Moving Away From, Moving Towards . . .

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This is an exercise I sometimes assign to my patients: make two lists, one of the things you are moving away from, and the other of things you are moving towards. It helps us see where we are making progress in our lives, how far we have come already, and where we want our goals to take us.

I thought it would be helpful to apply this exercise to wardrobe and style. I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions! but this is more of a “taking stock” activity, right?  : >  And January is a convenient time for such things. So here are some of my moving ideas:

I am moving away from:

  • being “too cheap” with myself
  • buying disposable, fast-clothing pieces that support unfair labor practices
  • falling back on black and gray for my comfort zone
  • feeling bad about my aging face and neck
  • envy of others’ wardrobes/talents/blogs
  • predictability

I am moving toward:

  • budgeting for a few higher-quality pieces to elevate my wardrobe
  • being more discerning when I thrift-shop (just because it’s $4, doesn’t mean I have to have it)
  • growing more comfortable with my best colors, like green and purple, as staples in my closet
  • accepting the changes in my face and body, while staying healthy and fit 
  • appreciation of my own closet and my own gifts
  • creativity

I am sure there are more, and I’ll probably add to this list as the year goes on. I would love to hear from you — what are you moving away from/towards? Or are you at a sweet spot right now?

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  1. I don't make NY resolutions either 🙂
    Although I do have certain goals I don't want to put more pressure on myself.
    I recently read on a comment you left that you are a psychotherapist – and now I read that this is one of the exercises you have your patients do.
    Now I am trying to make a list and it's like i am stuck – like I am not going anywhere… limbo like – does that ever happen to you ?

  2. Good for your Patti, your personal goals are great and very achievable. This one > being more discerning when I thrift-shop (just because it's $4, doesn't mean I have to have it) > I find really hard to restrain myself here too, and will try harder in 2012!

  3. Patti, these things are so thought provoking.  I love your lists.  I am moving toward more vintage wear since they were made to last, particularly dresses.  Not concerning myself with the amount of folks who follow…I am over that torture.  More exercise, especially yoga.  To be more consistent in posting quality not quantity.  I am inspired by your lists.  Thank you darling.  Dawn Suitcase Vignettes xo

  4. Very very good!  I think I'm moving away from some of the same things you are!  Really embracing in my wardrobe the things I love and letting go of those things that are just so so!  Thanks for this!  Hugs!  ~Serene

  5. Patti, I could literally take every single one you're applying and add it to my to-do and to-don't list. GREAT focus on what you're moving towards which to me is QUALITY not just in the materials of the garments but in quality of life, for you and others. I am so opposed to fast fashion, not just the garments but the mind set and your moving away from and towards lists speaks to me loud and clear that 2012 is slowly getting quality over quanity. Thanks for this post!

  6. Yes, this is a thought provoking post and a great idea. Doing less/more of certain behaviours makes it seems do-able, I think. I'm with you on the trying to be more discerning. And not duplicating, I tend to be drawn to similar things, but then end up looking samey. How interesting that you want to feel less envious of others' wardrobes/talents/blogs – I look at YOU and feel envious of how great you look and how well you put yourself and your blog together! Perhaps envious is the wrong word – appreciative/in awe is more like it! xx

  7. I like the two lists, and today is the day I will sit down and make mine!  thanks for the idea.  Peg

  8. When it comes to thrifting I've found once you get the 'thrifting bug' you start to buy everything in sight that is in your size. But once your closet is full you start to be a lot more discerning with your tastes. It's much easier to put back a cheap Target top when you know you have 17 tops at home that you can wear. I keep starting a 'one in one out' rule and then immediately faulting and deciding to keep ALL the things 🙂

  9. Your goals are impressive!  I love the inclusion of self acceptance and health, which I believe to be the foundation of everything in our lives.  Brava!

  10. This is a great post. I'm in the same process in other areas of my life and this is a good way of thinking about it. I'm trying to move away from buying something just because it will go on my body and toward something I truly like. Will cut down a lot on spending.

  11. This is a very thought-provoking post.  I kept thinking "yes!" for each of your points – especially the just because it's $4 … or on sale … or a great deal …

  12. Oh the realistic sheep is so cute!
    My thoughts are very scattered right now and it seems hard to focus on moving ideas. However, some of yours seem tailor made for me so I might adopt them!

  13. Yes, yes, yes. I agree with all these. Especially since I am trying to cultivate a more edited wardrobe and stop constantly re-donating half my wardrobe over the year. Although I'm also intending on maintaining the weight gain (yes, weight gain) I've made over the last couple of years so I don't have to do re-donate everything. ;D

  14. I echo that moving away from black and grey and moving toward the feeling that I can "indulge" in finer things from time to time.  I like your way of thinking about changes.

  15. I like these … "being more discerning when I thrift-shop (just because it's $4, doesn't mean I have to have it)" That would be me. I can't even go thrifting anymore, because I can't edit myself 🙁 "accepting the changes in my face and body, while staying healthy and fit" I wish I could do that …

  16. Great idea! I've always done a pros and cons list but I like the idea of this list. Also I think you look amazing! but I understand because I am seeing the forhead wrinkles on myself and panic. Why do I have to gain wisdom and winkles so unfair 🙂

  17. I really like the moving toward and  moving from format…and would probably share many of the same things on the list.  For now, I will put it this way…I HAVE to move toward a healthier lifestyle and move away from unhealthy habits which do not serve me well.

  18. This is a perfect exercise to practice not just in January, but all year long! What a great idea!  I am moving away from always buying something just because it's on sale and moving toward buying only items that I love and will be in my closet for many years to come (well, when my shopping ban is over).  Heather

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