Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Year of Intentionality Part VI: Miscellany

Just a little background for those who didn’t read my first post on this- the idea is that from August 10th 2016 to August 10th 2017, I will begin an experiment designed to change how I approach all purchases that I make. I feel that I can be too wasteful and haphazard about my shopping in general. Going forward, I want all of my purchases to be made intentionally. This will encompass all purchases that I make for myself and my family- food, toiletries, and of course clothing.

I’ve talked about  craft supplies here, gifts here, household items here, wardrobes here, and how I plan to purchase food intentionally going forward here

I’ve found another category of items that I purchase, so I will make a 6th and final category of ‘miscellany’, which includes my newest discovery and any others I make going forward that don’t fit in the other categories.

I found that I purchase items for my daughter without thought. It could vaguely be categorized into ‘toys’, but I recognize that my purchases are not always going to fit in that category. A recent example of the ambiguity of the categories would be a set of cheap paintbrushes from the craft store for her to play with so she would leave my professional ones alone. Ok, that purchase was pretty justified, but I also bought her a pretty box to play with just because- and she didn’t ‘need’ that. When I think about it, hair adornments are probably another mini-category of things I buy for my daughter, and not always with the discernment I’d like all my purchases to have going forward. It’s very easy to pick up things for my daughter without really thinking long or hard about what I’m buying and why. This is why I need to make another category, or I’m afraid I’ll use it as a loophole and pixie on the spirit of this challenge! I’ve racked my brain and am at a loss to think of other mini-categories, but I’m sure they’ll pop up along the way.

I want all of my purchases to be intentional this year, not just some or most. If I’m not only present and thinking about what I’m doing when shopping at all times, but also then recording both the financial numbers and quantities and then posting them for accountability on a regular and frequent basis, I believe I can change my habits long-term and beat this shopping addiction. I’m trying to set myself up to succeed, and by setting reasonable guidelines I think I will be better able to help myself make wise and rational decisions instead of just white-knuckling through this. A lot of my binging has been exactly the opposite- done recklessly and without logic, and then using avoidance tactics to not have to confront reality after the fact.

So, the guidelines for this category will be simple and sweet:
  • Make a list of things needed or wanted, and ensure that I’m double-checking that the items on the list are truly justified and there is nothing I could use in its place.
  • Approach all purchases with the list when possible.
  • Question myself if what I’m purchasing is really needed or is something very special and deserves and exception when purchasing things not on the list.
  • Post all purchases in this category for accountability and tracking purposes.

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