South Park Magazine

No resolutions for 2012

I am not one for making New Year’s resolutions.

History has shown that if I do attempt to make a list of things to do in the new year, I am no good at sticking to it. Which leads to me ending up feeling so guilty about my lack of follow-through, that I send myself into one heck of a shame spiral.

So, enough of that.

For 2012 I’m going to continue to focus on a philosophical lifestyle change that has been a few years in the making: Buy better, buy less. Or intentional purchasing. Or quality vs. quantity.

When it comes to the particular topic, I’m like a broken record perched on the top of a tall, tall soapbox. But, I won’t step down any time soon, and I’m pretty happy so far with my progress. It’s taken me a while to get here, but I’ve still got aways to go.

I will talk of this philosophy to everyone even remotely interested in listening. I will keep applying the principle to all aspects of my life, including wardrobe (no matter how tempting discounted shoes and handbags are), skincare, housewares, even the food we eat.

2011 was a record year for my family in terms of donations to Goodwill — closets were purged repeatedly, our house scrubbed of non-essential furniture, accessories and decor. And you know what? It’s been incredibly liberating. We’re free of so much stuff that we really didn’t need or use in the first place.

I have become a more self-aware, careful and intentional consumer. When it comes to my wardrobe, I probably spend more per item now than I ever have, but it’s actually saving me money. I am buying far less.

* Before I make a purchase I ask myself hard questions (“Does this fit? No, does it really fit RIGHT NOW?” “Do I like this because of the label, or because it complements me?”) and consider how, when and where I will wear an item. I love finding items that are multi-seasonal, like cute dresses that can be worn with tissue-weight Ts in the winner, with bare arms in the spring, etc * I focus on materials. My handbags (of which I now only have four everyday options, down from a plethora that filled four large storage bins) are leather, and are rotated out regularly and taken for conditioning/care to extend their lives. Same goes for shoes — my riding boots have been resoled and look as good today as when I bought them two years ago. * I cut corners where I can. Target is a favorite for staple layering pieces like T-shirts and trendy accessories. There’s no need to spend boatloads of cash on something that will look dated next summer, or that will need to be replaced next season (like T-shirts).

What will you do differently in 2012?