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We’re a couple of weeks into 2024. And if you’re one of the 40% of US adults who made a New Year’s resolution, I’ve got a question for you. In the words of the great poet Dr. Phil, how’s that working for you? Studies show that most people abandon their resolutions by January 19. If yours are still going strong, great; give yourself a pat on the back. But if your resolve is waning, or maybe you never got started on those goals you wrote down. Today, I’m going to show you how your wardrobe can help you reach those goals. So before you ditch the resolutions, check this out.

Hello, gorgeous. Welcome back to the Everyday Style School, the podcast that gives real lifestyle advice to real-life women. If you’re new here, welcome. I’m your host, Jennifer Mackay, Mary. I’m a wardrobe stylist who’s been dressing women every day for over 20 years. I’m the founder of Everyday Style, where we are on a mission to inspire women to love the way they look and give you the tools to make getting dressed easy. If you’re a longtime listener, welcome back, I’m happy to have you with me for another episode. Over the years, I’ve noticed a trend that I think needs to stop. And that is women telling me, or rather telling themselves, that they’ll dress better when they lose weight. When they get back in those jeans. When they feel better about themselves. When they go back to work, they have a better social life. When they have a bigger bank account, you get the idea, right. And maybe you’ve even said some of those to yourself too. It’s like we feel we don’t deserve great style or a great wardrobe until those things happen. And once we reach our goals will be worthy of great style and we can reward ourselves with beautiful clothes. But today, I want to shift your mindset about that one and help you realize that your wardrobe is a much better catalyst for reaching your goals than it is a reward. Whether you’re listening to this episode when it first comes out, and you’re in the throes of resolutions and New Year New you and 366 blank pages because it’s a leap year to write a better story, or you’re listening months from now. But you’ve been struggling to justify a better wardrobe until some magical thing happens. My goal is to help you flip your thinking from I’ll dress better when to I’ll dress better so I can, I’ll dress better so I can lose the weight, I’ll dress better, so I can have a better social life. I’ll dress better so I can feel better about myself. And if I can’t get you to 100% Ditch the crappy beliefs that are keeping you stuck, maybe I can just plant the seed. Maybe you’ll think about this episode when you’re going to the gym or getting dressed for the day. And if that’s where it starts, you’re just thinking about maybe doing something different. I’ll take it. So today, I’m going to share the five most common New Year’s resolutions that people make and how your wardrobe can help you crush them. These are from a Forbes magazine article, I’ll link it in the show notes. Let’s dive in. Coming in at number one. With 48% of respondents listing it as a top resolution is improved fitness. I know firsthand that this one is true because I was at the gym this morning at 6 am when it was 25 degrees out, and normally it’s pretty quiet at that time. But this morning it was packed. As I’m recording this, we haven’t quite hit mid-month, so I’m expecting it will quiet down a little bit. But today, everybody was on that grind, and good for them. I hope they stick with it. If this is a goal that you’ve set for yourself and you’re waiting until you’ve got Michelle Obama arms and Carrie Underwood legs to invest in good gym clothes. I really, really want you to hear me out. Have you ever been at the gym doing your thing? Maybe you’re on the treadmill, and you’re dressed in a baggy T and worn-out leggings, and you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, and you just go, Oh, forget it. I’ll never reach my goals. I might as well give up and go home. I know I have. In fact, it happened to me this morning. I’m a morning person. I go to the gym early, we’ve established that, and normally, I put my gym clothes in my bathroom before I go to bed so I can, you know, pick out an outfit that goes together and not wake my husband up by rattling around trying to get dressed. Well, that didn’t happen last night. I just forgot as a matter of fact I forgot I was meeting with my trainer. So this morning, I was in the dark trying to pull something together to wear, not with my husband. Most of my gym stuff was in the dryer so my options were limited. I ended up in this cool toned blush oversized T with a high neck and a drop shoulder and matching leggings that have always been a little too big, and they always fall down when I walk in their baggy and weird places. It’s the gym outfit I feel least good in. I don’t know why it’s still in my wardrobe in my drawer; it’s no longer. But when you’re meeting your trainer in seven minutes, and you live eight minutes away, you got to do what you got to do. So anyway, I was at the gym, I was lifting heavy things. And I saw myself in the mirror, and I saw the shirt that just totally washed me out; I looked like death warmed over, I saw the oversized top that emphasized my least favorite features and hit my shape entirely. And I just had this