Happy New Year!
What did you give your attention to in 2023?
The same stuff as the year before? Some say whatever you give your attention to will grow, and I’ve found that to be true. With the inevitable reflection that takes place at the start of a new year, I realise I’ve had a pretty eventful 2023. I parked a lot of things I usually do in order to do the thing I really wanted to get done. Namely, the writing of a book, about what to do with your old wedding dress.
I started writing it at the request of most of my brides, who were always asking the question during fittings – “what do other people do with their dresses after the wedding?” I gave it all the attention it needed. In the course of my research, I discovered there would seem to be, conservatively, over 10 million old wedding dresses lurking in peoples’ lofts, just in the UK. I’ve listened to many, many people talk about their old gowns. These people were my old customers, industry experts, writers, other parents watching their daughters play in the same netball tournament as me. People like you and me. Some I knew and some I didn’t, but almost all wanted to share their stories about their dress, even if I didn’t actually ask them to, and even if they’d only just met me. I immersed myself in it. I loved it. I positively wallowed, as my very patient friends will attest.
Many times, I noticed these people generously acknowledge the achievement in just getting a book written. So I am starting 2024 with recognition of the motivation potential in recognition. Recognition of making space for something I really wanted, of taking action and of getting it finished. More about the book later, but for now, I wanted to share a suggestion about giving your attention PROPERLY to the thing you want to do in 2024.
Is there something calling to you from your bucket list, or just on your to-do list that has been sitting there for a while and it’s finally found its way to the top? Why not actually ringfence some time for it this year? Sorry to state the obvious, but this will probably mean you actively saying “No” to one or more things you currently do, in order to create space for the thing you want to do.
It is unfortunate that time doesn’t just expand to allow us to shoehorn something extra into it. And I’ve learnt from Oliver Burkeman that no amount of efficiency or time-management methods will do the job. In my experience, it seems necessary just to winkle your foot in the crack in the door of an intention. Once it’s slightly ajar, you’ll get a glimpse of what you need to do. Inspiration for how to start whatever it is, will just jump out at you. When it does, my suggestion is not to over think it, but just to take action. Starting is the hardest part sometimes, as we never get to the point where we really feel we are ready.
I read once that the only state we can depend on completely is doubt. So we might as well decide to just accept this, and go ahead and (within reason) act anyway. We will never know if it’s the right decision. If our idea is “good enough”. (Newsflash: it doesn’t matter). The trick, I find, is in finding pleasure and joy in that state of uncertainty. To take action without being 100% sure. I wasn’t sure if I could do it. If anyone would read it (time will tell), if anyone would want to be part of it. I’d never written anything in my life, but the only way to know would be to just make time for it, start it, stick at it, and see what happened.
Several months on, I can look back on a year of glorious collaborations with the most brilliant wedding suppliers, and unexpectedly, interest from several publishers. I’m mulling on these as I start this week with the joy, pleasure and satisfaction of completing what I set out to in 2023. And it’s spurring me on in 2024.
What did I learn? The main thing is the importance of asking myself WHY? My brilliant book coach Amy Warren helped me address that right from the start. If you want to get something finished, you need a jolly good reason to start it. Otherwise the initial intention will just wither and die.
So what is the thing you want to do this year, and why do you want to do it? Is that reason enough to prune something else out and make space for it to materialise? Just set the intention, jam your toe in the crack in the door of available time, and make a start on whatever you’ve been spinning your wheels on in 2023.
Go on…. I dare you
Love Caro xx
Ps. If you’d like to find out more about the book and be notified when it is released, do drop me a comment below or email email@example.com.