Only two days till the end of my one year challenge and I’m starting to reflect on what I’ve learned this year. If I could boil down this year into a one sentence tweetable lesson, what would it be?
One thing I’ve learned is that the longer you go without shopping, the less important fashion and clothes become. It’s not like I go to work in a burlap sack and cardboard on my feet, but I don’t care if the boots I have on are scuffed at the toe a little bit. (Which they are in case you’re wondering.)
I recently read an amazing article by Ann Patchett who is a bookstore owner and has just finished her own year of not shopping. Her description on how buying stuff blurs our vision of the world is spot on:
“The things we buy and buy and buy are like a thick coat of Vaseline smeared on glass: We can see some shapes out there, light and dark, but in our constant craving for what we may still want, we miss life’s details.”
Has seeking after my own constant cravings of “want” caused me to miss the details of my own life? When first confronted with that question, I responded like most of you would, with a simple “Nah, not possible.” But I have learned more about myself this year than any other year of my life. Was that possible because my vision cleared and I could see more clearly?
I’m not sure how different this year would have been if I had been shopping the whole time, but some amazing personal growth did happen. For example, I learned this year that I have a talent for painting.
In July, I picked up a paint brush to paint rocks with my sister April, and six months later I have raised over $800 from selling painted rocks. I never knew I could paint or how much joy it would bring me, but here I am at 41 painting for the first time in my life. And if giving up shopping allowed me the time to discover this talent, then I should have stopped shopping YEARS ago! (If you’re interested in seeing some of the rocks, check out my Instagram. Search for daytwin_rocks.)
Another lesson I learned this year is knowing the true difference between a want and a need, and not just my OWN needs but the needs of OTHERS. In the article by Ann Patchett, she explains that most of us are buried in our possessions and yet we still desire for more. I believe that when we stop shopping, our desire for “more” transfers to other parts of our lives.
This could mean different things to different people. To some it’s more time with your children, and for others it’s more time invested in your personal health. For me it meant investing more time and money into charities and causes.
This year I was able to donate more money and time to charity then I ever have. Not shopping not only freed up my bank account but also my personal time, and since I wasn’t focusing on my own wants I started to focus more on the needs of others.
So, what’s my one sentence tweetable lesson? I guess it’s this:
Your life is more than what’s hanging in your closet.
Thank you for spending this year with me! I know some of you have been reading this blog since day one and it’s because of your accountability that I was able to finish this challenge.
I am going to continue my “no shopping” life style at 60 day intervals like I mentioned before, (read my last blog for details) and I encourage you to join me. Follow my Instagram account myyearofhandmedowns for daily and weekly encouragement, tips, and more.
I only have 21 days left of my one year “No New Clothes” challenge. When I started this challenge on January 1st 2017, a year seemed like an eternity to go without shopping. I really doubted if I could even do it. Shopping when I was bored or “down” was just something I did without even thinking about it. Sort of like a habit. My shopping habit. And while not all habits are bad, some aren’t good either.
We all have habits we want to change or habits we want to develop, but altering our behavior isn’t always easy. Did you know that it takes a minimum of 21 days “for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell”? https://jamesclear.com/new-habit
I know the myth of “21 days to form a new habit” has been spread for decades, but it’s been misunderstood. What was originally discovered in the 1950’s by Dr. Maltz is that it takes a MINIMUM of 21 days. Recent studies conducted by psychology researchers have proven that it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic – 66 days to be exact.
So, why am I going on about the time needed to change your habits? Because for most of us, shopping is a habit. It’s behavioral. We do it when we’re upset. We do it when we’re bored. We do it when we can’t change other things in our lives. Taking a year “off” from shopping has changed my behavioral patterns and I know if you can commit to 66 days of not shopping, then maybe your behavior would change too.
As my year ticks down and my yearlong challenge comes to an end, I have to start asking myself “What’s next?” Do I just go back to shopping whenever I feel like it or do I use what I’ve learned to encourage others? I don’t think I’ll ever go back to my old shopping habit (I’ve formed a new habit of NOT shopping), but I’m going to have to find the “shopping” pattern that works for me.
Here’s what I’m asking: Can you go the first 66 days of 2018 without shopping?
Like I’ve said before, I am planning on adding five new pieces to my wardrobe on January 1st but then after that I figured I’d not shop for a while again. I wasn’t sure what kind of time frame that would be, but 66 days (roughly two months) seems like a very attainable goal.
Who’s willing to take this 66 Days of No New Clothes Challenge with me in 2018? The 66th day of 2018 is March 7th. Do you think you can challenge yourself until March 7th? Comment below and let me know if you’re in!
I’m so grateful to everyone who has followed me all this year and I want to encourage and help you challenge yourself now. If you plan on taking this 66 Day Challenge, then follow me on Instagram or Twitter. I’ll be posting encouragement there and would love to read your comments!
My name is Misty Day (yeah, that really is my name) and I'm a normal every day person. I'm a twin, I work as an analyst, I take my daughter to Girl Scouts and swim team, I play bass guitar in a band, I love food and wine, I like new clothes, and I'm trying to be a better person.