Three Goals for 2016

We’re eight days into the new year and it’s just as well I didn’t make a resolution to be less lazy or have a more regular presence on my blog because I’d have failed that before I even began. Luckily, I’ve never been into resolutions and I think I’ve worked out why: they imply that the old you was rubbish in some way. “New year, new you!” is the catch-cry. Because the old you is useless. The old you is too lazy or unfit or bad at croquet (or whichever sport is trendy with the hipsters now). It’s no wonder resolutions don’t work: they put us in a defeatist frame of mind before we even begin.

So forget that. Resolutions are out; goals are in.

Last year, I had a list of ten goals I wanted to achieve in 2015, which seems a little excessive now I think about it. While I did achieve at least half of them, the rest were either forgotten about or became less important as the year went on. This year, I’m keeping it nice and simple, which I hope will guarantee I won’t forget about half of my goals by the time Autumn rolls around.

Goal No. 1: Simplify

We have so much stuff. Too much stuff. I want to spend the year cutting down on what we have and trying not to acquire too many more things. This is easier said than done, given our obsession with op shopping and bringing home interesting new items.

How will I know I’ve acheived Goal No. 1?

When everything is uncluttered and stored away in its right place and I don’t open a cupboard and ask myself questions such as Why do two people own twenty-seven dinner plates?

Goal No. 2: Become An Expert Dressmaker

This is a completely normal, non-crazy plan that I am sure is achievable. Essentially, I plan to make myself a fifties inspired wardrobe from scratch. And I mean completely from scratch. As in, I will be making the patterns, too.

Normal, right? What could possibly go wrong?

This will fit in with simplifying goal as I will also be using material solely from the stash I didn’t think I had. The only things I can buy are various notions such as bias binding or zips, but I’m hoping I can pick those up from op shops.

Oh, and I’ll need to buy some wool for the knitted items.

And a new sewing machine. I was undecided about this, as my current machine is perfectly adequate – I am constantly underestimating it and I’m sure it must be sick of my lack of confidence in it at this point. But honestly, for every time it sews through more layers than I think possible, the bobbin will get clogged up because one tiny thread happened to glance against the needle.

As I said, I was undecided until I started reading my $5 copy of Practical Home Dressmaking Illustrated and its helpful directions for setting up your sewing area. (Did you know that you can simply plug your sewing machine into the light socket if you have no outlets? Fascinatingly useless advice for modern times! Yes, I am slightly tempted to look for an machine I can plug into a light socket…)

“A machine will, if well cared for, last a lifetime,” the book says, “so treat this purchase as an investment rather than an extravagance.”

Whatever you say, book. Let’s invest.

I won’t be going over the top with the sewing, though. After all, my first goal is all about simplifying and that applies to as many aspects of my life as possible. So I’m sewing something of a capsule wardrobe here in an attempt to challenge the twenty-first century idea of having a new dress every time you change your mind. This is what I’m planning at the moment:

Jan Goals 01

(This is how my cats thought that photo should look.)

There are fourteen items in total, with a bonus two extras to make if I’m really good. (One is a dress made out of a fabric I really want to use but doesn’t fit with the base colour scheme of the capsule wardrobe and the other is a cardigan with a fair isle yoke inspired by the recent Call the Midwife Christmas special.)

Essentially, my 2016 wardrobe looks like this:

Jan Goals 02

How will I know I’ve achieved Goal No. 2?

When I have a dozen or so new items of clothing in my wardrobe that fit me perfectly and go together nicely.

Goal No. 3: The Mystery Goal

The mysterious Goal No. 3 is a big goal and I’m not sure how to make it happen, so perhaps my third goal is to work out how to make the third goal a reality. It sounds a little convoluted and contradictory, perhaps, but it would be a start!

According to the articles I read on resolutions, one of the keys to making them work is accountability and sharing your goals with friends or family. So let’s keep each other accountable: what are your goals for 2016?

18 thoughts on “Three Goals for 2016

  1. Good luck on your goals! I don’t make resolutions. I do make challenges, pledges, goals and the like. I have the same goal this year as last – my Ready to Wear fast. Last year, I so enjoyed NOT shopping and buying clothes that don’t fit me. I really preferred learning how to make garments for myself – clothes that are my style, fabric and fit. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I do agree with you: challenges and pledges make for a much better focus in your year than resolutions, which are usually too difficult or harsh to begin with. Your ready-to-wear fast is a perfect example: it’s not necessarily easy, but it’s definitely achievable and it makes your life better. I hope it serves you well in 2016. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My main goal is to publish my book(s). I’m itching to move forward on the third (and hopefully final) draft, but my two beta readers have been taking forever to even start looking at the second.

