Okay, so this week pretty much sucked in terms of my ability to save money. Lots of things snuck into my Dollar Diet world that shouldn’t be there. I went into a store to buy underwear for my daughter (hooray for potty training!) and came out with a puffer vest because I ‘need’ one and it was a ‘good price’. I ate something in a cafe. And we bought pizza (admittedly because my attempt at making cauliflower pizza failed miserably. Too soggy!).
It’s okay, I’m not throwing in the towel. Nor am I scourging my back in penance. That would be a tad extreme. But I did sit down and think about what went wrong.
1) I went into a mixed age clothing store. Big mistake.
2) I went out and about hungry.
3) I didn’t have anything else on hand just in case my new recipe failed (it was the end of the week). Plus I just wanted some damn pizza.
My analysis didn’t stop there. I often need to dig a little deeper to discover what’s really going on.
At the bottom of it all is a case of Dollar Diet fatigue.
I still get such a boost from buying stuff, from taking some precious me time to just sit in a cafe, from eating something ‘forbidden’. It’s so ingrained that part of me just rebelled.
Resistance to change within yourself – no matter how much you want it – is normal.
We are masters of self-sabotage. Because our old habits were serving us in some way. They made life easier, more gratifying, made us feel safe, kept us in our comfortable box. This is why we suck at sticking to New Year’s resolutions. New habits take time to form. And they don’t form in a linear fashion, there is usually some toing and froing. Anytime we make changes we must expect setbacks and relapses (I know this well from giving up sugar!). Let me say that again. Expect relapses.
If this happens to you, it is tempting to say ‘Ah, sod it. I’m no good at this.’ and go back to your old ways.
Instead, sit with your relapse. Why did it happen (was I unprepared, too busy and frazzled, triggered by an unpleasant memory, person or event etc)? Is this a trigger you can avoid or at least mitigate against? There are any number of ways that we can make it easy for ourselves to persevere with a new habit.
People wanting to take up exercise can set their clothes out the night before (hell, I’ve heard of people sleeping in their workout clothes). Those quitting smoking can avoid situational triggers like lighting up after getting off public transport, or during their coffee break. Same with dieters staying away from parties, restaurants and cafes until new habits become more deep-seated.
For me, I’m going to stay out of clothing stores. Not shop hungry. Have some cafe-worthy food at home every now and then. Snatch more me time that I can spend doing free things that give me a boost (like getting out into nature). I’m also getting more serious about a hobby (gardening) so that when I feel bored I’m not tempted to hit the shops just for something to do.
How do you get yourself back on track?