Hello, lovely readers – it is now January 1 of the New Year. Somehow I thought 2015 was going to be a bit more…futuristic. Like with hoverboards and time displacement vortexes. I’m a little disappointed.
As you may have noticed, there’s a bit of construction going on around here. I’m sprucing things up, starting with a new website theme for Chic Steals and new functionality. Plus new content is on the way! Still working and tweaking, though (you may have noticed my DIY Galleries are down right now as I have to rebuild the whole gallery from scratch)…so it will be a little bit of time until everything is sorted out and running smoothly.
2014 was an absolutely awful year for me, personally – not going to lie – and 2015 is not looking very promising either…can I just skip over it and arrive in 2016?? 😉 There’s been something going on in my life that I am still unable to share on the blog because everything is still completely unresolved and things are in flux. When I know more, and it is finally in the aftermath…then I can share, but right now I cannot because I could impact my legal position. Seriously, it’s THAT bad.
Onto lighter topics. In any case, I’d like to share with you a round-up of the DIY’s I shared on this blog in 2014…like I do every year around New Year’s. Perhaps you missed one or two?Check them out below!
I was working as a Guest Contributor for WeHeartThis for awhile, until I got too overwhelmed with the personal stuff. Above are my DIY Alphabet Earrings. Made from pasta.
I noticed that Windowpane-print was trending…so I created a boldly graphic Windowpane Sweatshirt using black trim.
I had my eye on quartz paperweights and objets for awhile…so I just made a Faux Quartz Paperweight out of quartz pieces and beach glass vase filler…that looks so much like a real chunk of semiprecious stone that you’d be surprised!
I would have loved to roll this post out while everyone (including me!) was still in the planning stage for their Resolutions, but, alas, an Internet issue has delayed this post. But it’s never too late!
Some of you may have already made your Resolutions for 2014 – and others may still be deciding (the old ‘should I or shouldn’t I?’ question). After all, how many Resolutions have we been able to keep in the past?
I think there’s a distinct reason why Resolutions are so hard to keep – and why the concept of endeavors spanning a year are so difficult to visualize to fruition. Here’s how to make good Resolutions – and set yourself up for success! – in keeping them:
1. Don’t Focus on the Whole Year – Split It Into Parts
12 months is a huge timespan to consider, and resolve inevitably fades after a month or so. Why not split your year down into manageable sections?The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington advocates this approach in order to concentrate focus and productivity. It’s an excellent book on the piecemeal approach to planning for the long-term, and I highly recommend it in order to help you achieve your Resolution goals. Split up your year into 4 quarters, focus on separate goals during each quarter, reassess as you go, and the whole year of a Better You is way more doable.
2. Don’t Make Too Many Resolutions – Stick to 5 or Less Per Quarter
Again, a hallmark of productivity advice is to not self-sabotage from the outset by focusing on too much. Even with a shorter timespan to focus on, you can still put way too much on your plate by trying to tackle 10 or 20 goals. Pick 5 -3 goals (the fewer, the better!) with which you want to start out in order to maximize your results.
3. Make Your Resolutions Quantitative and Measurable
Don’t write down “Be more thoughtful to my Grandma” or “Get healthy”…be specific! How will you be nice to Grandma – what will you do? Write a letter every two weeks? Send impromptu flowers? What does “Get healthy” mean to you? Is it “drink no soda”? “Limit coffee to 1x per week”? “Walk 5000 steps per day”? Make it as specific as possible so you can measure your progress and make sure you are achieving the overall goal.
4. Create a String of Unbroken X’s
A common motivator is to have a physical calendar with your daily goals on it, and draw a big X on each day that you hit your 5000 steps, post a blog post, don’t spend any money, take the dog for a walk, etc. The visual chain of X’s that you create when you repeat these actions day after day, week after week, will help motivate you to keep going so as not to break the chain.
5. Create Regular Check-Ins For Yourself
Designate a day of the week, each week, and a day of the month, each month, to check your progress. Are you hitting your daily, weekly, monthly goals? If not, step back and assess. What can you change, how can you help yourself achieve what you want? Set aside 5-10 minutes at least to reflect and recalibrate in order to better tackle your Resolutions.
6. Create Motivators and Rewards for Yourself
Accountability is a huge part of achieving goals – as is rewarding yourself. Schedule in a fun experience, shopping treat, time with your friends, whatever motivates you as a reward for all your hard work. (These rewards have to be motivating enough to keep you going when the going gets rough – and help you put down that donut, refuse that drink, do an extra set of dumbbell curls…when you really, really would rather not. Plus, those rewards can’t be such that they undo all your hard work and set you back into the habits you are trying to change: i.e., a shopping binge for someone trying to curtail spending for example.)
7. Remember It Takes Time
It is said that to change any habit permanently you need a minimum of 21 days. Each time you do not indulge in that habit, you create new neural pathways that reinforce good habits. But the slope is slippery – and it’s very easy to fall back into old ways. If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up and decide to throw in the towel. It’s just one day – so what? Get back on that horse, back in the saddle, and keep going. That is the hallmark of a true goal-getter – and someone who will be keeping those Resolutions this year at last.
Another year has gone by, and now it’s time to do my yearly wrap-up of content. (This was supposed to post New Year’s Eve, but my home router is broken, so I had to write this at my local Starbucks, using their wi-fi. Thanks, Starbucks!!)
Every year on New Year’s Eve I republish a list of all my DIY’s that I shared on this blog during the past year. Just like last year, I decided to do a Best Of list as well, to share some of my favorite content from this past year with you: (more…)
I had a long recap of 2013 posts to share, but unfortunately my wireless router just broke (we’ve had it for almost 6 years so it had a good life) and I’m unable to finish it via my phone and its spotty roaming connection. I’ll have to wait til Starbucks opens and try to finish it in the New Year. Suffice it to say it’s been a great year- here’s hoping that even better things are on their way in 2014.
Thank you all so much for reading, I’m so thankful for each and every one of you!
New Year’s Eve is rapidly approaching – do you know what you will be wearing yet? There is a definite trend towards wearing something sparkly, large, and a total showstopper on one’s head for that evening – and I just love the boldness of it! Here are some fabulous DIY’s for making your own New Year’s Eve head adornment to ring in 2014! (more…)
Hi, I'm Carly. I LOVE making things: all things, from clothing to jewelry, accessories, crafts, and home decor. I infuse my life and wardrobe with DIY creativity while staying on a budget. This site is about looking and living chic for a steal, and this is how I do it.