A few years ago, I gave myself a “6 Month Challenge”. The challenge was that I was not to buy any new clothes for SIX WHOLE MONTHS!!! I had to use the ones I already had in my closet to make outfits to last me for six months. The only things I could buy were accessories (scarves, jewelry, etc.) I have to admit, that challenge was CHALLENGING. I love to shop… with my friend clearance of course!! LOL I’m one of those people who can get a whole outfit on sale for $20!!! Okay maybe a little more… but because of my love for sales, I realized that I had so many clothes but not enough creativity to make them work for me. So I decided that I would use resources like Pinterest to help me with this challenge. Pinterest has great fashion boards and I was able to use those to help me come up with ideas of outfits that I never would’ve put together before.
I’m so glad I completed this personal challenge. It was very beneficial to me in so many ways and I really grew a lot in many ways. Here are the 8 ways I grew as a result of this challenge:
1. I was able to find my personal style. If you ask Henry, he will tell you that I was a little “stylistically-challenged” when we first got married. He really helped me find what looks works for me and helped me get out of the style rut I was in!! By completing this challenge I was able to find the things that I really liked AND actually looked good on me. Little did I know that many of the things in my closet reflected a “classic” style. With some fashion “tips” from Pinterest I was able to find things that matched my style and learned how to put the items that I already had in my closet together. So thanks to this challenge I was able to better find my personal style. The slide show above shows a few of the outfits that I creatively put together during and after my challenge.
2. I became more confident in my style. This challenge helped me to become more confident in my clothing/outfit choices, in my style and in my ability to put outfits together that actually looked good! I was able to find my groove and run with it. Now when I go to my closet, I know exactly what things go together and I have a much easier time putting outfits together.
3. I saved money. Money that I would’ve spent on clothing I was able to put towards other things. Henry and I, like most people, have student loans and other things we are paying for, so we were able to pay off our first car faster due to being able to put more money towards the car note. The best feeling in the world was being able to pay that thing off!!!
4. I began to purge and simplify. I’ve been purging more these days, and I believe it is as a result of the challenge. I realized that I had so many things that I didn’t need or wear. I began to get rid of things that I don’t wear often. Even now I try to purge at least a couple of times a year. I have so much that it now feels excessive. My next purge will be my accessories and jewelry (that’s another challenge and blog to come.) I’ve become very interested in simplifying my life in many ways… starting with things like my clothes/wardrobe.
5. I’ve become a more mindful/purposeful shopper. I have noticed now that I am more purposeful with my shopping. Instead of buying things that are cute or on sale, now I buy things that are practical and things I need. Many times when I do go shopping, it is for a specific item. Recently I needed a new white shirt to replace the dingy ones I had. I was able to find one on sale and was able to get one that now hides my stomach a little more :-). Now that I’ve had a baby my body has changed a bit. So now I’m learning to shop for items that actually look good on my new body. I’m learning to embrace my new mommy body and finding ways to stay fashionable at the same time!
6. I accomplished a big goal! This was the first time I ever gave myself a personal challenge to this extent. I’ll admit, I was nervous at first and really didn’t think I could do it… but I’m so proud that I did! I gave myself two months to actually do the challenge before even sharing about it with others. There were times when it was really hard to stay focused, especially when I would get those weekly and even daily emails from my favorite stores with amazing “deals” and “sales”. I had to purposely make myself NOT open those emails. It was hard…but so totally worth it. To be able to say that I accomplished this goal was a highlight for that year! To this day I am still so proud of myself for starting and completing this challenge/goal.
7. It helped me become more resourceful. When I was completing this challenge, I had to be resourceful and creative. At the time, I had to think about how I can make great use of the things that I already had. That resourcefulness has transferred/carried over into everything I do now as a mommy.
8. It helped me see the bigger picture. One thing I learned through this challenge is that less really is more. I was able to learn firsthand that things do not make you happy. The more things we get, the more things we want. I saw that illustrated by the many “things” I had. When I made use of the things I already had, I realized that I had MORE than enough. I was also able to get rid of the excess…thus simplifying my wardrobe and ultimately other parts of my life. I see the bigger picture… There’s more to life than getting things. Life is about building relationships that will last. Relationships are MUCH more important than things…. they last longer and have a far greater impact. Having the newest car, purse, dress or shoes might be nice and get you a few compliments initially, but at the end of the day those things can’t dry your tears when you cry, hold you when you’re sad or speak a timely word right when you need it. Relationships are key to having a full and fulfilled life. Most importantly, having a relationship with Jesus is what makes life worth living. When you have Him, you have EVERYTHING!
I’ve been thinking about what my next personal challenge will be. Now that I’m a mommy, my focus has changed from “finding my style” to things that are more important. I definitely want to start another challenge soon…I’m still trying to figure out which direction to go and what challenge to try. Once I do find out what that challenge will be, I’ll be sure to share. Any ideas or suggestions?? Please share in the comments below… Oh and please go easy on me y’all!!! LOL 🙂