How not to cultivate self-discipline (or, “Whoops new clothes”)

There are things I should be doing. Like not eating chocolate until I can do the zip up on the dress I want to wear to a hen party next month. Or not spending all of my money every month in case I ever need some to do distant adult things like buy a house or have some children. But I somehow just can’t bring myself to. Sometimes I feel as though I used up all my self discipline aged 17, when I was a borderline anorexic straight A student, and now I’m a lazy spontaneous chaotic twenty-something who can’t get her shit together.

I know, how hard can it be to turn down that cookie or not buy that magazine? But I seem to be too undisciplined to even contemplate self discipline. I make the right noises. I’ll say “I can’t eat out again until after the end of the month.” Then somebody will suggest a restaurant and I’ll say “What time?” I might do some things that look like self discipline but trust me, they aren’t. I’m actually one of those crazy people who enjoys running and eating vegetables. I tell myself that life is for living and not for depriving yourself. Then I worry that this is just an excuse for failing to develop a reasonable key life skill.

I made a resolution to not buy any new clothes this year. In January and February, I stuck to this. But I have a confession to make: this month I slipped up. And not by a little bit. My budget app shows that during March I’ve spent a whopping £127 on clothes. How on earth did this happen? After contemplating this in horror I’ve concluded it’s because I allowed myself an exception. When the sun came out a couple of weekends ago, along with ‘What is this thing that I haven’t seen for six months?’ and ‘What is this strange feeling that isn’t cold?’, the question I was asking myself was ‘What shoes should I wear?’ I thought it was wrong that I didn’t own any shoes that weren’t either boots of sandals, that I needed a pair to wear for Spring. I think, on reflection, that I was right because I have worn the new shoes an awful lot already. But it opened the door for other exceptions that I “needed”: a new backpack because the zip was a little stuck on the old one and new sunglasses because I didn’t like the style of my old ones. Having bought this much already I thought “Oh what the hell” and bought two dresses and a shirt because I just liked them.

Which at least gives me a little bit on insight into how my mind works, even if I’m actually a little disgusted by this lack of self restraint. I need rules. I find it so much easier to say “I’m not buying anything” than “I can buy this and not that”. In the same way I find it so much easier to not go out at all than say I’m going to go out, stop after two glasses of wine and be home in bed by 11pm (this never ever works).

I don’t care too much about my weight (at least, not now I have a few new dresses that do fit me) or the money so much. But I want to renew my commitment to not buying clothes. If only to prove to myself that I do have the capacity to be disciplined. So I’m posting it on here in an attempt to hold myself to account: watch this space.


One thought on “How not to cultivate self-discipline (or, “Whoops new clothes”)

  1. LOL! It happens! I have the same commitment to myself over and over again. I indeed stay away from shops for a couple of months, but then when I do go there I leave at least CAD $300. What’s funny, I thought maybe having my hubby with me would help. Not at all! Whenever I try something on, he absolutely loves everything!!! Can’t he be my voice of consciousness?!?! Haha! Good luck!


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