The No-Shopping Ground Rules - Removing the Temptation

20 days ago

Yesterday, I announced my Resolution for 2011: A Year (Almost) Without Shopping.

January 1, 2011: I'm already doubting whether this is a good idea.

I started off the morning by checking my emails. Instead of merely deleting the dozens of messages in my (shopping-related) mailbox, I scrolled down to the fine print and unsubscribed to them: department stores (Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Macy's), sample sales (Gilt Groupe, Ideeli, Rue la la), bargain hunting aggregators (ShopStyle, Designer Apparel), off-price retailers (6pm, Smart Bargains). I'm only mentioning a few, because the list is truly embarassing.  

A few retailers I decide to keep (Lands End, Kohl's, Old Navy) because they offer good coupons for buying my kids' clothing and I am largely not tempted by their wares. The book stores are allowed to stay, because hey, reading is fundamental!

Like any addiction, removing the temptation is half the battle. If I am not constantly accosted by offers which will expire in two hours, the likes of which I will surely not see again in my lifetime, I won't have to rely solely on my own will power. For instance, this morning, after I finished unsubscribing from all my emails this morning, I started having second thoughts about the navy cardigan I bought yesterday — should I go back to the store and exchange it for the other navy cardigan I tried on?

I managed to resist that temptation, today, at least. But it's only a matter of time before I find myself inconveniently in front of a sale rack, mentally justifying that pair of boots marked 75% off. I have some ideas for how to deal with that. Next, I'll lay the ground rules for a (few) exceptions and how to deal with a slip up without giving up on the whole thing.

Grace Hwang Lynch blogs about life in an Asian mixed race family at

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