A Resolution of Nothing-ish

If one committed to nothing, did one really commit to anything? And if one committed to nothing, then it should be easy to fulfill, right? How hard can it be to do nothing, after all? Well, that depends on “what” that “nothing” is, if that made sense.


For 2021, I will be committing to buying  NO  fabric…

  • Unless it will be used within a week and used to sew things for others, because I have more than enough fabric for myself and what I generally sew that I don’t truly need more;
  • With Gold accomplishment standard of buying none at all;
  • Silver standard of having to buy fabrics for the exception stated;
  • Bronze standard of buying less than $100 of fabrics outside the exception stated; and
  • Failing consequence to match $ amount spent on fabric over $100 as extra donation to charity, on top of my annual charity budget, and announcing it on this blog and to people I know.


Easy, right? I save time for shopping, money for paying, space for storing, among other things, incentivized by these excellent motivators, just to do nothing, or nothing-ish. Can life be that easy all the time?


But what is with that resolution “contract”???


That, is why I am writing this article, in terms of, both, purpose and content. ‘Tis getting to be the time of year to be thinking about resolutions for next year, and I wanted to share some tips to help achieve success with resolutions. These tips will also make resolutions more appealing since we enjoy doing things appealing to us, and may even persuade some who don’t like resolutions to try because it’s probably not how they would have done it.

Take time to think about your resolutions. Many resolutions fail because they are “rash promises”, to use a phrase popular among some factions of the Guild. Don’t rush formulation of yours, even if you were late for the start, or start your “clock” from when you finalize your resolution. As you can see by the details in mine, I didn’t come up with that on a whim! It took me over three weeks of self-negotiations actually.

Know why you have your resolution. What do you think about when you are taking time to think about your resolution? All the tips here, among other things, with the purpose being the most important. Knowing the reason/s for your resolution will not only make it clear to you how important the resolution is (or maybe not), but it will also help you through challenging times if you have an aspiring and/or meaningful purpose for your resolution.

Write out a plan to success. Many resolutions also fail because the maker has little or no idea how they will succeed. As part of thinking through the exact nature of your resolution, write down how you think you will be able to succeed. Even if it were rough, it’s better than nothing, and make sure to write it out rather than just conceptualizing. The latter is a form of daydreaming, with nothing staring back at you for what might be problematic with your vision. The stipulations I have with my resolution shown are some guidance for how I need to think about potential purchases, from purpose to consequences.

Have consequences for failure. Most resolutions only have failure consequences of pride, or things associated like ego and reputation. While those can be most powerful, given pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, if you could find some other consequences for failure, whether financial like mine or public like embarrassment, they will help motivate you when you need it. My choice of financial consequence ensures the money goes to good use, but it affects my financial resolutions that come with its own consequences so I won’t be justifying excessive fabric purchases with “the money is going to charity”!

Have graded levels of success. Many resolutions also fail because success is defined in an “all or nothing” manner. Did you do it or did you not? While such Yodic advice is good, a la “Do or do not. There is no try!”, it is good for the effort you put in where you control pretty much everything. It is less good for life outcomes, where you might control all that much. Having levels of success will allow you to stay motivated when one level looks daunting, or is actually out of reach, to still strive for a good result of another level. Choose your scale with varying number of levels and level names, with the top level of achievement being aspirational in nature, like a “stretch goal” or “Big, hair, audacious goal” (B-HAG), that you’re not sure you can reach or not, but if you did, would take an inspired effort by you. I personally find the three medals simple, effective, and manageable for levels, while being symbolic of achievement, to be ideal for me in setting resolution gradients of success.

Add fine print and make it like a contract rather than marketing statement. If you read a list of resolutions, most probably sound like they could be marketing or public relations statements. Short, flashy, ambitious, and probably oversimplified. Absolutes in life are rare, and simplicity is hard. Set out all stipulations and/or conditions you need, in as much detail as you need. In doing so, you add more detail to your success envisioning, and you accommodate your resolution for real life more by making it more practical, both of which will increase your chance of fulfilment success. My stipulations were tied to my purpose of having enough stash for what I generally do, allowing purchase to make things for others, but not falsely so in have to use the fabric bought within a week to earn an exemption from the resolution. If past years were any indicator, I shouldn’t need many, if any, exemptions allowed by my “fine print”.


Those are my techniques to help with resolutions formation and fulfilment, along with one sewing related resolution I have so far. I will report on how I will have done with this resolution in 2022. In the meanwhile, do you have any sewing related resolution you’d like to share with us? Please share in the comments box below, or in our free to join Guild Facebook Group where the link for this article will is also posted. We would to hear from you and be inspired by your ideas and commitments!


6 thoughts on “A Resolution of Nothing-ish”

  1. I was considering a true Ready-to-Wear (RTW) for the coming year. It would have just stayed as a wish-washy goal ‘in my head’ but now I am going to use your suggestions to put together a plan that will surely help me succeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Sounds impressive! Good luck, LeeAnne! I haven’t gotten my fashion collection resolution together yet but I’ve got some synergy now. Mine is probably a “two-year mission”, though. Will write about that later. 🙂


    1. Me, too, Angela. Mee tooo! I can probably keep this for many years, not just one! Good luck and let’s compare notes part way, kind of like “accountability buddies” (term I heard from someone interviewed by Esther Perel).


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