I had every intention not to purchase any clothes in 2022, and I stated it publically.
The reasons why I wanted to do this were personal; no one was forcing me to do it, nor was it for financial reasons. I also wasn’t doing it to gain any attention. But I’m sure you already know that when you speak something out loud to other people, it gains momentum within yourself, and you are more inspired to continue for the simple reason that someone else knows what you are wanting to do.
I wouldn’t identify as someone who has a shopping problem. Each season, all of my clothes fit into a 4-foot wide by 2-foot depth closet. I haven’t spilled over into anyone else’s closets in our house, nor am I busting out of my own. I store two Rubbermaid bins in the attic and swap out seasonal items, but otherwise, I don’t feel like I have an excess.
I wanted to challenge myself to see how long I could go without purchasing clothes. Guess what? It wasn’t long before I caved and bought something.
I told myself many times throughout the year that I “needed” the item. And sometimes I did, whether because I gained weight or because I didn’t have something appropriate to wear to an event. But I didn’t “need” every item I purchased, and a few I regretted after the first time wearing it. What I learned along the way has been quite eye-opening, and I blogged about that here.
Other people’s reactions to the journey of my challenge has been even more interesting. People have asked me somewhat snarkily, “how does it feel to fail publically?” The thing is, I don’t consider it a failure because I learned so much this year about my spending habits but also, and most importantly, about my personal style. Learning what I like and don’t like, what colors look good with my skin tone, and the shapes of clothing and how it changes the perception of the actual shape of my body, etc. So yes, I spent money, and I didn’t complete what I had set out to do, but I’m okay with that. And you should be too!
Life happens! We may say that we are going to do one thing and have every intention to do that, but then something in our life changes, whether that be because our circumstances have changed or because we changed our minds. We didn’t know when making the goal how stress, sickness, or life changes were going to shift our radar. But it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t set goals or challenge ourselves.
More importantly, I worry about how people latch on to the word- failure. Trying, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and learning is not a failure! When I was divorcing my ex-husband, I remember crying in a therapy appointment about feeling as though I failed at my marriage. My therapist clarified to me that divorce is not a failure. It’s two people moving in different directions. Similarly, when we set out to create a habit change at the beginning of the year, failure isn’t what we call trying, doing your best, and possibly changing your mind because what you thought would be a good idea turns out isn’t possible for you to complete this year. That’s okay! That is not failure.
Some may argue that the people who comment about your completion of a goal are just trying to hold you accountable. If you have someone in your life making you feel bad for not following through with what you said you would at the beginning of the year, that’s not accountability. That’s judgment! The best response is to be clear that you won’t tolerate that negativity, reminding them that you were doing this for yourself, maybe even for fun. And people judging your results is not motivating for anyone.
Maybe you are already thinking about a different goal for 2023. And I want to support you on that journey. Consider me your cheerleading squad! Share in the comments what you plan to focus on in 2023, and let’s hold each other up with love and support. And please join us in the virtual Refocus on Wellness group that meets on the first Monday of the month at 7 pm. We focus on living our best lives and supporting each other’s goals for a better future.