Resolve

Of the New Year’s variety…|rɪˈzɒlv|verb. to decide firmly on a course of action.

So here I am, a week of silence (that I had sworn would not happen) and a week and a half late on my New Year’s resolutions, which surely doesn’t bode well for any commendable adherence to them. That’s not to say that I have ever felt the need, before graduating my teens, to pin the entire year ahead on the success or failure of arbitrary mantras. The whole circus of New Year, New You Instagram quotes seems to be born of one’s twenties – perhaps because any real life problems for which you’re wholly responsible only emerge once you can legally drink in America (no surprises there), and because gyms and health insurers need to make half their annual revenue in a week, and can’t really capitalise on Black Friday (which I only recently learned was not actually in reference to Friday 13th, and for which I am so much the wiser).

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The real problem with New Year’s resolutions is not that they’re unfeasible. Au contraire, I don’t feel that “I will exercise more regularly”, “I will eat more vegetables”, or “I will be more open-minded” are terribly unreasonable in the slightest. The real issue, in my experience, is two-pronged. First, the lack of specificity – what is “exercise”? Walking to the fridge, your Honour. Open-minded about what? About Black Friday sales, of course (kidding – I will never comprehend trampling injury and/or death in the name of 50% off). There’s far too much latitude to pardon yourself from an overwhelming guilt in not ticking that box, or to forget about commitment altogether.

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1. Take a bloody breather: At so many points last year, I found myself running on empty. In second semester in particular, I thought I could take four Law subjects, work travelling jobs, maintain my website, and film a TV show (which is up for a Logie nomination, should you be so inclined to vote). And I did, in the end, but not without a few internal meltdowns. I was so relieved to get on the plane out of Sydney, despite flying across the Pacific to more work. Thank god for kickboxing. So 2015, take on less, shut off my technology addiction before a bit of namaste every day before bed.

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2. Do not aim to please everybody: When I told Alex about this resolution, he was incredulous. “Are you kidding? I said that to you two years go?!” This is true. It is also true that up until this point I had been constantly trying to please everybody. During high school, it was easy. The HSC was just a matter of completing tasks and time management. In the real world, the political nature of transactions with no return threw me. Even where I’m absolutely militant with my hour-to-hour planning, it was increasingly difficult to stay on top of everything. My high school economics teacher called this “bobbing corks” – in reference to the Australian economy, sure, but relevant all the same. It’s taken me a long time to realise that saying no won’t make anybody see you in a worse light. If you’re busy, you’re busy.

3. Invest less emotionally in obstacles: This time, it was my mother who was equal parts furious and relieved. Granted, she’s been preaching this to me for my entire life, so twenty-one years of frustration justifies such an outburst. Though I’ve mastered compartmentalisation of my different activities between studying and work, I’m hopeless at separating their associated emotions. This can work in my favour when I achieve something I’ve been working at for a long time, and everything comes together in a glorious gospel chorus of loving my life, but often, it’s a lot of head-desking and face-palming – Law readings do that to you by default, but navigating the limbo between uncharted digital territory and traditional media or commerce can be as much of a headache as it is exhilarating.

As my brother most eloquently put it, just give less sh*ts.

So perhaps the better New Year’s resolution for everyone is to recognise one’s flaws and bad habits, and fix them before we add the juice cleanses, gym memberships and Crossfit.

Happy New Year, kidlets!

Wearing Josh Goot Resort 2015, SENSO slidesCartier Amulette Necklace throughout, Huawei Ascend P7, Louis Vuitton Pouch

MargaretZhang_JoshGoot_4781

  • sachastrebe

    beautifully said as always miss Zhang! I wholeheartedly concur that “giving less shits” is a good thing to take with us into 2015, while I usually feel there is a more eloquent way to put it, I am feeling daring and ready for something different this year and ready to put myself on the line to make my dreams come true! wishing you all the best gorgeous, I have followed you for a long time and know that this will be your best yet! much love bisous bisous xx

  • Anja

    I like you, girl, so much! I like what you write about, how you write it, your style (of course) and how you manage to do so many things at the same time! And here it is again, your ny resolution are very down to Earth, realistic and non cliches. I hope you’ll have another great year ahead and I’m looking forward to the new posts. Cheers!

