Have you ever gone out shopping with the thought of making just one purchase or a select few, only to come home with more than you wanted and maybe could afford? Don’t make the holidays a reason to beat up on yourself. Let yourself savor and enjoy, but do it in a sane way that supports your goals, not in a way that undermines your self-respect. You'll have confidence that each shopping spree can be fun and enjoyable without undermining your goals, if your relationship with money is respectful during each and every encounter. I especially recommend putting limits on your alcohol consumption because drinking too much may cause you to overspend, or overdo just about anything. The following tips can be used in any situation where you feel temptation gets the best of your reasoning, but for this blog we’re focusing on money.
- Make a plan ahead of time. If your goal is to keep to a budget, and your tendency is to overspend, give yourself permission ahead of time to purchase a small item spontaneously. Decide beforehand whether you can spend an extra $5 $10, $20 or more. Do this before you go into the store. By doing this, you’ll be satisfying yourself on two levels: the responsible adult you are will know and trust that you won’t go overboard with your spending. The creative impetuous, spontaneous child within won’t feel deprived. While shopping, touch everything.
- Exercise choice. You have power at ANY time to make a different choice in your actions. When you feel a glimmer of consciousness around an action you don’t want, shift the position of your body. Walk. Any action, no matter how small, might help trigger your brain to choose a different path. Always know that you can leave a store at any time and start fresh.
- Check in with yourself. Many of us have smart phones these days and if you do, set it to ring every hour or half hour or 15 minutes even, with a reminder or message like, “How am I doing? Have I spent my limit? Have I bought myself that special something yet?”
- Honor your humanness. My favorite thing to do is wait to take tags off an item, especially clothing, until I’ve given myself a few days and can try the item on again. You can return any item you’d like to a store as long as it’s not used.
If you overdo in any way that causes you to feel badly about yourself, ask yourself why, and look for the answer within. There’s usually a good reason and when you find it, you can make progress towards changing your behavior in a way that serves you better. When you feel good about yourself, and all your actions, you'll radiate self-confidence, glow with self-respect and have no problem looking at yourself in the mirror the next morning!