Figuring Out My Style with The Curated Closet

So my fave podcast By the Book covered The Curated Closet a while back. From what I’ve heard, the book really focuses on helping you define your own style. I don’t have the time to read the whole thing, alas, but I’m working through some of the tips on my own, bit by bit at time.

The first part is to actually look at your style and figure out what you like and don’t like. You can also come up with a descriptive name for your style, which I would love to do at some point, but I’m not quite there yet.

A snippet of my pinterest board.

A snippet of my pinterest board.

I made a Pinterest board of some of my favorite styles. I actually incorporated some of my own outfit selfies into it so I could get a better idea of what I actually wear and enjoy. That full board is here, if you’d like to check it out.

By looking through that and various articles on fashion styles and clothing articles, I’ve started making a “Style List” and a “Not my Style List.” It’s been really interesting scrolling through pictures and trying to figure out whether I like something or not and why.

Here’s a snippet of my lists so far. It’s becoming really illuminating!

curated closet lists.JPG

The next step is to go through my clothes and pull out anything that doesn’t fit into things I know I love. That part may take longer, because I don’t think I’m going to have time for that until at least this weekend, maybe next. So - to be continued!

Self-Help Book Gleanings: Checking Email and Social Media Only Twice a Day

I’ve been really addicted to the By the Book podcast the last few weeks. I’ve marathoned through three seasons pretty quickly! I actually really enjoy self-help books and have used several in the past to improve my life.

Gratuitous cute cat photo because all the boys were hanging out in my office with me today and it was super sweet. ❤️

Gratuitous cute cat photo because all the boys were hanging out in my office with me today and it was super sweet. ❤️

Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod is a key example of this; sitting down and actually focusing on what I want out of life using the SAVERS method he outlines there helped me realize last year that I’ve always WANTED to be a writer and I needed to start working toward it consciously. The SAVERS method is Silence/meditation, Affirmations, Visualizations, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing/Journaling. I don’t Miracle Morning every day, although I try to, and I don’t do all the steps every type I journal (I’m most consistent about journaling and reading = usually a writing, self help, or history book). I also don’t follow the thing about waking up early. I do it whenever I wake up. With all the faults in the method (the By the Book hosts HATED this book), it’s really really helped me and honestly was the second biggest factor in me starting to pursue writing as a career (the first biggest factor was getting my depression under control, which gave me the energy to pursue all these other things).

Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin has also helped me understand my brain and what actually motivates me, which in turn has helped me build good habits. I have ADHD and have STRUGGLED in the past to build even the simplest daily habits, but the things I learned from this book have allowed me to change that.

Anyway, since I don’t have the time to read as many books as I’d like, I’ve taking inspiration from the By the Book Podcast and trying to implement some steps from the books they read into my own life. The episode on Bored and Brilliant, by Manoush Zomorodi, inspired me to start keeping track of my mobile usage via the Moment app. I then deleted the Moment app off my phone a few days later, as it was super depressing how much I used my phone, lol.

I listened to the episode on The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss yesterday, and I was really inspired by certain elements of it - specifically, getting time back to do the things you really want to do by reducing email and social media checking to only twice a day, at two set times. The moment app experiment really bothered me, plus John and I recently moved off our parents’ cell phone plans to our own, and actually paying for your own data usage has a strange way of making you want to heavily reduce it!

I tried it out today, and only checked my email and social media accounts at 12 and 5 pm (I unconsciously went to my email more times than that just by instinct, but clicked out as soon as my mind caught up). A few small exceptions: for author branding reasons, I posted on Hootsuite, which allows me to post without getting distracted by all the people and posts on social media. I also spent a little time fixing up my author page Facebook cover photo, which wasn’t initially optimized for mobile. I’m on twitter right now doing some author branding things just to like, keep my name out there and keep interacting with people so they actually check my blog when I update and such.

Overall, it was a HUGE reduction of the time I would usually have spent messing around on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I was able to focus a lot more on my work today, and I made time for a ton of other activities, even though I also had a doctor’s appointment that ate up 1.5 hours. I wrote on a short story for almost an hour. I fixed up my author facebook page. I posted on this blog and fixed up formatting and such. I walked to and from the gym for my hour long parkour class. And I still have time to just hang out with John and the cats, watching a German Netflix show and writing this post. I also feel more focused and less depressed; I’ve known for a while that studies show that social media makes you feel sad and upset, but I’ve always felt I was somewhat immune to that, since I use social media to keep up with friends and family across the country and generally have friends that are very positive and upbeat about things. But clearly, I am affected too. Limiting my social media definitely seems like it’ll help me.

Plus I think I’ll save a ton on cell phone data!

I’m excited to see how this all works for me when I actually get more in the swing of things!