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Womensforum contributing writer Emma DiLallo has shared her 2017 #DearMe letter and goals with us, and we're pretty inspired! And ready to declutter our own lives. Read on...

Dear me, in 2017 I’m going to declutter my life.

Declutter My Digital Life

My Gmail inbox has somehow turned into my junk mailbox. After subscribing to endless newsletters, freebies, and job alerts over the years, I continue to rack up over 50 spam emails a day. Often times, they just sit in my inbox. This year, I will take time to unsubscribe, delete old emails, and organize new and old into relevant folders. Then I will focus on decluttering my mini computer, aka my iPhone. Apps I haven’t used in over a year—buh-bye. Random numbers I never actually saved and gave a name to—see ya. Pictures of miscellaneous screenshots from 6 months ago—delete. 

Declutter My Home Life

This goes beyond just cleaning out closets and getting rid of clothes I’ve been clinging to (although I definitely need to do this too). I will get rid of items that don’t serve an important purpose in my life. I use the same coffee mug every day, so why do I have 30 mismatched mugs stuffed in my cabinet? I will throw out makeup samples and hair products I don’t use daily. I have found my beauty routine, and I don’t need half-empty bottles getting in the way of it.

Declutter My Social Life

Okay, this one will be a bit harder, and may offend some people along the way, but it’s also the most important. I will say “no” more often when I truly don’t feel like doing something or seeing someone. The idea of saying “yes” to everything is a very old-school way of thinking that claims to bring happiness. I’ve discovered that carving out time for something I’m not excited about, does not bring me joy. Yes, it’s okay to stay home on a Friday night. The term FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) never existed in the ’90s, and you made it happily through the ’90s, right?

Staying in used to be fun until we saw everyone else posting party pictures and lavish vacations, which leads me to my next point: I will unfollow the Facebook “friends” and Instagram users I’ve collected over the years that are no longer relevant in my life. 

None of this will be easy. I’ll have to make lists. I’ll have to sell things (or just cringe when I throw them out). I’ll have to turn my friends down. I’ll have to spend many nights cleaning, deleting, and over-thinking. But it will all be worth it to have a decluttered way of life. 


Emma DiLallo is a copywriter living in Chicago (but reps her NYC roots). She is always down for catching live music and eating sushi 7 days a week. 


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Womensforum contributing writer Jackie Tortorello has shared her #DearMe letter and 2017 goals with us - read on for some inspiration towards your own goals for personal growth and wellness in the new year...

Dear Me, In 2017 I'm going to stay calm. On so many different levels 2016 was pretty chaotic. From moving across the country to changing jobs three times, I lost my peace of mind more than once. Not only did this have a serious impact on my mental well-being, it prompted a host of stomach spasms, muscle twinges and tension headaches.

This year is going to be different. During 2017, I will work to not only remain calm, but rest inside my center knowing that most things are beyond my control. While there will be things like work related stress and day-to-day anxiety, I’ll work to remember to take it easy on myself and just… breathe.

This task is much easier said than done. I’ve been dealing with anxiety since as long as I can remember and after coping with the ups and downs of last year, some points I felt completely crippled. Serious stress has impacted my breathing, my state of mind and even my monthly cycle.

But as I mentioned before, this year will be different. I have learned to develop a practice of self-care and with it, a state of mind that’s moving towards calm. One major component of my self-care practice is going to yoga a few times a week. For me, practicing yoga works by integrateing physical activity into my daily life while providing a great outlet for stress. It also connects me with a community of like-minded people that are working to accomplish the same goal.

Another way I can accomplish my goal of staying calm in 2017 is by using essential oils. Essential oils have been proven to relieve stress by activating parts of the amygdala that create and process emotions. Some of the best scents to relieve anxiety are lavender, rose, bergamot, chamomile and ylang ylang.

Learning to stay calm in 2017 will allow me allow me to connect with myself on a deeper level and step into a sense of clarity. It will also allow me to preserve my peace of mind and protect parts of my body that are negatively impacted by stress.

-Jacqueline Tortorello

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It's a new year and time for a new and improved you! Or at least an upgraded version. After all, this is the time of year when we all seek to create positive changes in our lives, along with reflecting on what we've done and experienced in the past. 

So what are you are going to change, improve, or accomplish in 2017? What did you learn during the previous year? We'd love to hear about what you learned in 2016 and more importantly, what you're planning on doing, changing, and generally being your best self in 2017 - we're writing, posting, and sharing our own #dearme letters (along with those of favorite inspiring women), so why don't you do the same? 

After all, the new year is the best time to self-assess, set goals, and prepare for what's next. And these can be as basic as spending fifteen minutes mediating every day or skipping your daily coffeeshop visit in favor of a homemade cup of French press, or as huge as scoring a new job, having a kid, earning an advanced degree, or running a marathon. 

And there's nothing a little support combined with accountability when it comes to meeting your goals - and that's what our #DearMe movement is for. Think of it as a combination of positive reinforcement, group therapy, and major motivation to make 2017 your best year yet! 

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This #DearMe Letter is straight from the editor in chief of Fountain of 30 Lauren Dimet Waters, and accordingly it's full of excellent style advice and inspiration. You might want to borrow her goals for yourself!