    http://toujoursanja.blogspot.com/

  • Malu Swartjes

    You look marvelous girl!! ♥

    xx

    The Stylish Confessions | Fashion & Beauty blog

  • Victoria

    Great advice, couldn’t have said it any better myself! It’s always good to step back, take a few breathers and assess the situation before leaping in head forth. I’m still baffled about how you do so many things in the one day! Wishing you well for the new year Margaret xx

    http://ageofminimalism.blogspot.com.au

  • Nicely written and perfectly photographed! Love every look! I believe that you will be able to resolve these issues because you are Margaret!! I’m so sure 2015 will be such a good year for you and even more after you graduate! You’ve achieved so much at such a young age, wondering what I was doing then when I was your age! Namaste. How do you compare Huawei with Apple?

    • Yong Guo

      Ohhhh I want to know your Huawei thoughts too – my Dad has one for work, though I’m not sure if it’s the same make as yours, but it looks super work friendly as you say. I really struggle to email on my iPhone…

  • Your posts are always such a pleasure to read! Not only are they visually pleasing but they are always so well written!! I look forward to following what you’ve got in store for 2015!

    http://faialofa.blogspot.com

  • Nicolene Richards

    I am in awe about your style, and charmed by the look of every outfit. Fabulous style Margaret!
    http://www.fiftyfabulous-fiftyfashionable.blogspot.com

  • Love every look especially the trench! So in love with it! :)

    Shall We Sasa

  • Skeeter

    You are very inspiring! I too am juggling different things at the same time and whenever I see you on your show or visit your site it just gives me that extra push to strive harder! love from the Philippines!!!

    http://skeetermegia.com/

    Skeeter

  • Kelly black

    I LOVE this editorial you’re an inspiration to young women everywhere to just get up and do it for themselves.

    On a slightly different note, when will the navy Josh Goot coat (coat dress?$ be available? I need it in my life!

  • Greer

    That last pic of you climbing on crates is weirdly beautiful. Happy new year and cheers to your resolutions and outlook,MZ

  • Number 1 is exactly what I am going to do! No more internet usage before bed and more kickboxing!

    XO CHAMA FASHION

    http://www.chamafashion.com

  • Eloquently put girl! It’s comforting to see your first resolution as I myself was wondering how you could’ve managed to juggle everything you were doing last year. Though I must say I salute you for everything that you’ve done and it’s just been awe inspiring :)

    Oh I must say – loving this samurai hairdo/look you’ve got going on. Majorly gorgeous!!

    xoxo,
    Aela

    http://throughaelaseyes.com

  • Perfect trench coat and mules!

    ♥♥♥

    Jeanne

    http://fashionmusingsdiary.com

  • Getup and Go Blog
  • Love your resolutions! The last dress is gorgeous!

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

  • It’s not easy saying no to people, and most of the time I second guess myself and end up agreeing–which leads to me hating myself for it. I now realize that it’s okay to be selfish sometimes. It’s too tiring bending over backwards to make everyone happy at the cost of my own happiness. Life’s too short for that. I’m glad you found your way too!

    http://charmystique.com/

  • (Cat)herine

    Hi Margaret, I’ve been (quietly) following your blog since its early days with photos taken in the alleyway outside your house, and I just wanted to say how lovely this post is in every possibly way — the template design, photography, wit (and seriousness) make for such an enjoyable read. Your blog is one of the few I click on outside my RSS reader so I can enjoy the full experience of the post! Cheers!

    All the best,
    Catherine
    catherinejue.wordpress.com

  • Andres Poiche
  • Great post! you write so well and this photography is just so gorgeous! These definitely seem like great resolutions too!

    Shot From The Street | Fashion Blog

  • mcboodles

    Tell ur bro I’ve been following his advice for years. He sounds pretty sharp

  • First of all, these photos are stunning to the point where I can’t stop looking at them. Second, I watched the first episode few days ago and I don’t know if I am biased because I love your blog/style/writing but you just positively stood out between the rest of the bloggers who I will admit to not knowing enough. The first point you made in your introduction about how it wasn’t about money but about creativity just hit me in the heart and I started telling my brother why I liked you and urged him to look at you. He is less eloquent than your brother as he didn’t even lift his gaze from his buttered bread. Oh, and I don’t understand cat fights for 50% off either. I rather pay the full price or just settle with not having something. It’s not going to be the first time.

