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Wednesday, 6 January 2021

New Year Nuggets - and Link Up

Poring over her new organizers for 2021, Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon reminisces about time management systems and discusses her 2021 plans
You'll need a coffee to get through today's longish post - pity I've already drunk mine! I'm going to give you a few blog factoids from 2020 and a  look ahead to this year and what I'm planning. 

A Few Blog Factoids from 2020

How many outfits?

I counted up how many outfits I showed on the blog last year and was surprised to find it was 65.  I felt I'd done far fewer "shoots" so I expected a lower number. January had 14 outfits: at that time I was still going into work and doing "what I wore this week" posts where several outfits are shown (I miss those!). 

The month with the fewest outfits was September, with just 1 for the Style Not Age Challenge.  November saw a big rise to 11, because of the #7DaySkirtChallenge which I created for Instagrammers and bloggers. It was fun, and a hit, so I'm going to repeat it again in November. 

Your Favourite Posts


Blog Directions for 2021

In 2019 I wrote that I would do fewer posts featuring gifted products, and I kept to my word. I decided that I would mainly leave these posts to those who blog for a living.  I've always turned down paid-for posts because I work full-time, but the gifted product posts take just as much time.  I fret about making sure I provide the best possible (for me) photos and I do a lot of research to try to make the post interesting to readers.  So I decided I would only accept products if I really wanted them and wanted to support the brand.  Having said that, I would LOVE to work with brands like John Lewis & Partners, Boden, Baukjen, Mint Velvet, Hush, Claudia Bradby, Charlotte Tilbury, Kettlewell Colours. But they mostly work only with the heavy hitters, and not many brands want to work with older women, even though we're their biggest customers. 

I asked a couple of questions about blog content in the current Is This Mutton Annual Survey - I'd be very grateful if you could take a few minutes to complete it if you're over 45. No email addresses are captured and all responses are anonymous.
A red sequin top with jeans and red and black boots worn by Is This Mutton? blogger Gail Hanlon and proving that sequins are fine for day time


I do love a list or two!


How many of you remember all those planning tools that were all the rage in the 80s and early 90s? I never had a Filofax but I was a big fan of TMI, and after doing one of their courses at work, had a huge Time Manager organizer that was stuffed full of dividers and different types of paper - graph, plain, coloured! 

I often write a to-do list for work but not in the disciplined way I was taught by TMI. So I want to revisit that, and be a bit more methodical about writing my list for tomorrow the day before.  This helps your brain to think it's all under control so you're less likely to wake up panicking, which often happens to me. 

I stopped keeping a diary years ago when we all switched to online calendars but sometimes I regret this. I have a calendar on the pin board in my home office where I jot down appointments and I keep a lot of notes on my phone  (shopping lists, blog post ideas, things that get good reviews, research nuggets....). 

For Christmas I was given a couple of organizers:  an A4 "The To-Do List and Monthly Planner," from Fraser and Parsley, and the Mrs Hinch Little Book of Lists.  In 2020 I discovered I like putting some planning behind cleaning  (which I find quite relaxing in itself), so this spiral bound book is great for writing down what you plan to do during the week, with Fresh'n Up Friday lists and Tadaa! lists. 

I'm not sure yet important the To-Do and Monthly Planner will be.  I don't have New Year's resolutions as such, although I do intend to up level a couple of the things I do.  I think the worst thing in January is coming up with draconian resolutions about dieting or giving up alcohol or taking up running.  It's one of the bleakest months of the year so why make it even tougher? 

What I am hoping to do this year is:
  • Travel  (Covid permitting). I covered this in an earlier post
  • Continuing my walking, which has become a habit now that I enjoy, but attempting to make it a bit better from an aerobic point of view, by a) walking faster, and b) Tabbing.  "Tabbing" is something we'll be hearing more of.  It stems from military exercise where recruits run with progressively heavier rucksacks.  I already include a trip to Tesco on some of my walks so I will start to wear my bigger rucksack and load it up with heavier items.
  • Finding an online yoga or Pilates class that I like.  I've lost an inch in height (!) and I need to stretch more. But I am quite fussy about what type of yoga or Pilates it is, so it's trial and error to find instructors I like.
  • Finding time each week for a "beauty bath."  I used to do this a lot but lately, hardly ever. It's when I have an indulgent bath and face pack, followed by a home pedicure. 
  • Try to improve my diet.  I aim to eat a Mediterranean diet and I know verbatim all the nutritional know-how and the latest trends around gut health.  But a couple of bad habits have crept in, namely two chocolate biscuits and two Lindt chocolates a day. Plus I often buy salad stuff but don't get round to making the lunch salads I planned. And I am the world's biggest consumer of cookery books  (I had three in Nov/Dec for my birthday and Christmas) but I hardly ever make any of the recipes. Must do better! 
  • Buy NO beauty boxes or "beauty Easter eggs" this year - and then reward myself with a beauty Advent Calendar! 
  • Clothes-wise, I want to buy less and shop my wardrobe more. This may mean buying a few accessories to create more outfits, but  I'm keen to experiment a bit more with color. 
Over to you:  what are your main aims and objectives for this year? I'd love to hear in the comments. 

It's time for #WowOnWednesday, the link-up where bloggers find new readers, and readers find new blogs to read! 

The link-up runs from today Wednesday to Monday, so if you're a Wednesday reader, I'd recommend you pop back later in the week to visit a few more of the blogs which will have joined the linky in that time. It really makes a blogger's day when someone reads and comments on their posts. And helps me in the long run because they'll want to carry on linking up in #WowOnWednesday.  I don't make any money from it but it costs a small amount to run the linky so I want it to be as successful as possible. 

Sharing this post with: Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #LinkupOnTheEdge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile and Stylish Monday at StylesplashStyle Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style, Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi,  #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb,  Lizzie in Lace  and Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaire

Last Week's Favourites

Nicole from High Latitude Style with her post "What to wear on New Year's Eve." I imagine a lot of you were thrilled by her gorgeous tulle skirt - I certainly was!
Nancy from Nancy's Fashion Style scored a big hit with her post "5 Beauty Trends for 2021"
And The Jacket Society blog came up with a crowd pleaser with "Reflecting Back On 2020 And A New Casual Look". 

Congratulations to all of you! 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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2 comments

  1. You've got some good, healthy objectives there Gail.😊 I'm going to continue trying to declutter and minimize everything, including activities and focus on doing the important things and not waste time and end up stressed. I like a small diary. I write down tasks to be done and relevant notes.As the space to write is limited, I think that helps me to focus and minimize 🤗

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  2. I never set any goals, I just go with the flow. And do whatever feels good. But traveling is one thing we really do imediately when it can. To Sussex of course.

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