moment when I thought, what’s the point, I’ll never reach my goals. I actually felt bad about myself for a minute. And I had to remind myself of all the gains I’ve made and how much stronger I’ve gotten. And how six months ago, I was not comfortable in the buff dude part of the gym, you know, that part, I was not comfortable there. And now I’ve like made friends with some of them. I’ve come a long way, baby. But in that moment, that isn’t what I saw. And honestly, it’s never what I see when I wear clothes that highlight the parts I like and fit well and make me feel good. In those clothes, I see my efforts in my progress. There’s this guy, I follow this guru type, his name is Ed my lat. Sometimes he’s a little bit too Broly and to hustling and you know, get that grind for me. But he also said some really good stuff. So I keep following him. And one of the things he said was that a big reason people don’t reach their goals is that they feel like they’re too far away from where they want to be to even try like they’re starting from so far back, when in reality, you’re always a whole lot closer than you think. And I think about that a lot. And it really applies here. Don’t wear clothes that make you feel farther from your goal than you really are. Wear clothes that fit well that highlight the parts you like that make you feel good. And you’ll realize that you are closer than you think. And maybe that’ll be enough to keep you going when it’s early and cold. And you would just rather drive through Starbucks. One more point about this that I want to make. There’s a theory, you know, I love a good theory about self-labeling. And basically it says that our behaviors support the labels we put on ourselves. So if you think about that, in terms of fitness, although it really applies to everything, you can put it in these terms. Do you want to be a fit person, give yourself the label of a fit person. And if that feels like a stretch, call yourself a person who cares about fitness. That’s that’s true, right? If that’s a resolution, that’s true. But here’s the thing: fit people aren’t slumping around in sad, stretched-out tees from someone else, which is 5k. Race-fit people invest in fitness clothes and dress like fit person. And it’ll be easier to become one. dressing the part makes it easier to put on that label. And then your behaviors support the label that you’ve given yourself. So you want a good place to start with your fitness journey. Just dress like a fit person. I actually feel like we could stop here; it would be a super helpful episode. But we’ve got former resolutions. So let’s keep it moving. The number two spot when it comes to resolutions was improved finances, with 38% of respondents saying it was a top priority or top resolution. And by the way, I know the math on these doesn’t add up. But people could pick more than one. So if we get to like 200% of people. That’s why I think the immediate reaction is to say, well, dressing better cost money. So how can it help improve my finances? I will fully admit this one is not as obvious, but hear me out. First, dressing well does not mean you have a closet full of designer labels or even a big wardrobe. It just means getting dressed with intention and liking the way you look. Most people listening to the show right now could put together 10 outfits like that and not spend much if anything. So let’s get rid of this myth that you have to have a huge budget to have a great wardrobe. You don’t. But today, we’re talking about how to use your wardrobe to reach your goals. So let’s tackle that. One of the biggest reasons people overspend is emotional impulse spending. And I think it’s pretty obvious what that means. I don’t think we have to define that. But I found a study by the University of Michigan that dug a little deeper into why we impulse to spend when we’re in our feelings and why we shop. What they found is that it helps restore a sense of control. The act of choosing things when we shop helps us feel like we have control over a situation or over our lives. And I found this really interesting, and it made me think of something I’ve heard over and over from clients in the past and style circle members now that getting dressed helps them feel like they had some control during a difficult time. We’re talking the death of a parent a difficult diagnosis for themselves or for a child. These are really really big things that often feel like our world is totally out of sorts. And what I’ve heard over and over is getting dressed was the one thing I could control. Getting dressed was the one thing I could do for myself every day feeling good about themselves, even when things were hard. gave them more strength and courage and restored a little bit of order to a really chaotic situation. So if getting dressed with intention can do that when big stuff is happening, can you imagine what effect it could have on your everyday life? I’m guessing that could even spill over into finances. I think it’d be really interesting to see how much less crap we buy at Target when we feel put together versus when we’re feeling frumpy and dumpy. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I make better choices in everything. When I put myself together a little bit, it’s probably a lot less impulse buying in the Target dollar spot when you’re wearing a good outfit.

