Reflecting on five months of not shopping

The end of a year, end of a decade too. A prompt to reflect on all that we’ve done, on what’s changed, on what we want to do in the next year or ten.

The end of this year also coincides with my year of no new clothes. Five months in, seven to go.

I’m happy to report that it has got easier every month. At this stage I barely give it any attention at all. I’ve almost stopped having the thoughts ‘I want…’ or ‘I could do with…’

Today I marched through Rebel Sport, a woman on a mission. I knew exactly which resistance band I wanted, how much it cost in the Boxing Day sale, and where it was in the store. I made my way towards the sports equipment with single-minded determination, until my eyes locked onto a pair of glossy black Nike leggings with photo-realistic floral print, and a matching crop top.

“Ta-dah! Look at me! Aren’t I beautiful? I would make you want to exercise all the time. I would make you feel amazing. I’m so pretty, with this bright pattern all around me. You want me so much, don’t you? Look at me! Pay attention!”

Yes, my radar lights up when I happen to walk past a shop window or through a clothes department on my way somewhere else. The easiest way to stop eating biscuits, I’ve found, is to not have any in the cupboard. The easiest way to stop impulse buying is to never find yourself near clothes for sale. It’s a big mindset shift for someone whose favourite hobby used to be shopping.

So as I approach the midway point of my challenge I hope to cement this change over the next few months. I really don’t want to slip back into impulse buying or pick-me-up purchases. It definitely feels as though something big has shifted. The true test will be when the challenge finishes at the end of July and I step on a plane to my old shopping paradise, the UK. Will my suitcase be tipping the edge of my baggage allowance, or will I have broken the bad habit for good?

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