Intentionality has become a big driver in my journey to simple living and I've set a few intentions for myself this New Year - nothing too strict, just a few reminders of what I'd like to make time for and prioritise. Truth be told, I am absolutely useless at keeping resolutions and setting myself goals. As soon as I write them down and set myself milestones toward achieving them, my inner teenager rebels, and I end up having a petulant argument with myself.
I do, however, like to check in with myself and think about how I want to feel (read any Danielle LaPorte and you will know what I'm talking about). Feeling seems to be better encouragement for me, I can devote myself much more easily to something when I know I'll feel good about it - which sounds completely obvious, but how many times do we set goals based on what we think we should, rather than what we actually want?
One of my intentions this year is to create more, consume less. I want to stop seeking outward, and instead integrate what I've learnt and have with me through action. On a literal level, and example of this is backing up the serious decluttering and Kon Marie-ing that's occurred in my life with the action of decreasing what comes back in. Now, I'm hardly a shop-a-holic, but this year, I want to pull back a little and appreciate what I have around me first, before bringing in anything new.
So, I've decided to do 'Buy Nothing New'. I've set myself some guidelines, like no new books until I've read or re-read the ones I have, no new clothes (except purchasing new items for work and replacing essentials that wear out and are unrepairable), no new appliances (again, unless an essential is unrepairable - although I will be purchasing a new Mixer to replace the KitchenAid I sold months ago at some point), no new online courses or books, no renewals of subscriptions....the list goes on, but you get the drift. It doesn't strictly include food, though I'm recalibrating there a little too, contracting our diet back to the basics and enjoying the simple food coming out of the garden (yes!), and I'm not including anything for the garden, like seeds or seedlings, given that that's food too. It does cover travel - camping trips and visiting friends are ok, booking expensive holidays is not. I've taken inspiration from the Buy Nothing New projects of two of my very favourite online writers - Inked in Colour and Blonde on a Budget. Both set themselves ambitious challenges with very different motivations, and I really enjoyed reading the different perspectives. If you've not checked either of these two wonderful ladies out, I highly recommend you do - buying nothing new or not.
It feels really good to have set myself this little challenge - there's no pass or fail, of course, but gosh, the simplicity! There is no 'should I, shouldn't I' angst, no deliberation, no time spent searching for the best bargain. It's taken some choice away, and far from being restrictive, it feels expansive. By choosing to consume less, it seems I'm giving myself some mental space to utilise what I've got and expand my creativity - kind of like what happens when you restrict the number of toys you give to kids I guess! I'm not sure how long I'll undertake the project for, 12 months feels too long when I don't know what our circumstances will be - I'm feeling like 3 and 6 months will be a good time for a reassessment. I'm enjoying it so far, having started just before Christmas, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the project unravels.
How about you? Do you think you could 'Buy Nothing New'?