What I’d say on this one is if your finances feel a little out of control, and you want to do better, start with something that is easy to control, get dressed every morning with intention and see the effect that it has on everything, including your wallet. Coming in at number three, with 36% of people responding this as a, as a top resolution was improved mental health. Y’all I honestly don’t know what to say about this one that I haven’t said a million times already. But I’m gonna repeat it again, for those who are new, or those who just need to hear it. I have always said that one of the reasons I do what I do is to help women understand the power clothes have, you can dress yourself for the day you want to have and the person you want to be and the way you want to feel. You want to feel better, dress better. You know that whole dopamine dressing trend we saw a few seasons back? Well, it’s not just a cute name. Wearing clothes that make you feel good actually gives your brain a hit of dopamine, aka the feel-good chemical. The dopamine dressing trend was all about wearing super bright colors and color blocking and color, color color. And color psychology is part of making yourself feel happier making yourself feel more cheerful. But the bottom line is wearing clothes that make you happy actually makes you happy. Try it. But mental health, I acknowledge, is not all about feeling happy all the time, right? There’s a 2015 study that found wearing clothes that are more formal than you’re used to makes people think more broadly and more holistically and even helped people skip impulsive purchases in favor of saving money. So back to the whole money thing. Designer Tom Ford once said, and I’m totally paraphrasing here is that it’s okay to give up a little physical comfort in our clothes to gain some psychological comfort. And I’m reminded of the way I carry myself differently and think about myself differently when I’m a little bit more dressed up. To be honest, I feel a little more like the person I want to be when I’m in shoes that are not, you know, slippers. That is the power of getting dressed with intention. It’s a super powerful tool in your mental health toolbox. So don’t overlook it. I want to be 100% crystal clear that I don’t believe that when you’re dealing with a difficult mental health challenge, that dressing up is going to solve everything not not at all, not by a longshot. But I do know that it can be just a little first step. I do know that front and around and not getting dressed doesn’t help anything. And it’s a little thing that you can try. And it’s not even that difficult. Just put on something that makes you feel a little bit better. I think that one of the biggest mental health challenges we’re facing today, as a society is loneliness and isolation and not feeling connected to others. And I want to share a little story with you. Last week, I was talking to a friend who had been invited to a last minute thing at a neighbor’s house. And she was debating about whether or not she wanted to go it’s dark, it’s called gonna want to leave the house. One thing she said struck me. She said I didn’t really get dressed today. And it just feels like too much effort at this point. What if you were always ready to go? What if you could accept those last-minute things, those last-minute invitations, those last-minute connections? Not because you were working from home in a party dress, but because you’d put on cute athleisure clothes and you’ve done your hair and makeup. And all you would need to do is change your clothes and not start getting ready for the day at 6pm. Two things would have happened. First of all, you’d have felt better about yourself all day. And second, it would be so much easier to say yes. And saying yes to these invitations into people into going places is one of the things that can cure that loneliness and isolation and disconnectedness. Now you might think that I’m putting way too much value on what your clothes can do for your mental health. But I actually think most people aren’t putting enough value on it. I think it is so so powerful. If improving your mental health was one of your goals this year. I really want to encourage you to use your wardrobe as a tool to help you get there. Think about every morning How do I want to feel today? What’s the day I want to have and then put on clothes that make you feel that way? resolution number four was to lose weight, always a popular one, coming in with 34% of respondents saying it was a top priority. This is a whole episode on its own. And as a matter of fact, you can go back and listen to my episode on the weight and wardrobe connection, which we will link to in the show notes. Because we’ve done a whole episode on this, I’m going to keep it brief and say this, your wardrobe is a much better catalyst for reaching your goals than it is a reward. I said that at the top of the show. And I don’t know that it applies better anywhere else than here. changing anything is easier when it comes from a place of feeling good about yourself rather than a place of feeling bad and punishing yourself. And this idea of wearing frumpy unstylish clothes until you feel good enough to deserve a beautiful wardrobe just doesn’t make any sense to me. I’m going to share a weight loss truth with you. And it’s one I know from my own journey up and down the scale. There is never a moment where you instantly feel worthy or instantly feel like you’re good enough to buy the good clothes, right? Weight loss is a journey. It’s a it’s a slow transformation. And this just kind of black and white moment where the light switch is flipped on, you’re like now I’m ready. It just doesn’t happen. It doesn’t happen. The way you view your worthiness right now, is the same way you’ll view your worthiness when you hit that arbitrary number that you’re shooting for. So if you treat yourself, well, now, you’re going to treat yourself well then, if you don’t treat yourself well now, you’re probably not going to feel a whole lot different about yourself then either. The good news is, though, this is something you can change today; you can just go buy the good jeans, you can have a wardrobe you love without losing a single pound, and you can start here before you do anything else. There are no rules; nobody is going to card you at the store and be like you’re assigned 16. You can’t buy those, you can absolutely buy those jeans, you can buy anything you want. And as I have always said, when you can’t love your body, you better love the heck out of your wardrobe because you have to get dressed, and not having a wardrobe that makes you feel fabulous. