The Habits That Break A Shopping Ban

February 8, 2019


A few things to think about when you’re participating in a no shopping challenge.

Imposing a shopping ban is a popular endeavor, especially if you’re struggling with shopping too often and owing too many clothes that you do not wear. Participating in a period of “no shopping” may even enable you to change your shopping mindset.

However, no shopping challenges can be fraught with obstacles that interfere with your success. I’ve participated in numerous shopping challenges over the years, and today I’m going to discuss some of the factors that I’ve noticed can wreak havoc with a person’s non-shopping goals, and how to overcome them.

You allow yourself excuses

Sudden weight gain or loss. An unexpected pregnancy. An item that you’ve coveted for months suddenly going on sale. A wedding. A conference. A family reunion. Life is filled with plenty of surprises, and each one provides the perfect opportunity to come up with an excuse for breaking a shopping ban. No matter what the occasion is, an excuse is nothing more than a way to weasel out of following a shopping ban. And it’s quite common. In fact, I’ve succumb to excuses myself, back during Week One of the January No Spend Challenge.

I’d just started the challenge, and in the first week I’d already broken the rules, and I went to the hair salon. While I managed to stay focused after that, and I am currently finishing up week 5 of the challenge, having not bought a single thing since my slip up, that little misstep could have easily turned into a snowball effect. I could have continued to create excuses and reasons why it was ok to break the ban, and ultimately sabotaged my chance to complete the challenge successfully.

When you’re participating in a no shopping challenge, or any challenge for that matter, you have to keep an eye out for your behavior. Ideally, if you catch yourself coming up with excuses, you stop it right then and there. Or, maybe you do what I did, accept the mishap, and immediately get back on the wagon, staying mindful of what you are doing in the future to ensure that you do not come up with a validated excuse again until the challenge time frame is complete.

You don’t rely on yourself

To be self-reliant requires you to have self-confidence. You have to have trust and faith in your abilities, judgement, and qualities. When you participate in a no shopping ban, you have to believe that you can actually do the shopping ban. If you aren’t confident that you’ll finish it, then you won’t. If you rely on someone else to hold yourself accountable, you leave an opportunity to create a scapegoat for your bad behavior. You succumb to “it’s not my fault” thinking.

You bought a new top because you were shopping with a friend and you were bonding, hence “it’s not my fault.” You had an unexpected event come up that you weren’t prepared for before you started, hence “it’s not my fault.”

Shopping and wardrobe challenges are self-imposed endeavors, which requires you to rely on yourself to see it through. You have the power to finish or stop at any time, the decision on what you will do is up to you.

You fail to appreciate what you have

The viewpoint at which you see your possessions will greatly impact your decisions. When you look at your possessions, your lens is either deprivation or abundance—you either feel that you have enough, or you don’t.

When you feel that you have enough, you can step away from consumerism, because you are enjoying what you wear, as well as what you own. You let go of being controlled by your stuff. When you feel that you don’t have enough, it triggers a thirst that must be quenched. You need to buy, buy, buy, until you have enough to be satisfied. And if you are prone to suffering from a shopping addiction, well, then that thirst will never be quenched.

One of the main goals in marketing is generating brand awareness, so that a consumer will want to buy your product. If someone is not satisfied with what they have, then they are going to look for something that will satisfy them and buy it. When someone appreciates what they have, then they don’t want to buy anything else at that time—enough is simply enough.

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