One Little Word 2014 | August Dare

Can you believe it's August already? It snuck up on me! I'm a couple of days late posting my dare this month. (I dare myself to do something, well, daring, every month. I use a loose interpretation of daring, as you'll see.)

My August dare has been percolating in my mind for a few weeks, ever since my friend Kristin mentioned she was going to try Project 333. I'd never heard of it, but was instantly riveted once I looked it up. Since that day I've been poking my nose into the world of capsule wardrobes and minimalist living, and the temptation to give it a try has not gone away.

In August, I dare myself to embrace minimalism, starting with my closet.

Step One: Closet Detox | I'm not certain exactly where this dare will take me, but I'm thinking the first stop is to detox my closet. I've still got loads of clothes stuffed in there that match up with my old life (corporate working gal), and now, two years after leaving that behind, I think it's time to catch my closet up with the rest of me and release those vestiges of my old life. (Wow. That feels a little scary. But so right.) I also have a few clothes leftover from my pre-kids era (10 years old at least!) which don't fit or feel right anymore, along with a healthy dose of items I purchased that never really worked for whatever reason. Time to purge!

Step Two: The Uniform | I love the idea of uniform dressing, which I heard about first from my friend Cristina, and recently read about here. The idea is to establish one or two "formulas" or "recipes" that work for your body and your lifestyle. For example, skinny jeans with a long flowy top and flat sandals. Then you choose several options for each piece, so that you can wear basically the same thing every day but also have some variety. I like the simplified approach, but the key is feeling confident that you have nailed a uniform that works for you, and having enough pieces that fit the formula. I have some work to do to get there.

Step Three: Create the Capsule | Once I have purged the clothes that don't work for me anymore, and identified a uniform or two that I want to wear, I'm going to see if I can build a capsule wardrobe. I like Unfancy's approach. She narrows down to 37 items each season (including shoes, but excluding accessories and gym clothes.) I don't care about the number so much as the challenge of selecting a set of items that I love, that all fit, that are all right for the season and that generally work together. (All other items of clothing are boxed up and stored elsewhere, leaving your closet breezy and open and containing only items that you're wearing right now.)

Step Four: Organize | Finally, I've got some organizing to do so that my closet is a pleasure to use and look at every day, and so that the clothing I am keeping (but not in the capsule) has an easy and accessible place to live too.

Well, that's the plan. Wish me luck! Perhaps I'll share some updates or a summary of what I learned here on the blog later in the month. Stay tuned!


Because I love lists and keeping track of things, here is my running list of the dares I have set for myself this year so far:
JANUARY | In January I dared myself to let my days evolve naturally. A natural goal setter, I wanted to see if I could resist the urge to set new year's resolutions and daily/weekly goals. What would happen if I just went about my days without specific goals? (Find out what happened here.)
FEBRUARY | In February I dared myself to fight Resistance. I'd just read Pressfield's The War of Art, and his concept of Resistance resonated with me, particularly related to the writing of my book. Could I fight off Resistance? What would happen if I did? (I recapped what happened here.)
MARCH | In March I dared myself to prioritize my health. Doing so opened up a new world of clean, whole cooking, (see some examples of what I ate here) and led me to a community of bloggers and instagram posters that I continue to avidly follow.
APRIL | In April I dared myself to participate in the A to Z Blogging Challenge by posting a writing prompt, and a response to it, every day of the month except Sundays, for each of the 26 days of the alphabet. It was so much fun, and re-energized my writing habits. (See the prompts I created here.)
MAY | In May I dared myself to read more and to keep up with my daily writing in the range of 1000 words per day. (Read about it here.)
JUNE | In June I dared myself to truly embrace summer for the more relaxed season that it is. I wanted each day to be taken as a whole, and I resisted the urge to stake out a list of expectations. (Read about it here.) 
JULY | In July I dared myself to keep writing, despite the self doubt. It was the halfway point of the year and I brought myself back to the reason I chose the word "dare" in the first place. I wanted to write, and I was afraid. Still am, but it's not going to stop me. Read the post here.

MORE INFO | As a way of bringing to life my 2014 One Little Word, DARE, I have set a specific dare for myself each month. It's been a fun way to push myself in ways I might not have otherwise. The concept of One Little Word is inspired by Ali Edwards, who runs an annual workshop which I have taken in the past and highly recommend.

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