17 Challenges In ’17: #1 Is Done, #2 Begins

Momentum on my 17 Challenges In ’17 is still going strong (after all, we are just three weeks into the new year) and it’s time to report on Challenge #1 and to kick-off Challenge #2. Rather than defining resolutions, goals, or intentions for 2017, I developed 17 challenges through which I hope to break a few bad habits as well as instill some better ones. Each challenge is for three weeks and then I move onto the next one.

Below is the list and schedule of the challenges as they stand today. If you read the earlier post, then you might have notice that there have been a couple of revisions to the list and schedule since then. Originally, Challenge #2 was supposed to be “7 hours of sleep every night” but I’ve moved it to be Challenge #3. I have two reasons for doing this. First, I’m on tight deadline to finish on a really big project at work this week (I know, bad excuse) and second, we’ve just bought a new bed which won’t be delivered until Thursday. Originally, Challenge #3 was “10,000 steps every day” but I’m barely doing 5,000 a day currently and with the tight deadline at work, I was setting myself up to fail. The challenge I’m starting today is “250 steps every hour from 9am to 9pm” which was original #9. I’ll cover more on this metric and the rationale behind it in the next update post.

My motives for starting up with this first challenge of “no shopping for clothes, shoes, and accessories” came from the recognition that I already had a lot of those things. I also must face the shameful truth that I cannot wear over 50% of my wardrobe because those items are the wrong size, as in too small. They’re too small either because I’ve had them for several years and bought them when I was thinner or because I’d purposely bought them in a smaller size with the plan to lose weight. It’s this habit that I need to break. If I’m going to buy something, I should buy it in the size that I wear now (and wear it now) and not buy it the size I would wear if I weighed 10 to 20 pounds less.

Denial often keeps me from buying in my true size because I keep hoping that the status of my weight is temporary and that by some miracle, I’ll be able to turn the clock back a few years like menopause is a transient illness from which I will recover. Shoes and accessories always fit so while there are none that I have that don’t fit, I truly have plenty of both of those and don’t need more at this time.


At the end of December, as I was cleaning and sorting out my closet and pondering on the state of my wardrobe, I gave a lot of thought to putting myself on a buying ban. Some of you may be a reader of Carrie’s blog, A Stylish Fit, and know about her “Let’s Be Shop Free For 3” pledge that she ran last year and is doing again this year. Coming across her posting about the pledge was the last little push I needed to give the “no buying” challenge a try. Carrie has a Facebook group called “Let’s Be Shop Free for 3” to help those making the pledge to be accountable and offer support to one another.

The actual pledge is for no shopping but I’m ok with looking as long as I don’t buy. For many who want to avoid buying, they find that they must avoid any and all temptation. Staying away from stores is one thing but many refrain from browsing on-line sites and go as far as unsubscribing to retailer’s sales alerts. E-mail alerts and catelogs don’t present much of a temptation for me so I’ve still browsed but I have minimized my exposure to brick & mortar establishments.


My first true test came on the Friday night of the first week when The Husband (who had no knowledge of my self-imposed challenge of no buying) suggested that we go to a restaurant at a local mall for dinner then walk around afterward as we’ve done once in a while in the past. In my mind, my initial thought was “really, why now of all times is he making this suggestion?” and then I thought “I can do this”. Besides, I still had some returns to make and I could get those done while we were at the mall. All went well even though The Husband was surprised when I showed no interest in going into Anthropologie.

I’m happy to report that I’ve made the full three weeks so far without buying clothes, shoes, or accessories for myself. I did receive a few end of the year on-line purchases during the first week (but those don’t count because I’d already bought them) and there was the new bed purchase last week that helped to scratch the buying itch. I’ve even avoided going to Target by either asking The Husband to buy whatever personal items I needed or by buying them at a drugstore and paying a little bit more. Fortunately, I’ve been so busy with the work project (including hours over the weekend) that I haven’t had much time to even think about shopping.  I plan to stick with this pledge for another three weeks when I will reward my good behavior with a little indulgence while I’m at a bloggers’ meet-up in Phoenix.


So, if I haven’t bought anything new, what’s with the photos? I’ve been wanted to create a setup for taking quick OOTD photos to either post on Instagram or compile for a “look back at last week” type blog post. The most convenient location to do this would be in my closet/office with my iPhone but we had to solve the problems of insufficient lighting and attaching the iPhone to a tripod. The solutions to these challenges will be the subject of an upcoming post but I couldn’t wait to share a few of the first photos taken with this setup.

The challenge for the next three weeks is “250 steps every hour from 9am to 9pm”. This challenge is derived from a tracking metric offered by Fitbit, the wearable I’ve sporting (LOL) for over two years. Under the guise that “sitting is the new smoking” in terms of its negative effects on health, this tracking metric is prompt to move more regularly throughout the day. My wearable will remind me at 50 minutes past the hour if I’ve not yet reached 250 steps in that hour. Mine is primarily a desk job and all too often, I find that I’ve been sitting for hours with hardly any movement other than a quick walk to the restroom. When you combine this with the one hour (or more) drive I make each way to work, I’m doing a lot of sitting throughout the day. It hasn’t escaped my awareness that this level of inactivity is a contributing factor to my lowered metabolism and weight problem.

More on this subject and the results of my challenge will be covered in the next 17 Challenges in ’17 post. Until then, I hope that you’re succeeding with the goals/intentions/resolutions you made for 2017 and I’d love to hear about it.

Let’s connect! Subscribe, tweet, follow, friend, love, pin, stumble … all options are available and waiting for you. I look forward to hearing from you. And don’t forget to add a post or two to Saturday’s link up and enter the StyleWe giveaway if you haven’t done so already.


2 thoughts on “17 Challenges In ’17: #1 Is Done, #2 Begins”

  1. I do the same thing – buy clothes that I would wear if I just lose the weight I’ve been trying to lose. I have lots of pants that just don’t button. Why do I do that? And do I really want to stop?

  2. Great job on the no buying Rena!!
    As for the steps, I think starting out with small goals so you can be successful is the right way to approach it!
    I made the no buying for only 2 weeks, but at least it’s been better than before!!

A comment from you would be lovely