Year of Less Debrief

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

My "year of less" is officially done as of yesterday. For the initial set up of this intention, check out this blog from last October. I had some simple ideas for how I wanted 2020 to look (didn't we all), and I think it's super important when setting goals or intentions to do the reflecting part. So, here we are.


I really loved the exercise of completing a Money Diary for one week. What an eye opener, and also a fun task! I had a really great month early in the year taking part in a Bravely Go no spend challenge. And I have been mostly consistent with my grocery log! Looking back at my original blog post, it appears as thought I stuck to my rules for what not to buy, even though I wasn't actively checking in on that. The simplicity of those rules, and the items on the list were key to the success I did see.

Having this intention in the back of my mind helped me when making larger purchases as well. I still struggle with impulse shopping, and pulling the trigger on items when I really need them, but the overlay of "buy less" didn't add any stress. The big ticket items I picked up this year - including the backpack in the photo - were either addressed in my original post, or were mindfully sourced as the occasion demanded. "Buy less" is a mantra that is part of my whole life, whether or not I set specific intentions around it.


I didn't set up long-term reminders for myself, follow-up dates, accountability or habits. So I pretty much totally forgot about this intention a few months into 2020. And somewhat more obviously, COVID impacted my finances. I never re-calibrated this goal or looked at it through this lens, which would have been a huge asset overall. No decluttering has really happened in my house either, and I didn't do any 30 day challenges other than the one with Bravely.


I feel like I royally dropped the ball on this challenge. I 100% could have set myself up for success, but didn't. This is especially frustrating because I know that I often forget about long-term goals or projects like this if I don't build habits around it. I am super proud that I maintained my grocery log! That in itself is a huge step for me. I think I bought less, but again, I didn't set myself up to easily track metrics so I can't be sure. There are no shame feelings around this goal though. I did somethings right, and I learned some lessons for the future.


Money goals and financial intentions continue to be a struggle for me. I created a donations tracker for 2021 for both tax reasons and to show (myself) how I am matching my values to my spending. Grocery log will continue, but I don't have a plan for that data yet or a goal beyond just tracking the numbers. I want to do another Money Diary and see if someone will do it with me. I want some bigger picture, longer term money goals in there, and I want to solidify some house goals. And finally, I still want to buy less and write about it on my blog.

Accountability and mindset will be a major component of my next steps.


Year of Less by me (Not Ladylike blog)

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders

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