10 days to go. I will dedicate the remaining posts for this challenge year to summing up what I have learned. First and foremost, I learned "change is a choice." (hence the fancy words up there)
Since I have bought no clothes, shoes or accessories for the last 355 days, I've had a little more time on my hands. Some of this time has been spent reading. Non-fiction, fiction, self-help, I just wander around the library until something catches my eye. I used to do this at the mall, walking until a particular outfit caught my eye. This new way is much cheaper. I spotted a book that I had read long ago, "7 Habits of Highly Successful People" by Stephen Covey. It's funny how you can read a book two times, 5-10 years apart, and get completely new information. Covey has many anecdotes sprinkled through the book and one hit me like a brick falling form the sky. It went something like this:
Counselor: Why are you divorcing your wife?
Husband: I don't love her anymore.
Counselor: Why don't you love her?
Husband: I just don't. It makes me sad. Our children are sad. My wife will be devastated. What can I do? I don't love her.
Counselor: Just love her. Choose to love her.
There it was. Just choose.
I have known for many years that my buying habits were unhealthy. I had muttered to myself so, so many times, "This is it. Quit buying so much ..." Like little butterflies, the promises fluttered away at the sight of something shiny, the vibrant yellow of a clearance sign or 5 pounds gained or lost.
I finally changed my habits, and my life, when I made a serious choice. I made the choice to find a way, once and for all, to modify my buying habits. By choosing this challenge as the avenue for change, I made the conscious decision that I would give up a big part of my life in an effort to get my life back into balance. (I say "back into balance, but truthfully, I can't really remember balance.) If this change were forced upon me due to something like a financial situation, I would just be sad. But because I made a choice, I was choosing to accept the pain of it.
If there is something in your life that you truly want to change, don't wait for something to happen to you. Make the decision. It is very powerful. Understand that you can choose to change.