Dust off your pants, it's 2018!

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New Year's resolutions are a highly debated topic this time of year. Some love them while some hate them. Companies make millions off of our confident yearly ambitions, and some have transformed their lives from a commitment they've made in the new year. Personally, I always wanted to be the person with a story of great reformation at the end of the year.  But admittedly, I've also been that person who signed her life away for a gym membership only to beg said gym to release her from that contract one month later. The only revelation I would ever come to at the end of the year was that I was a really great quitter.

Until three years ago.

I was in a difficult season of life and needed a mental change of perspective. So in true resolution form, I broke out an old journal and began to write down simple things I was grateful for. One month in and I still found myself carving out time for this sacred routine. Three years later and I still find my gratitude journal essential to my mental health.

Successfully completing my first New Years resolution was a testament to me that things weren't going to change in my life unless I changed them.

Since then I see the New Year as an opportunity to shift my mindset and take on a new challenge. Just like the #dressember challenge, this takes commitment and a lot of willpower. The ambitious part of me wants to dream big -- go vegan, learn to drive a stick shift, visit a new continent. But I've found that no resolution holds power for me unless I can identify the reason why I am doing it.

How many of you would have quit Dressember one week in had it not been for the cause that motivated you to be consistent? 

The reason that resolutions have the power to stick is when they are driven by purpose.

If there is any group of people that are up for a good challenge, it is Dressember advocates. I reached out to some members of the Dressember community to find out how they were approaching 2018, and while there were a few common themes, they were as different and unique as the people who made them. May they inspire you to take up a challenge on your own and make 2018 the one where you take on challenges with purpose.

2018 New Year's Resolutions

I want to put away my phone an hour before bed, and opt for a book instead of scrolling. I want to become tidier and lead a more organized life. I would also like to prioritize my time and make more space for the close relationships in my life.

-Blythe Hill, Dressember Founder & CEO

I’ve always loved the “One Word” focus and this year my word will be “peace.” My biggest resolution is to seek peace and pursue it, including continuing to advocate for those without peace, who are victims of human trafficking. One way I am committed to doing this more this year is by refusing to shop at the places most well known for exploiting laborers. It will be a difficult transition from cheaper products, but I believe this is huge in pursuing peace and freedom worldwide. It will help in a small way those affected. It will also help me in a big way, to purchase less, be more mindful, and therefore also own less junk.

- Kelly Honea, Dressember Advocate

My resolution is to be uncomfortable and to challenge myself. So I applied for a summer-long mission to South Asia or Greece. I won't know until the end of January if I even get the trip approval but even applying was a big step for me.

- Miranda Lintzenich, Dressember Editorial Intern

My goal for 2018 is to spend less time on social media, if not cutting it out altogether for a while. I spend so much time on it both at work and at home and it has become very cumbersome. I am graduating from college next May, and I thought that this next year would be a good time to slowly transition social media out of my everyday routine.

-Beth Woods, Dressember Editorial Intern

I make an intention every year. My last two have been "take care" (to take care of myself and to not just approach my work as a deliverable) and "practice" (to be persistent and open to failing as I learn). I've used MyIntent tokens to remind me who I am on a daily basis. I'm not sure yet what my intention will be for 2018. I'm going back and forth between confidence and wise priorities. Obviously, both are important!

- RuthAnn Deveney, Dressember Advocate

I don't usually do resolutions, but if I did do one for 2018, it would be to finish every book I started and write at least 300 words every day.

-Allyss Flores, Dressember Editorial Intern

I am doing another 365 photo project to grow my photography. I did one for 2014 and grew a lot. I'll take a photo every day for the 2018 year. I also want to grow in my writing and I'm looking to have a weekly goal for words written. My overall goal is to be braver and I'm not quite sure what that looks like but I'm hoping to have 12 activities (one for each month) that addresses something I'm afraid of and pushing me to overcome. That might look like skydiving, a solo trip, etc. I always write a letter to myself each New Years recapping the previous year as a time capsule and it also has my goals in it.

-Sara Kernan, Dressember Editorial Intern

This year I’d like to resolutely commit to making intentional space for REST in my life so that I can work to the best of my ability for the people and responsibilities I have in my life! #deepeningthesoulforjustice

-Kirsten Tucci, Dressember Advocate

This past year my word was "Choice" and that word stuck with me all year long, this was a year of so many important choices for me. One good one was choosing to apply for the Dressember internship. Come 2018 there will be many new things coming my way that I've never done before. I would like to have a completely ethical closet (with a few choice sentimental hand me downs) by the end of 2018. I want to challenge myself to keep my heart open, to simultaneously become more sensitive while actively involving myself more in fighting against trafficking. This internship has felt right in so many ways and I want to keep growing in this line of work.

-Nicci Castro, Dressember Community Engagement Intern

I would like to go on more field trips, whether it's alone or with friends, near or far. I also want to read one book a month for pleasure. I used to love reading SO much and would consume two or three per weekend--now as an English major, all my reading is for class. I'd love to get back to the basics. I would like to listen more and talk less. Finally, I would like to run or walk at least 10 minutes every day. I used to race and would love to get back to a level where long distances are fun again! 

-Chynna Terrell, Dressember Editorial Intern

As this year is coming to a close, we hope that you will continue to embrace the power of your voice. You now have a captivated community that is looking to you to lead the way in your respective circles. Don't worry, we aren't going anywhere. We'll continue to provide resources, share stories and advocacy opportunities year round. We invite you to take up the challenge this New Year of incorporating advocacy into your daily life.

Cheers to 2017, may this year have been one where you found your voice in the fight against human trafficking, and here's to 2018, may we continue to grow together in our awareness, and our advocacy #untilallarefree.

Now for a look at some of our favorite moments of Dressember 2017. 



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About the Author

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Madeline considers herself a bit of a nomad, having split her time between three continents over the past few years. Now, digging her roots down in Southern California, Madeline spends her time crafting content for the Dressember campaign, doing yoga and searching the web for flight deals.