If there is one thing that seriously chips away at my ability to reach and maintain my long-term goals, it is my daily struggle with self-control.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I, quite recently, managed to hit my target weight. For more on this, click 5 Real Ways To Reach Those Weight Loss Goals.
Although thrilled to have reached this personal milestone, it didn’t take me long to realise that the real battle would be to avoid slipping back into unhealthy eating habits of old so as to stay off that frustrating yo-yo diet merry-go-round.
Death by chocolate? Where self-control is concerned, this delicious dessert is definitely deadly 😬
However, deliciously decadent desserts aren’t my only weakness…
Yes, folks, you’ve guessed it! I like to shop… A. Bit. Too. Much! 😐
Now, like anything, shopping in moderation, a little retail “therapy”, does nobody any harm.
But what if that shopping habit holds you back from achieving your long-term financial goals? What if you just can’t resist those teeny-tiny, seemingly insignificant impulse buys? What if your retail “therapy” is more damaging than therapeutic in the long run?
When you need a beauty product replacement but end up with a beauty product haul! 😳
Well, then, it might just be time to take a step back and seriously consider what can be done to get that crumbling self-control under control, once and for all.
As a seasoned sufferer, my plan of attack goes as follows…
1. Take out temptation
In order to minimise those self-control wobbles, the first and most obvious thing to do is to avoid as much temptation as possible.
Can’t say no to those delicious desserts when eating out? How about deciding to eat out a little less often?!
Can’t stop foraging in the cupboards for something sweet whenever you’re feeling bored, tired or just plain hungry? Maybe an outright ban on treat jar refills is needed?!
Ooh! And then there is the problem of quick shopping trips which turn into all-out shopping expeditions for things you never knew you actually wanted or needed…
Yes, Primark I am looking at you!
Probably best to leave the plastic at home or, more drastically, avoid those places where you cannot just look altogether! (So that means no more Primark or Poundland for me, then! Sigh! 😰)
For much the same reason, sales are probably best avoided, unless you can realistically limit yourself to those discounted items you truly need and want. After all, it is really only a saving if you had actually intended on buying the marked down product in the first place. £70 for a £170 dress I never needed and never wanted in the first place is not a £100 saving, it’s a £70 loss! 😩 (Maybe if I repeat those words over and over, it will finally sink in! 😬)
Charity shops and designer vintage stores need to be treated with much the same caution. Enter at your very own risk!
A gorgeous Marc Jacobs wallet (pictured above) is one of my top charity shop finds. It’s just a pity about the other less than useful items I’ve picked up in second-hand stores over the years! 🤦🏼♀️
2. Forgive and forget your failures
If, like me, you struggle to stay on top of those self-control issues, there will definitely be days when you fall off the wagon.
Hands up! 🙋🏼♀️ I’ve had those dreadful days when a “spot” of retail therapy almost put me in therapy! 😳
Or, on those rare occasions when I’ve had to have tempting treats in the house, I have been known to overindulge! 😋😳
But, rather than wallowing in the pit of despair over the extent of my human weakness, it is best to acknowledge the indiscretion and resolve to do better from that point on.
In this way, instead of letting our weaknesses have control over our choices, we step back into the driving seat of our future.
3. Keep your eyes on the bigger prize
On a daily basis, it is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that one little slip-up here and there won’t make a difference.
However, the unfortunate reality is that all those small self-control slip-ups add up to one big mess where you can no longer fit into your favourite outfits or see over the top of that enormous debt mountain.
Extra cake is nice but not half as nice as fitting into this cute summer skirt from darlindaisystore.com
I find that looking back at old pictures of me before my weight loss transformation helps keep me on track when all I want to do is let loose in the treat aisle of the supermarket.
Equally, making lists of all the reasons I want to achieve better financial health is helpful when it comes to overspending tendencies.
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After all, no amount of retail therapy could ever compete with the sheer and utter contentment of knowing that you are able to provide your nearest and dearest with a secure future.
And that includes… gasp… regular trips to Primark! 🛍🚫
There’s step one towards financial freedom taken care of, but that mountain is still ever so high…
Stay tuned, my dear readers, as I continue to slay those all-important life goals!
Until next time,
💋 Mostly Mum
*All gifs are via GIPHY