Sterling, thank you for understanding about my purchases. I thought I had what I needed before the fast but waterproof boots are a real need right now. I willbe stricter in February which will probably take me right into my usual Lenten buying fast (6 weeks). I come out buying less and being more picky.
Bonnie, I like those pants and wish that Eddie Bauer fit me. Enjoy.

Gradfashionista -- You are so right. Since my goal is to retrain my eye and reset my standards, I did a couple of things. The first was to start a purchasing fast to teach my brain to stop scouring sales for the thrill of the hunt. It didn't serve me well at all. The second, which I haven't mentioned here yet, is to double my clothing budget. I gave this some real thought in 2016. I realized that I had set an arbitrary clothing budget years ago (plucked a number out of the air that didn't bust the budget). For some reason, I carried over the same budgetary amount year after year after year. Staying within that budget drove my sales shopping. By doubling my annual budget, I can relax into this new shopping strategy.

Joy -- I really do understand. Fasts are merely meant to put the breaks on. If you need something, and I personally think you need a lot based on your move, you should buy it. You'll have so much fun in Steamboat. You certainly earned. it.

I agree, Karie. I fail at complete abstinence every single time. It literally sets me up to obsess about the habit. Once that obsession sets in, I not only buy or eat, I take it to extremes. January is by far the easiest month to start a purchasing fast. I am thoroughly over-shopped by January. November and December literally drained me. I literally need January to reset my multiple behaviors. The purchasing fast gives me time and brain power to focus on other behaviors that need attention too. I'd like very much to take this fast through February, but March might be challenging for me because I do want to shop for Spring.

Good for you Sterling! I think you have a winning strategy.

I have made no clothing purchases since mid-December... and do not anticipate making any others until April. I am having fun creating outfits with the clothes I already own. Lately I have been choosing to spend my time and money on experiences rather than on material accumulation. I did spend some money this month -- bought some concert tickets for hubby and me, went out to dinner with friends, supported a local charity event, and purchased a few good books (second hand) that I intend to share with friends once I am finished reading them. I feel good about these expenditures.

I may have missed this but from your fast are you building a prioritized list of what your next purchases need to be?

Thanks El Cee. Building experiences is brilliant. I too am trying to spend more time with the people I love. It is a recipe for feeling really good.

Thanks for asking, AM. You haven't missed anything. I want to get my sales shopping compulsion under control. My wardrobe goals are to build up my spring/summer work capsule. My work capsule has gotten a bit sketchy recently with my embrace of casualization. I have put it back on track. I have only recently learned to shop for my climate. This is huge and that means I will have to constantly check myself to make sure I am actually buying for climate. There are no lists at this time. My goal is to wait to see what Angie recommends.

Great motivating post and replies! I will start the fast in February, when I usually buy too much early spring stuff that doesn't always work out.

I'm tempted by sales, and I have looked at the promotions, but I don't need any more winter clothes, and when I do see something interesting, it usually turns out that my size is not available. I too am tempted to buy duplicates. I will need some jeans, but until I get back to my pre-holiday waistline I'm not buying.

I did buy a pair of Vionic house slippers, which I'm wearing a lot. I decided I need to replace a lot of my underwear and a new pair of yoga pants, so I'll do that in the next couple of weeks. I'm not motivated to go out in the rain to go to the mall.

I appreciate how you have identified your weaknesses. I'm going to name my weaknesses as part of my goal setting, planning phase. Thanks for sharing your process. This is really motivating as I continue my purge, fast and refinement.

Sorry it took so long for me to get back. The thrifting fast helped because if it was cheap, PPP took a nose dive. I joined YLF with a very large wardrobe, a lot of it thrifted. My current wardrobe is about 1/3 of what it was. Over the course of the first year and 1/2, I did a few large purges. I was still buying a lot though. I ended all thrifting and introduced a budget. It was somewhat artitrary but I use the dollar amount now. It is enough that I'm able to purchase some highish end but low enough that I think about my purchases more. I have no idea if it's a little or a lot. I limited my numbers so that I wouldn't use my budget to buy a ton of meh items.
You are using your non-shopping time really well. I've been more interested in health and beauty items. Mostly just looking. I did buy the naked 3 palette from Urban Decay and some moisturizers. I've also been working a lot the last couple weeks.

Shedev -- You explained the exact problem I have with sales shopping. It was like I was on a hunt and if I found something I liked at a great price, I had to buy it. I was buying without a wardrobe plan. The new items either didn't go with anything in my wardrobe (and would necessitate still more shopping) or they weren't quite in line with my fashion goals (until eventually I found I had no goals whatsoever).

My journey on YLF has been up and down. I came here to learn. AND I did. I learned about life styles, climate and capsules. Now I am learning to combat a negative shopping habit. Over the course of the past 4 months I have learned how this shopping habit does not serve me well. It does not bring me joy (other than the thrill of the hunt and the ecstasy of success). I am re-channeling. It might be working too. I am certainly more honest with myself and doing a lot less rationalization.

It is odd. I thought I hated the online shopping experience (anxiously waiting for the item to ship, religiously tracking it across the country, ecstasy of delivery). Over the course of the past month, I have not come home to any packages. I admit to missing that, but I am getting used to that too. I mean it couldn't have been normal to have packages delivered quite that often, right?

AM -- I am so glad you benefited from this series of posts. It has been a pleasure getting to know you. I will watch for any posts by you on goal setting and future planning.