  • flawless! love your photos and your blog. Found out about you on E! and been obsessed with your blog since! <3
    best regards
    Niima , http://niimas.com/

  • Kaja

    This is so true! I think I might go back to my list ;)

    http://www.bykaja.com

  • Great advice. I like this more than the usual resolutions that can be done any time of the year quite frankly.

    http://www.bisousnatasha.com/the-business-of-vintage/

  • Great looks and even better and motivating resolutions! We all need some time out I agree. I did a bucket list and a mission statement for my “resolutions” this year so that way I could be more specific (as you said the more ambiguous the resolution the more likely you will not succeed). Good luck with yours!

    Elleosophy

  • Sophie

    very true! I had similar resolutions too xx sophiehodge.wordpress.com

  • This is true. I think we all need to learn to give less shits sometimes. Last year my resolution was to not stress about the stuff I couldn’t change, which I in turn stressed about. Queue making more achievable resolutions for 2015, we shall see how they go! I’m sort of in love with Josh Goot resort at the moment, these pics are great. xx

    http://www.RADRIENNE.com

  • I’ve been living by ‘do not aim to please everybody’ for a long time haha!

    http://www.opinionslave.com xx

  • Love what you say Margaret. I wonder how many Kambala girls are following your stunning work since graduating. I taught in the music department in the last few years! The students still talk about you!

  • Caroline

    I asked my parents for your Cartier Amulette for my 21st coming up! I love the way you wear it so minimally – it seems to look tacky on other people, but so elegant on you!

  • Rachel Yabsley

    Nice! I’ve always felt that resolutions are a bit of a joke – if you want to change something why does it have to be specifically at the start of a new year? There’s usually much more pressure on a New Years resolution too compared with others made at random points in time. But yes, as will all goals, they need to be specific! And having someone hold you accountable helps too :) Happy New Year dearest.

  • This was so lovely to go through the photos and inspirational to read, I love your writing.
    xAnnah
    sixteenstorieshigh.wordpress.com

  • Everything you have said has been said well, I just love reading your blog because of the amazing photography and great writing!

    http://thefawnar.blogspot.com.au/

  • Fashion Illustrations by MC

    just found your blog, it’s so different from other fashion blogs, I love the way you write, very smart!

    check out my fashion illustrations:
    http://fashionillustrationsbymc.altervista.org

  • Awesome thought about fashion. Zhang you are such a genius on fashion and style. Nut you reduce your quantity of blog wriring and we miss you very much. In thsi blog some incomparable ideas about fashion and style are shared. Your blog always contains some tremendous ideas. Like your blog very much. thank you very much. Please try to write more and more and keep us providing some unique ideas. For more details: http://www.tallboysapparel.com/

  • You’re so amazing, every photo and every sentence are so amazing! Can you come up with a tutorial of how you self-shot your photos, pretty please??
    All the best for your new year resolutions!

    xx
    Xin

    http://xincerely.blogspot.com

  • Jenna

    I need to also take tabs with the take a breather resolution

  • Happy new year to you too Margaret!

    http://www.theavantguardian.com

  • ShelleyVanWyk

    Wow! you have actually inspired me, you have no idea how what you have said resinates with me, i think i need to call myself out on all my bullsh*t in order to bring about some type of growth. Thank you Margaret Zhang!

  • ottogirl

    Resolutions are things that I have never been able to stick to (for reasons unknown). I tend to start resolutions sporadically over the year and then try as hard as I can to stick with them – but fail miserably. Marg, on ya for being an all rounder genius and writing resolutions that actually seem realistic. I think i have a good chance of sticking to these… even though I am like 2 weeks behind schedule.

    Lara x

    http://ottogirl.com

  • Jess

    I found your blog through the E! Show.. love it! You are so grounded & lovely! http://www.hellothula.etsy.com

  • Thank you for another amazingly funny and sweet article. And I like your NY resolutions- especially the one of not trying to please everybody.

    Hugs,

    Miri

    http://currentlywearing.com

  • Lizlizo

    That trench worn as a dress is stunning!

    xx
    Liz Lizo
    Vogued Out

  • Beautiful as always, the last photo in the dress? Sublime.
    I wish you the very best in 2015.
    http://www.thelifestylemenu.co.uk

  • Your style is absolutely awesome!