    A shorter term goal (this weekend) is to put together a sort of summary/pitch/something that explains the three books, what they’re about, how long they are, intended audience, etc. Is there a proper name for that? The word isn’t coming to me. (Good thing I’m a writer, huh.) The intention is to have something to show potential publishers, but before that step, I may need it to rope in additional beta readers, you know, to see if they want to give it a go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is it a treatment? Or does that only refer to screenplays? Either way, I know exactly what you mean and it sounds as though that could be a good exercise in and of itself. Good luck with both goals! Are you still using your LJ? I may to go and add it to my email alerts so I don’t miss anything.


      1. Yeah, a treatment is really just for scripts. A writer friend of mine said that it’s a pitch as part of a query, if sending to publishers, that is. But this is sort of the step before that, so I don’t know what to call it. Maybe it doesn’t matter.

        And yes, I still occasionally post to LJ:


  3. I’m so intrigued about the Mystery Goal… so much so I almost forgot about the other two!!

    I have set one goal this year, to work on fitting and construction and make my own patterns… Basically. it’s to stop taking the easy route and rushing my sewing and to actually build on my skills!!

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, the Mystery Goal. It’s one of those big ones that are exciting and scary all at once. But if I manage to pull it off, I promise I’ll reveal all!

      I identify strongly with your goal because that’s pretty much my motivation for my Goal No. 2. So often, I’m happy to cut corners or be satisfied with ‘good enough’, but I’m determined to change that this year. My handmade clothes will fit me and I’ll be taking every opportunity I can to show off the insides, which will be finished immaculately.

      Best of luck with your goal – I’m looking forward to seeing the results of it on your blog. 🙂


  4. Have you tried putting your sewing machine in for a service? While I’m all for a new sewing machine (as they are awesome and fuck me there are some amazing things you can get them to do. My mum’s one embroiders, doesn’t need a foot pedal and I swear can-can dances) think about adding a yearly service in. The difference it can make is seriously impressive.

    That being said, mine is overdue for one, but I’m in the hate side of my love hate relationship with sewing right now.

    Also, you should seriously think about Etsy for some of your pieces. That dress you wore to the ball was so well done! Epically impressed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I’ve been tossing around pros and cons for months and it all comes back to one thing: it was bought as a beginner machine – a modest purchase to see if I’d actually stick at the whole sewing lark. That, and the fact that it’s highly temperamental. And only has two speeds: annoyingly slow and scarily fast. And don’t get me started on the four-step buttonhole… It does feel silly to buy a new machine when I have an adequate one, but I plan to use the new one a lot and I don’t think the mostly-plastic Singer is up to the challenge.

      Of course, I am now tempted to take it apart myself and have a tinker. This is probably a temptation I should resist.

      I am a highly selfish sewer, I’m afraid. While I’m quite happy to knit for people who are on the list, I couldn’t bring myself to sew for anyone else (with the possible exception of the Chef). Knitting is such a relaxing pastime; sewing is almost the absolute opposite! (But thank-you for the compliment. :D)


  5. Go for it Katie – buy another sewing machine! I bought one and I love it even though after 18 months I’m still exploring its possibilities. It’s so smooth, so smart, such a little gem. It encourages me to try new ideas so it’s well worth it. On the goal front – whatever floats your boat! If you think you need them that’s great but I secretly think that new ideas wil take over and you’ll adapt your goals. We all do! It’s called life!!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re probably right – I expect some parts of the goals may change as the year passes. This is why I tried to stick with minimal goals: I thought it might help keep things simple.

      I still haven’t bought a new machine but the thought of it is definitely running through my mind whenever I have a spare moment or two. The machine I want isn’t particularly fancy, but it’s well-made and built of solid stuff, so it should last. We’ll see what happens!


  6. I didn’t have any new year’s resolutions because I’m too lazy, but now you mention it, improving at croquet would be a good one (seeing as I have never played, I could only get better anyway, right?).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the spirit! I also think croquet looks like a bit of fun and seems to allow plenty of opportunities for shenanigans or just standing around discussing how the flowers are coming along this season. All while dressed a little posh, which is a bit of a winner.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello Katie! I’ve just discovered your lovely blog (and youtube videos)….love your list of goals. The Mystery Goal is very intriguing. My own list is daunting, but it is not resolutions so much as a list of aspirations. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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