MsMaven -- Duplicates. Sigh. I can always rationalize a duplicate. Yet how many pairs of black bottoms do I really need? I would never dare count the number of black bottoms (includes skirts) that I own. I might faint in my bedroom.

I'm working on returning to my pre-Holiday waistline as well. It is slow going, but I remind myself I probably gained the weight slowly. I just don't notice when I am gaining the weight. In terms of Holiday excess eating/drinking, I am embarrassed. I resist in early December, but by late December I am full swing.

VIONICs are the best. They just get my feet. I consider them almost a necessity for the health of the feet. Do you have a Find of your house slippers?

Sterling, just wanted to chime in again to say I can relate to SO MUCH of what you are saying. You articulate it, but I'm also living it! Thank you for the opportunity for reflection.

Thank you Elizabeth P. Your comment made my day.

Half is huge, that's a 50% reduction! Great progress! I also try to ignore the stores in January as much as possible, after the holiday's I sort of need a breather anyway.

Hi Sterling, have read all of your posts about this. The duplicates are something I have a problem with and I'm trying to be on a sort of fast from them. I posted in another thread about my duplicate black Capri pants, one of which had to go due to little threads bits of elastane poking out. The other pair is fine so I'm saying, even if I am looking in a shop, no black Capri pants! I have actually managed not to buy clothing or shoes since I think late November, and trying to purge my too large wardrobe which I find very difficult. I took stuff to the hospice shop this week ( our nearby charity shop, a bit like your Goodwill I guess) but even then I could not take the 2 pairs of shoes I had put out to take! One is too high and one too tight, but I still like them, sigh... Shoes are another big shopping weakness, I have around 50 pairs. I look at shoe websites a lot. One thing that sort of helped in a weird way was on my favourite show website, an Australian site called Styletread, I created quite a big Wishlist, often up to 25 pairs. I would realise that I couldn't possibly buy all those, as it would be half as many again as I own and would just be stupid let alone far too expensive! So I sort of enjoy them vicariously. Shoe sites are probably my main relaxation from a demanding job. I've kept that Wishlist for well over a year and only bought one pair of boots from there in that time. Wrong season, bought them November when summer was on the way. Hope I wear them a lot come autumn in about March, or I will be cross with myself!

Ugh ! I am doing awful.

I have started the year with a series of monthy goals... rather than a New' Year's resolution.

My Jan goals are :

1. Drink more water

2. Get back to EPO habit of previous year- every day.

3. Take better care of feet.

4. Reduce buying clothes and makeup

I am happy to say that I am doing admirably well on the first three. But I now realize I have a problem when it comes to the fourth.

The good thing is : I have identified it.

I have purchased a BR top, DKNY Fuschia winter coat, two shift dresses and a pink lipstick, AND a pair of sandals.

The good thing is that the total cost is under $ 100. Only the sandals and lipstick are new. I know though... cost has NOTHING to do with it.

It would be easy to blame my husband for going into these places. I was not the one who initiated the visits. Still, while he was doing his puttering... I found myself in the dressing rooms.

Also... I do not tell my husband my goals. I need to do them by myself for myself. I am sure he might have stopped me if he knew... so maybe...

I don't kid myself that I am still in the game by saying... oh well... I did not spend much. But perhaps I need to gradually work to it...

I am beginning to adjust to my next months goals by adding in three more items to focus on for February - AND I need time to think this last one out.

Totally agree Jenni... shoe sites are a wonderful guilty pleasure for myself as well !

I take things in and out of my cart... oh my... and these sandals... I am dying for the box to come in the mail.

I need help.

Hi Jenni NZ -- I am so glad you posted. Shoes are seductive. I have never understood exactly why they are, but they are. I used to have shoes that were drop dead gorgeous. I couldn't walk from the bedroom to the living room without searing pain .... but oh so beautiful. I kept them a long time. A long time.

In time I realized I needed to take better care of my feet and my oh so beautiful shoes were donated to someone who could possibly walk further than 20 feet in them. I have no regrets, but it does take time to prepare yourself to give away a treasure. Take your time. Enjoy looking at them until you ready.

Hearing from so many other people that duplicate their clothes surprised me. I genuinely thought I was the only that suffered from this particular affliction. I don't know that I will ever cure myself totally. It is a pitfall that I will work on in the upcoming years.

Hi Sheila -- Monthly goals are brilliant!!!!! I wish I had to thought of that. Congratulations on achieving one through three. I don't feel you failed at your fourth goal. It sounds like you bought some beautiful things. I personally would kill for a DKNY Fuschia winter coat.

Identifying a problem is the first step to a solution. So in effect you have achieved your fourth January goal (just not in the exact way you anticipated). By identifying it, I think you can work on it gradually. It takes time.

Announcing my goals (even to my BF) is a sure step toward failure with me. It seems to me that the Universe steps in and taunts me when I announce a goal out loud. For example, if I say I am cutting back on sugar, donuts start appearing in the office. If I stay silent, no donuts. (I think the Universe is named Ray).

Only this website knows I am on a Purchasing Fast. I have not breathed a word out loud.

What is EPO?

Thank you so much for your positive reinforcement, Lisa. You have no idea how much a simple sentence on this thread helps me.

Maybe you duplicate thinking you're upgrading, but you never end up getting rid of the original?
That happens to me with jeans

That could be it, Smittie.