Strive for progress this New Year, not perfection.

Many people find it surprising that my biggest supporters initially are men. “Aren’t you a mom blog?” Well yes, this is a mom blog but it’s usually dads who get excited. I attended the Oakland Museum Fundraising Gala last year and the dad sitting next to me explained that he’d experienced problems with his wife in this area. After they had children, she stopped picking out nice clothes, wearing makeup, and doing her hair. He finally reached a point where he didn’t recognize the woman he married.

Before we had children, I heard a friend of my hubby’s complain of a similar situation, “When I leave for work she’s in her pajamas. When I come home, she’s in her pajamas.” As a good husband, and with most good men, they’d never complain to us about our appearance and the last thing they want to do is hurt us. But just as our appearance affects us, it also affects our men and how they view us. It’s hard to see your woman as a sex kitten with ratty hair, frumpy pjs, and that ever lingering question, “Did she take a shower today…or yesterday?”

I know how you look is at the bottom of your to-do list. “No one is going to see me”, but our husbands are someone and they count. So when men hear about my blog, they grab my card and bring their wife over to meet me. Moms are more reluctant. They want to look better, but  they’re busy and many attempts and failures have discouraged them. “The effort is more important than success” is what I usually tell them.THAT IS WHERE I LOSE THE HUSBANDS! That’s not what they want to hear!

The fact is when you are just starting out, not every outfit will be gold. In fact, quite a few will be awful, but you did it! You took the time to do your hair, to put on makeup, to select an outfit and you will get better. You might never become a fashion icon but you can find great personal style and you will feel better about yourself. It’s just like exercising. You might never lose a ton of weight or have six-pack abs, but you will get stronger. You will notice a difference in how you feel over time.

Just as you shouldn’t expect to go from the couch to a marathon, nor should you expect to go from super mom to super model (unless you’re Heidi Klum). It’s unrealistic and nothing derails goals faster than disappointment. So for all you readers whose goal for the new year is to find your personal style, look better, lose weight, get into that hot little dress you wore before you had babies, I encourage you to put this quote where you can see it every day, “Strive for progress, not perfection.”

Strive