    Kisses

    Francesca http://www.everydaycoffee.it/

  • Elise Messerli

    I always love taking a personal study break of my own to read your blog. You’re such an inspiration! I share an interest in both fashion and law as well, and combining the two exotic lifestyles equates to a lot! I hope you continue to keep up what your doing and enjoying every minute of the new year.

    Also, I wanted to ask what type of bag you use to carry your laptop? I have a 15″ MacBook and I am really struggling to find a decant handbag that will suffice my busy school day, and transition to after life! It would be lovely to read a post about your academic life as well.

    Best Wishes,
    Elise

  • Niki

    Beautiful post and beautiful images! I wish you all the best :D

    xxo

    NIKI

    http://nikikouri.com/

  • Larissa

    Good God, I had never heard of you until I saw Fashionbloggers on TV. Then, I got curious and now I am totally crushed. Your blog is beautiful and I love your writing… You are so smart and funny. I didn’t even get started about your sense of style and will digg that out a bit more… Keep it up lady, I will definitely come by more often!!! xoxo

  • great pics Margaret!

    xoxo

    https://walktoclick.wordpress.com/

  • Leah

    I love the shot of your phone schedule! So brilliant!

    http://www.trufflesandtrends.com

  • I think I have to use these resolutions as my own. No kidding. I feel you 100%. Good luck to you! Especially on the ‘do not please everyone’ one;)

  • Love the pictures, first timer and inspiring post you got there XOXO

    http://www.wanjiruwangethe.me.ke

  • Fantastic trench and what a beautiful post.
    Inspired !
    Check out my blog on http://www.thelifestylemenu.co.uk

    With love from London, Hayley x

  • Becky Holuwabukola Ajayi

    New years reso’ are so tacky. Be a better version of urself, is wht I say.

  • The Porcelain Plum

    I LOVE YOUUUU!!! and your photos are the best out of any bloggers, sooo professional and magazine like

  • Chir Wey

    So beautifully and humorously written. I’m working on writing this well. :) x

  • Angela

    Great points! you always have such an interesting perspective. I am interested in how you make full-time study and a full-time workload possible? Also, you when you had your dream to do what your currently achieving how did you break in? Currently it is very hard to break into the marketing field in Adelaide and I am wondering if you have any advice from your experiences? Love your work :)

  • You are such an inspiration. Thanks for making the time to blog.

  • I love this.
    The pictures are gorgeous and your story even more.
    I can read your blog for days!

    You are so wise and such an inspiration to me.

    Much Love, M
    http://blvckorsomething.blogspot.com

  • i dont know how do you do this ? i can imagine one person studying all day and not passing at least one course in a semester! you are genius !!!

  • I think you are teaching people here more than just fashion ! it is more about how to be more amazing in every each area ! I just learnt to organise my time more efficiently becuase of you ! thank yu !

    http://www.BloggersBoyfriend.com

  • Toyin J

    Your style is literally heaven sent!

    http://www.thesohosister.com/

  • cecila

    great pics ma chère!!!
    greetings from lima in peru

  • Alexandra A.

    Inspiration fullstop
    http://agrumazascai.blogspot.ro/

About

Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese director, photographer, consultant and writer based between New York and Shanghai. Since establishing her website in 2009, Margaret has gone on to work with global brands including CHANEL, UNIQLO, Swarovski, YEEZY, Bulgari, Gucci, MATCHES, Under Armour, and Louis Vuitton in a wide range of capacities both in front of and behind the camera, while completing her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws at The University of Sydney. Margaret’s directing, photography, and styling has been employed by the likes of VOGUE, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NYLON, Marie Claire, GRAZIA and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40, and her work has been recognized as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index for the past four consecutive years. She went on to be the first Asian face to cover ELLE Australia. In 2016, she co-founded BACKGROUND, a global consultancy for which she specialises in Western-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-Western cultural bridging for a range of luxury, lifestyle, and brand initiatives. In 2017, she exhibited a series of 39 unseen photographic works as a solo show in Sydney, and premiered her first short film – a 15-minute exploration of her visceral relationship with classical music on both performance and abstract planes – to critical acclaim.

For project enquiries Tess.Stillwell@img.com
General enquiries bookings@margaretzhang.com.au