Halfway through a New Year’s resolution
In January 1, 2018, I made a resolution; no more (fashion) shopping. That means no more bargain hunting, no more click to purchase, no more dresses, shoes, purses… This has been my life, to the point I dare to say it has become an addiction. 88% of people who make New Year resolutions don’t succeed in changing a behavior, so all the odds were against me.
In January 1, 2018, I made a resolution; no more (fashion) shopping. That means no more bargain hunting, no more click to purchase, no more dresses, shoes, purses… This has been my life, to the point I dare to say it has become an addiction. 88% of people who make New Year resolutions don’t succeed in changing a behavior, so all the odds were against me. But I’m an experienced Strategist and certified Life Coach, so am always determined to succeed. I leaned into my strategic knowledge to approach business problems and behavioral science basics to address my challenge in 3 steps:
Step 1: Identify the (real) problem I have a shopping addiction that I want to stop. This was my starting point but I needed to take the time to analyze context and dig into the WHY. “Why do I want to do that?” “What happened that triggered it?” “What need am I trying to fulfill?” 45% of our daily activities are fast, automatic and unconscious. If we desire change, we need to move to conscious thinking, which is slow and thoughtful. With this, I reframed my problem. It was not about stopping shopping, it was about being mindful about my feelings and unmet needs. New problem: How can I satisfy my need to express my uniqueness without purchasing a new item of clothing? Much more profound!
Step 2: Learning from Behavioral Science Humans are naturally sensitive to their surroundings. In my case, not only did I have to resist the retail environments that are designed to make us purchase something, I also had to plan so that my surroundings will help me succeed in my ‘no shopping’ goal. These can be little (big) things such as: • Deleting all my shopping apps in my phone • Finding alternative routes to get home without walking in front of stores • Removing all the ‘express checkout’ and credit card information from my favorite stores’ sites It’s easier to stick to goals if the environment feels supportive. As advertisers, do we ever take this into account?
Step 3: Go Social People have a strong herd instinct. It’s important to surround yourself with those that support, guide, encourage and celebrate you. With this resolution, I became @shopaholicnomore on Instagram. It’s a page where I track my progress, talking openly about my resolution, my closet, my urges, my coping strategies and of course, posting my daily outfits. Six months in, I have over 800 followers and I can’t begin to describe the love and support I have received from people all over. It also makes me accountable and helps me value my effort and continue with my resolution.
Why am I sharing all of this? Because we are in the business of changing and influencing behavior. Half of new products that launch in the marketplace fail. The problem is not in the lack of awareness or knowledge or even in the intention to use, but in the failure to change existing habits or adopt new ones. But failure shouldn’t mean we stop trying. Failure gives you more data about what you need to succeed the next time. Every resolution maker makes mistakes and breaks their promise. I know I have! The key is not to throw in the towel and stay persistent. Just like I’m doing with my resolution and just like I’m doing every day with every business challenge at LAPIZ.