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Weight Loss starts with feeling like you’re worth it. And it’s really hard to feel like you’re worth it when every single day you get dressed in clothes that tell you otherwise. One of my all-time favorite client’s all-time favorites finally worked with me after about three years of telling me that she was going to work with me when she lost weight. As a matter of fact, she would get on my schedule, and then cancel every few months. I’d see her name on my calendar, and I’d be like, Man, I bet I’m actually going to be free that day. I just wasn’t going to happen. Finally after three, three and a half years, I told her I was moving. I was like look, it is now or never and she chose now even though she hadn’t lost any weight. The first thing that happened was that we got an accurate look at her body. She got an accurate look at her body. She told me she was a size 16 really she was a 12. And then we put her in super fun clothes that just made her feel so good. At the end of our session, my face hurt from smiling because she was just so joyful about everything like oh my gosh, I love this. I love this. I like she was just so excited. And I mean it was it was it was contagious. After about six months, after six months after I moved, I got an email asking me if I’d be willing to fly back and work with her. You know why she’d lost so much weight that nothing we bought fit her anymore. She said, I don’t know what it was about going shopping. But I finally did it. Girl, I know what it was, she felt good, and wanted to feel even better. She couldn’t make the changes she wanted to make. When she felt bad about herself. It starts with feeling better. And the easiest way to do that is just put on some clothes that make you feel good. That isn’t the only story I have like that either. There was a group of friends, they all worked with me. And their joke in this group was that the best way to lose weight or get pregnant was to go shopping with me. But there was there’s nothing magical about me nothing. It’s about transforming how they felt about themselves. So they could finally make the changes that they needed to make. So if you want to lose weight this year, ditch the frumpy Dombey I’ll just hate myself until I love myself clothes and start dressing like you love yourself right now. I finally coming in at number five with 32% of respondents calling this a top priority is improved diet. To be honest with you, there’s nothing I haven’t covered in the first four resolutions that you can apply here. If you want to make better choices in everything, get dressed. You carry yourself differently, you’re more mindful of your actions. You want better and more for yourself. And that’s what resolutions are all about. Right? If you want to be a person who eats well dressed like a person who values herself enough to eat well Oh, it can just start with that, again, want to be super clear that I don’t think a cute outfit is the panacea for all your troubles. But what I do know is that it’s a simple thing you can do each day, that will have a huge impact on your life.

You’ve probably heard of the book by Admiral William McRaven. Called Make Your Bed, little things that can change your life and maybe the world, right? If you haven’t, here’s the gist. If you want to improve your life, start by making your bed. But when it comes to making your bed, the key is not the maid bed. That’s not the point. The point is about being a person who makes their bed. Do you know what I mean? It’s about starting your day with one simple act that a person who has their stuff together would do. And then you carry that momentum through the day, as a person who has their stuff together and does the things that people who have it together do. And it spills over into everything, all of a sudden, you’re not leaving your dishes in the sink, you’re putting them in the dishwasher. It just grows and grows and grows. And it is the same thing with getting dressed. The momentum you get from dressing like the person you want to be a person who has the habits you want to have can actually help you become that person. So this year, whether you’re listening to this in January or July, show yourself some love and get dressed. All right, I’ll see you next time and remember your everyday matters. So get dressed for it.

And that’s a wrap. Thank you for listening today. If you love the Everyday Style School podcast, I’d like to invite you to become a member of the style circle. It’s our monthly all-access membership that gives you everything we create to make style easy, so you can save time and money, have easier mornings, and have more confidence all day long. You get our seasonal capsule wardrobe guides, all of the master classes we offer, and our exclusive members-only podcast, the everyday style school extra credit. Plus, you’re invited to the Facebook community where you can get even more style support and inspiration. I would love to get to know you and support your style journey. It’s just $19 a month, less than the cost of a clearance shirt you’re never going to wear. Come join me and make your everyday style easier.

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