self-control and my motivation

I find myself talking about my Spending Freeze a lot. I don’t mean to be THAT girl, but if you ask me what’s going on, I end up rambling about it because that’s where my brain and energy and everything is. I’m working, saving money, and fundraising. And it almost never fails that people respond by telling me, “I could never do that” or “I do not have that self-control”.

For all of those people, I am here today to make you feel better.

I give you a list of things I CANNOT do:

  • hang up my clothes/put them in the hamper immediately
  • stick to an exercise routine… or exercise period
  • cook meals that don’t come in a box or frozen
  • send food back in a restaurant when it’s obviously undercooked or not my order
  • be on time
  • remember to wear deodorant (but don’t worry, I carry a travel size stick of it in my purse)

I am stubborn, but I do not have amazing self-control or discipline. I make deals with myself all the time to try to improve. Last spring, when new sundresses hit the stores, I made a “hang-up-your-clothes-for-30-days-in-a-row-and-you-can-buy-a-new-dress” deal. I managed to do it (and still love that dress), but clothes started piling up again on day 31. I’ve made similar bargains with myself about exercise with less success. Much less.

I’m slowly, s l o w l y, trying to learn to cook. (The one meal I can claim with success in in the slow cooker right now! And if you tell me throwing things in a slow cooker doesn’t really count as cooking, I’ll punch you in the face. Give me my little victory!) In February, I chopped my first onion. Seriously, first time ever. I don’t own a cutting board. Or a good knife. And, while we’re on the subject, thank you to the person that sits around and writes articles like “How to Dice an Onion”. I love whoever you are.

The not-sending-my-food-back is part of a larger I don’t like to inconvenience people thing that makes me the best group project partner and very worst delegator. I’ll never be on time to anything ever. And I don’t know why it’s so hard to remember deodorant. It just is. I think because I’m still an awkward pre-teen at heart.

So I am not amazing or have special powers or crazy self-control. (Send me those little Reese’s Cup eggs that are only out at Easter or a case of Dr.Pepper, and I’ll prove it.) I’m able to do this Spending Freeze because I really, really want it.

I’m saving up for KENYA, and I want to go so bad that it’s completely worth not eating out or buying a new shirt even if it is on sale and super cute. I am fundraising for my time there, but I don’t want to use the money from my friends and family for things other than getting to Kenya and being there for three months. So that means that while I’m gone, I need to be able to pay my bills for those three months myself. That’s not cheap. And since I’m probably going to have to quit my job to go, I need a little cushion for when I get back too.

So far I have my $1000 emergency fund and most of one month’s bills! I’m getting there, slowly. Some days it’s no fun, but for the most part… it’s totally worth it.


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