Buy Nothing Days New Year Challenge

I’m not usually one for New Years resolutions. I mean, I appreciate it’s an excellent excuse to do some thinking about things you want to change, but there feels like quite a bit of social pressure to do something. That always puts me off. And whenever I think about it, I always think first about resolutions like “I will get fit” which a) make me feel awful about myself and b) I’ve learnt are pretty stupid because they are so open ended. How do you know you’ve ever succeeded? Or do you just keep going as long as you can tolerate the feeling of failure, of feeling of ‘not good enough’? If I want to actually be able to stick to a resolution, or to get the final pay-off of having succeeded, I need to pick something much more specific like “swim once a week”.

Considering all that, the resolution I’m thinking about probably needs to be a bit more specific than I first intended. My initial thought was to resolve to count the number of days a month that I didn’t buy anything. Absolutely anything – no excuses for food, or drinks etc. I figured this would a) provide information on how often I spend, b) give me an incentive to avoid impulse purchases and c) give me a nice figure to compare and contrast (I do like a bit of data!). It fits with my aims of reducing my consumption, and could save me money.

But is that enough to keep going all year? I probably need to insert something a bit firmer into the resolution. So, I’m going to make it more of a challenge and less of a resolution! Starting with just five days in January, I’m going to aim to buy absolutely nothing for a certain number of days a month, so that eventually in December I’ll be aiming for 16 days without buying:

January         5 days
February      6 days
March          7 days
April             8 days
May              9 days
June            10 days
July              11 days
August        12 days
September 13 days
October      14 days
November  15 days
December  16 days

I’m a little worried that this is going to get progressively harder and harder, until December when it’ll just be too difficult. I’ve never tried anything like this before. I don’t think that I buy things that often, really, but it’s hard to know when you don’t track every single little thing (I’ve tried that, but it makes me stressed-bordering-on-neurotic and also a bit depressed). But I guess that’s part of the point of New Years resolutions, isn’t it? To do something that is a challenge, and that you need the special motivation of the new calendar year to help with.

In order to motivate myself, I’m also going to be reviewing how I did every month here on the blog. Hopefully that accountability will help me hit those targets, particularly in the later months!

If you’re making resolutions, good luck with them, and remember to try and give yourself firm targets so that you actually get to feel like you’ve succeeded!

Happy New Year!

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Buy Nothing Days New Year Challenge

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