Dear Me, 

Happy New Year! I never make resolutions because let’s be honest, they are destined to fail. Ever seen a gym in mid-February? It’s pretty empty. Therefore I try to make “goals.” One goal for an improved ME is to find the positive in every situation I can. I come from a family where my mother sees everything negatively and my Dad saw everything through rose colored glasses. I am trying to be more like my father even though I have a propensity for going down a negative rabbit hole once one thing goes wrong just like my mother. I digress. Since I focus on and write mostly about fashion and beauty I will try to keep my positive changes for this post along those lines.

I learned in 2016 I buy too much black. My closet looks like I am in mourning. Then again I live in NYC so that is not uncommon. One of my goals for 2017 is to add some color into my wardrobe. In fact I just bought a light blue cashmere sweater because I really don’t need ten black ones. So #DearMe, I will not buy black in 2017 (except for shoes). I am going to seriously try to opt for the color version of what I add to my wardrobe, besides it will most likely go with the black items I already own.

Secondly, I will try not to buy low quality items and buy more investment pieces in 2017. I realized in 2016 I wasted a lot of money in H&M, Zara and the like. Don’t get me wrong, I love those stores, but I normally buy designer items and pepper in the more trendy items I know I will only wear one season from fast retailers. I spent just as much money in 2016 as I usually do every year but looking through my closet I noticed I went for quantity instead of quality which is not my usual MO. I’m a firm believer in mixing high-end with low-end. In 2017 I will add more high-end items even if I don’t buy as much. The higher end items tend to last several seasons so the cost per wear is actually less. Therefore I will actually save money in the long run.

Lastly, in late 2016 I made a huge life changing beauty and skincare discovery. I learned I’m allergic to a slew of preservatives and additives found in more products than I ever imagined (here's what I wrote about that). I had to toss out a ton of my favorite makeup and skincare items and start relearning everything I know about anti-aging beauty. So my goal for 2017 is to become a natural/green/vegan or whatever you want to call it, beauty expert. I spent so much time focusing on what I was putting into my body in 2016, I didn’t really give a second thought to what I was applying to my skin.Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 3.17.03 PM

#DearMe I think these changes in mind, body and fashion will make for a better 2017. Here’s to hoping.

Lauren Dimet Waters

EIC of FountainOf30.com


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Contributing writer Morgan Schmitz has graciously shared her #DearMe letter for 2017 with Women's Forum. Read on and perhaps it will inspire you to be your best self in 2017 as well!

Ringing in the New Year means out with the old and in with the new. I'm finally getting the chance to take a breather after the hustle and bustle of the holidays to really think about what I want to change, improve and accomplish in 2017. It's effortless to claim that my New Year's resolution is to hit the gym more often -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But this year, I really want to accomplish so more than that. 2017 is the year where I'm setting goals for my body, mind, and soul to help me become my best self yet. 

Dear Me, in 2017 I'm going to....

1. Spend more time outside enjoying nature

Being cooped up inside all day really puts a damper on my day. I become grumpy when I think about the many hours I have spent inside in front of my computer, in class, or studying. My goal for the year is to spend more time outside, whether it's a morning run or just eating lunch outside; I want to really embrace the greatness of what a breath of fresh air can do. 

2.  Stay connected 

The world and people are constantly changing every day. To have a better understanding, I really want to take a few minutes of my day to stay connected and involved with what is happening around the world. Whether it's watching a TED Talk in my down time or scrolling through a news app while I am walking to class, today's technology has made it easy to get involved. 

3.  Stop procrastinating

This is one habit that is a tough one to break. In school, I have found myself too often scrambling to pull an all-nighter, finishing a paper or studying for an exam. I'm also guilty of staring at that pile of dishes thinking "I'll just do it after I finish this..." for days. This year I have made the commitment to stay organized and motivated with school, work, and even with completing those daily tasks. 

4.  Stay positive 

I definitely tend to struggle with getting down on myself when times get tough or things don't go as I imagined. 2017 is going to be the year where I change that. I have made the goal to take a deep breath and look for the bright side to every situation and will encourage my mind to stay optimistic about the future. 

5. Strengthen my relationships

My goal for this year is to take more time to show those that I care about how much I value them and our relationship. Even though playing video games and talking sports aren't really my thing, I am going to spend more time with my boyfriend doing activities that he really enjoys -- rather than forcing him to listen to hours on end of girl drama. Along with that goal and despite my friends' various schedules, I will try to plan a weekly dinner with some of the girls, or even a girls night out! 

 6. Become more conscientious 

It can often be painful trying to get things done that I don't really care for or am completely disinterested in. Usually, the outcome of these situations isn't my best work. However, studies have shown that conscientious people are successful people. So if being successful means putting 110% in every task that comes my way, I'm going to do just that. 

7. Eat more veggies

With my schedule and out of pure laziness, it becomes hard to eat healthy in college. I find myself popping in a frozen meal for dinner too frequently, and in the end, the lousy food leaves me with a stomachache. My goal for the year is to spend that little extra time steaming some veggies to pair with my dinner, my body and brain will thank me later. 

8. Embrace the little things

This year I'm set the goal of spending more time enjoying life's simple pleasures. Driving with the windows down on a warm night, playing with puppies, or cuddling up by a bonfire are things that I often overlook and under-appreciate. 




Morgan Schmitz is a Junior at The University of Iowa studying Communications. She’s a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and is from Naperville, Illinois. Coffee and her two cats get her through the day