Kate and I are planning a (much-needed) vacation for this summer. Considering that there will be family that I have yet to meet, perhaps some sand and surf involved, and since it’s been a while since I’ve been anywhere tropical or warm, I started to wonder… am I pasty and translucent? Am I at my peak performance and fitness levels? Do I look my best?

After a quick evaluation, I wasn’t too satisfied with my honest answers. So then I started to think about when exactly our trip will begin, and how much time before that do I need to shape up.

Isn’t it funny how we need an event to take place in order to incite great change?

Maybe you’re getting married, or graduating soon, or starting your first job. Maybe you have a date in a couple weeks with a friend of a friend. What can you do NOWNOWNOW to get results?

Big events incite change, and that is often motivation enough.

But what about regular life, when there is no need for massive change right away? How do we initiate the changes we know we need to make? Where does that inspiration come from?

When it comes to weeding out your closet, improving your style, taking the time to stock up with the necessary essentials and classic pieces, you know you need to take action, but how do you do it if you’re not strongly motivated to re-invent yourself?

Here are a few starter steps to initiate big change. It won’t be painful, it won’t take up hours of your day. Try this out and see if it helps build motivation and momentum.

1.) Make a list

There are plenty of steps to take when you need to re-invent your wardrobe, or even just to improve on it. Write those down, as many steps as you can think of.

You’ve been reading EG for a while now (or if you’re new, welcome, and check this out before you jump straight in).

This site has dozens and dozens of tips and suggestions on where to start, what to buy, how to get rid of things, how to determine what’s worth the money and what isn’t.

Make a bulleted list of everything you need to do to get your closet straightened up and stocked with the basics, essentials, and classic pieces that make up an awesome wardrobe. I call this the State of the Closet, or assessing the Sartorial Situation.

It takes work and time, but you will get there. The list needs to come first.

2.) Start Small

Do one thing. Anything, really.

Fill up ONE garbage bag with clothes you know you no longer wear. Set it aside to take to Goodwill this week. Buy that ONE pair of straight-leg, inky blue denim you’ve been putting off. Finally take that new blazer to the tailor.

Once you take that initial step, you’ll realize, oh, that wasn’t so bad after all. This will inspire you to take more steps to get that closet cleaned and re-stocked.

So slowly weed out that baggy, washed denim from high school, those ratty tees you’ve had since college, any clothes that no longer fit (or maybe never have). If your closet is too daunting, take it one section at a time.

Still too overwhelming? Start with just one shelf. Or even one stack of clothes. Look at your crazy explosion of a closet, find one stack of clothing, and figure out what in that pile needs to go. Add it to the garbage bag.

There you go, you took your first step.

If that blew your mind, then take a breather, and come back later. No one said you’d have to take more than one step today. Give yourself a pat on the back for making progress.

3.) Do one thing each day

Find the time (or make it) to take these mini steps, because they create momentum. If you do enough of these, soon you’ll have gotten further than you could’ve imagined, and certainly further than if you never took that first mini step at all.

If one shelf on your closet is organized and weeded, that will motivate you to organize and weed out the next shelf. From there, it’s natural to want to keep moving on. Remember, this doesn’t have to happen in one day (though with highly-motivated people, it certainly can).

If one pair of dark denim is now in your possession, you may be inspired to finally get those button-up sport shirts you’ve been eyeing. Or maybe now, you’ll finally take that blazer to the tailor, because you just know it would look super pimp with that denim.

See what I mean? Little actions create momentum. It just takes sheer willpower to get started. Once you get in the habit of doing one thing per day, the momentum builds upon itself.

Finally

Change takes work, and it’s not as easy if there isn’t a looming deadline, but if you know you need to assess your Sartorial Situation, takes these steps to make it happen.

Reading this site without taking action is pointless. Apply the things you’ve learned and start to see results.

Ultimately you’ll feel better about yourself and you’ll definitely look better, but you have to start somewhere. The above list should help you get started.

Thoughts? Questions?

Lets hear ’em in the comments below.

ps, We have plenty of new ties (and a bowtie) in stock at Fifth&Brannan. If you love them, consider picking one up. Supporting 5&B also supports this site! Check them out here.

pps, are you new here and not really sure what 5&B is, or how it’s related to EG? You can read more about our menswear label here.

Till next time, gents!

 

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