As part of my committment to improve my Time Management skills (learn more about that struggle and solution here) I'm also trying to work on my meal prep and dinner-making skills (or lack-there-of). It occured to me that I can use the same concepts that I use with getting dressed (a skill I have nailed down) to making dinner.
Just to review, the first similarity that I discussed last week was that without a list and a plan, we're in big trouble. Make sure you read that one - it's important.
Today, let's talk about 4 more ways these two seemingly disparate activities are actually quite similar, and how to avoid the pitfalls involved in both.
Similarity #2: Desperation or Rushing Rarely Results in Success
What’s interesting is that some of these same women are excellent cooks and meal planners. Each week, they sit down, make a list and decide what will be for dinner every night of the week. They scan pinterest and cookbooks for recipes and even write down the menus for the week. I am in awe of you women and hope to be like you when I grow up.
And then there’s me. When 5pm rolls around I’m left scrambling for ideas and at a loss throw together the same old same old - ususually something like pasta, jar sauce, and a salad.
There’s other stuff I COULD make, but in the moment, at 5pm especially, I can’t be creative.
This is also why you have cute clothes you don’t wear. You have the clothes, and you COULD put a great outfit together, but you’re running late, nothing special is going on, or you're feeling uninspired, so you put on the proverbial pasta and sauce.
Here's an altenative: Quickly plan an outfit the night before, including accessories and the shoes. This isn’t an original or revolutionary idea, but besides saving you time in the morning, you can give it some thought and use some creativity because you aren’t up against a time crunch.
You do that, and I'll do meal planning;)
Similarity #3: Buying a little at a time is a bad idea
The same thing happens with clothes shopping.
Think of the time you spend down the rabbit hole of on-line shopping - or at the mall, TJMaxx or even Target. It's easy to get lost in the moment and realize an hour or two later that you're coming out of the haze of clicking, shopping and browsing.
Remember the Recreational Shopping we discussed last week? Yea, that. It rarely results in a cohesive, workable wardrobe.
Or a balanced, delicious dinner.
Second, adding a few items to your wardrobe "here and there" usually results in more spending. Just like with grocery shopping, $20 here, $40 there may not seem significant, but we all know it adds up.
On the other hand, when you’re doing a big grocery order, you have an idea of how much you’re spending, and you can control it in when you look at the overflowing cart (or see the amount add up on instacart). Those things you don’t really need or that can wait, are put back to keep the final bill in check.
The same happens with clothing shopping. When you do a big wardrobe shop, you can see exactly what you’re spending, and prioritize if you're going too hog wild.
Also, when you’re doing a bigger wardrobe shop, you’re less likely to buy what I call "one hit wonders" that can only be worn one way.
You can see how pieces all work together
I can wear this with that, I can put that top with that skirt. I wear this dressed up or casually. You know the drill... The items aren’t separate and removed from each other and they're versatile (my favorite adjective for clothing).
If you’re stuck in a pattern of Recreational Shopping or buying random things here and there, I encourage you to go on a 30 to 60 day shopping freeze, and then do a strategic, list-and-plan shop in the Fall. I promise, you can get by until then, and your Fall wardrobe will thank you. And of course I'm here to help.
Similarity #4: Without the right ingredients, you're sunk
Imagine if your wardrobe consisted of just jeans and t-shirts. No patterns, no accessories, no interesting details or completer pieces. It'd be pretty hard to #justgetdressed and love the way you look, wouldn't it?
The same holds true in your kitchen. If you don't have the ingredients to make delicious, interesting meals, you end up with pasta and sauce from a jar for dinner.
I realized that what I need is a Pantry Staples List as a starting point, so that my kitchen is equipped to make as many interesting - and easy - meals as possible. Of course there would be items on the list that I wouldn't buy - because I just don't like it - and that's ok. But maybe there's something on it as simple as cans of black beans, that if I have on hand all the time, I could to add to a lot of things. #duh
But it's so true... you need certain ingredients in your wardrobe too. If you only buy the basics that you wear day in and out, you’ll never have anything different to mix up your outfits, and you’ll be bored with your wardrobe and feel fumpy and uninspired to #justgetdressed.
On the flip side, if you only buy the bright and shiny objects - whether it be unique spices at the grocery store or statement tops at the mall - and you don't have the basics to cook or wear with them - that's no bueno either.
My Fall Style Transformation Program will focus on this balance and getting it right, and will include a new 50+ piece Wardrobe Basics List, similar to the Pantry Basics List I need to go find. (Have a good one? Send it to me, please?!)
But the key to these kinds of lists is to tailor them for YOU and your taste, your aesthetic and your lifestyle.
If you hate curry powder, don't buy it, even if it's on the pantry list. If a crisp white button down doesn't work fo you, don't buy it just because it appears on an Essentials List.
Makes sense, doesn't it?
Similarity #5 - Both cooking and dressing skills can be learned, and require practice
How often do I hear women say, "Beth, I was born without a sense of style. I have no idea what to wear and I'm just not good at it."
And how often do I personally say, "I'm just not a cooker. I have no idea what to make for dinner, and I'm lousy at it."
Great cooks aren’t born that way. Granted, many had family members who were, and that helps. But I'd say that usually they have an interest in cooking and a desire to get really good at it. Then they learn, they practice, they watch YouTube videos and acquire new skills. They try new things, learn from their mistakes and have fun cooking.
It's the same with style. There's a common myth that women are born with an innate sense of style and the ability to dress themselves.
This is simply not true. And the real problem is that it makes some women give up on style or think “why bother” because they weren't born with the special "style gene".
Nope. Not true.
If you want better style, you can have it. It’s a skill you can learn and develop.
If you want to.
I guarantee you, every single woman you look at and think, "oh she's just so stylish", has worked at it. She makes an effort, tries new things, and has honed her skills so it appears effortless. And she has the knowlege, the tools (and the wardrobe) to make it pretty easy.
Of course there are also different degrees of "good cook" and "stylish". My idea of stylish may be complete frump salad to a young NYC fashionista. Just like my idea of a delicious meal would be eh, at best to a gourmet chef.
And that's ok!
A Challenge for you!
Now that you know all the ways getting dressed and making dinner are similar, here's a challenge for you (and I'm going to do the same in the dinner-making department):
Try picking out out your outfits the night before for 5 days in a row. All of it too...including shoes and accessories.
Notice if you feel any different.
Do you wear more of what you own?
Do you look more "put together"? More polished?
Do you feel better? Have a more productive, happier day?
Are your mornings easier? Less stressful?
I guarantee you can learn what it takes to #justgetdressed and love the way you look.
And my purpose is to help you get there and to use your personal style to help you live your best life.
Share with us how it goes over in my free B.Styled #justgetdressed Facebook Group. And I'll share how my dinner-making went as well;)
Now, go #justgetdressed.