The previous step, Decide, and this second step, Document, go hand-in-hand. Blur together, if you will. As you are going through your decision making process, you are journaling (documenting) your commitments for the day. Documentation includes:
- Valued Action
- Triple WTFs
There are many known benefits that come from a regular gratitude practice. I think it is particularly important to have a gratitude practice in respect to financial sobriety because the very purpose is shifting your mind towards what you have. When engaged in shopping addiction, the mind becomes entranced with wants and what is missing. Gratitude is the antithesis to this way of thinking.
I recommend writing 3 things you are grateful for each day. It does not have to be unique gratitude each day either. For example, if there is sunshine multiple days in a row, I will write “sunshine” each day, as long as I am connecting to that sense of appreciation for sunshine. Living in a climate with long, dark winters, the sun is rarely taken for granted!
Gratitude for the sun also illustrates that your gratitude doesn’t have to be grand. In fact, it’s the small, daily things that can make a big difference in life. Noting appreciation for clean water, a loved one, pets, employment, waking up that day…there are so many things for which to be grateful.
What do you want to do with your time? Time is your most precious commodity. Let me repeat. TIME IS YOUR MOST PRECIOUS COMMODITY! Once you have reclaimed your time from compulsive shopping, you will need to be intentional about how you are going to use that time.
Write one simple action you can do that day. It does not have to be big or take much time at all. In fact, it is probably best if it is something very small, taking maybe no more than 5 – 15 minutes. If you end up spending more time than that on the activity, wonderful.
Examples of Valued Actions include, reading a chapter or a few pages of a book, taking a walk around the block, having a meal with no electronic distractions, and working on some basic obedience with your dog, just to name a few.
This is where you make all your decisions about what you will or, for the majority of the days, will not be shopping for. See the previous post for greater detail on the Triple WTFs. But, to reiterate briefly here, you are going to write the What, When, Where, Time and Funds regarding shopping. Be as specific as possible. This concept is at the heart of the FITE addiction plan.
As mentioned, the majority of the days you will not be shopping for anything. On the days that I will be purchasing items, I do a separate entry on a different paper for my WTFs. This way most of my daily journal entries take up little space. Therefore, your line entry for this section on most days will look like this:
WTFs = 0
This is your plan for today and today only. That is why it is a daily journal. It is not a lifetime journal entry. You are committing to this financial sobriety plan for one day only, one day at a time.
Declare is the final step of the process and will be gone over in greater detail in the next post. As far as your daily documentation goes, you will simply check off the box when you made your declaration (commitment) to your plan for that day.
Daily Journal Pages
You can use a journal, notebook, blank pieces of paper you have sitting around, the back of a napkin, computer document, just about anything to start your daily journal. Resist the urge to go out and buy a new journal. You can download this free, simple, printable FITE addiction Daily Journal page here to get you started.
The next post will describe the purpose of the “Declare” checkbox you will notice at the bottom right hand corner of the journal entry.