimize the stash of yarn. I find that when I have many projects going at once regardless of medium, I pick up new projects but never finish them. I tend to slow down when the stash is smaller, actually completing the projects I’ve started. I think two projects – one short-term, one long-term – is reasonable to have going at the same time, but more than that is unmanageable for me.

My major take away would be that slowing down and being more intentional would also be beneficial to my personal/for fun projects. Oh, and also remembering to make things for myself as well, not just as gifts.

Like this headband, made for me by me 🙂

What’s coming up next:

Next week will start off with looking at the rest of my categories for inventories, as well as the products that I’m looking to finish up using. Thanks for reading!