There is only one day left in my year long shopping ban and to celebrate I want to share my 3 unusual tricks to accomplish any goal. Giving up shopping was not easy. I did not expect it to be. Nobody I knew that had done this before. When I began I’d only read about a few shorter shopping hiatuses like this one. Regardless, it was something I wanted to do. Here are 3 unusual tricks I used to help me along the way.
Trick #1: Tell a lot of people what you are doing
The first of my unusual tricks to help you accomplish any goal may sound intimidating. Let me explain. Starting a blog means telling a lot of people what you are up to. This is in direct contrast to how I usually operate. When I would take a test for work I wouldn’t tell anyone the date until after I passed. My Dad told me once that most people would rather see you fail. While this sounds harsh it isn’t too far from what I’ve seen in corporate America.
This doesn’t mean your inner circle is a bunch of mean girls. It means most people like you just the way you are today. You know, the version of you that is always up for drinks, big meals or shopping sprees. Maybe the new version of you that saves money, stopped drinking or eats clean isn’t great for their needs. Too bad, change anyway.
A great way to help reach your goal is to expand your network. Find others who are trying to change as well. They may be at a cooking class, the gym or in a personal finance forum online. Chances are they will root for you because they ARE like you. You don’t need to replace your friends but change is difficult for everyone. Suggest new things to do with your old friends that don’t sacrifice your progress.
Trick #2: Block the big AND SMALL temptations
My second of my unusual tricks to accomplish any goal is a variation of one you might know. Avoiding triggers is fairly common advice when it comes to achieving a goal. What you also need to do is go another step further. When I started this journey I knew that avoiding stores would be helpful. That said, my husband did a lot of the shopping for the kids. This obvious step was helpful but it wasn’t enough.
The next thing I did was unsubscribe from every store email cluttering my inbox. Also, in the app I use to manage my money I set the “shopping” category budget to $0 so I’d get notified if I exceeded it. Going through my closet helped me realize all of the clothes, shoes and bags I already have and don’t use. This helps me overcome the feeling that I have “nothing to wear” when I absolutely do. Play defense when it comes to things that can derail your goals.
Trick #3: Create support system
The last of my unusual tricks to help you accomplish any goal is to create little supporting goals around it. Most of our habits don’t happen in a vacuum. Think about what normally accompanies your bad habits. Substitute them for other activities that support your new goals. On Sundays we used to kill time at Target. Instead of doing that I sit and write while the kids play together.
When you start your new goal think about some other things that you would like to do more often. If there is any way you can tie them together it could help you stay on track. For me, I wanted to become a better writer and I like making money. Blogging is not a sure fire path to success but a lot of people have replaced their day job doing it. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. However, writing about personal finance and my shopping ban tied all of these things together which helped immensely. If you are considering a blog in the new year check out Siteground for hosting and WordPress. It was easier than I thought to go live with their services.
So there you have it, my 3 unusual tricks to help you achieve any goal. I can’t believe it has been a year already. In order to keep improving I plan to take some time off to set new goals for this site in 2019. I would love it if you could subscribe here to get a copy of my budgeting checklist and be the first to know of any new features. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have loyal readers and new friends thanks to one decision. Thank you.