This November marked the third anniversary of this blog (hooray!) When reflecting on the past three years I wondered what has been the most important thing I have learned about shopping addiction and financial sobriety. So here it is; three years of blogging, reading, healing, talking, and teaching boiled down to a single tip. If you do only one thing to recover from shopping addiction, it’s this: regularly tell someone your goals and intentions to maintain financial sobriety.
When I created my Daily Journal many years ago, the last task was to Declare, which is, telling someone your goal and commitment for that day. I now know through years of lived experience that this is one of the most effective tools for maintaining financial sobriety. When I revamp the journal this task might be moved higher on the list, or perhaps highlighted in obnoxious neon.
Setting the goal or intention can be complex, such as a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) or better yet, super simple. I am still amazed by how effective it can be to just tell my online support group something like, “Yo, I’m not going to consume any political news this month; I need a reset.” Then when I had the itch to pull out my phone to browse the headlines, the moment of Declaration to my support group popped into my head.
It’s odd to think that telling people I have never met IRL my intention would actually work. I will never bump into them at the water cooler where they can ask, “So, SRD, how are you doing with keeping up with your budget this month?” I don’t even know what most of these people look like. I suspect though, that it does not have so much to do with them, but with me.
Your mileage may vary with Declaring your intentions/goals to others. I have a personality where this is quite motivating, whereas you may not. It’s likely worth the effort though to find a supportive, safe individual or group who you can practice accountability with. It could be the one thing that makes all the difference for you.