11 One Minute Habits For Mindful Shopping

One minute habits are a popular technique for habit change. They’re popular because they’re powerful. Usually when people discuss one minute habits they talk about a few standard options. Things like making your bed, reading one page, stretching, or lacing up your running shoes.

These are great and can propel you into larger and quite impactful habit change. But, these articles are a dime a dozen and often regurgitate some iteration of 20 or 30 habits. If you’ve never read about one minute habits, I’ve got you covered on the concept. Today we’re going to talk exclusively about one minute habits for mindful shopping.

The Power of the One Minute Habit

There are three main types of one minute habits and all types are quite powerful. It’s useful to differentiate the types when it comes to brainstorming or habit change itself. You might find stand-alone habits the easiest place to start over first step habits. So, here they are.

Type #1: Smallest Iteration

The first type of one minute habits are larger habits that you can reduce to their simplest or shortest iteration. So, instead of reading for 30 minutes every morning you read one page or for one minute. You run for one minute, brush one tooth, stay off your phone for one minute— you get the drill. It’s much easier to convince yourself to do something for one minute than it is for 30 or 45 minutes.

Type #2 First Step

Even with established habits, the toughest part can be getting started or taking that first action. For a running habit, getting up out of bed to lace up your shoes is usually the most difficult part of the habit. Once you’re up and your shoes are laced you’re fine to go on that run.

The main difference between type one and two is the goal. For the reading example, you’ve condensed your 30 minute goal into a one-minute habit that you can wrap your head around and convince yourself to do because it feels so easy. You can also stop at 1 minute or one page and go about your day if you really wanted.

For the first-step habits, you’re still breaking down your habit into it’s easiest component but in this case you’re opting for the first step. Once your shoes are on and you step out the door turning back isn’t quite the same as closing the book. You’re setting yourself up for a larger habit. It’s kind of like the first step in the chain. These habits are especially powerful because of their momentum.

Type #3 Stand-Alone

These habits are habits that are so easy and simple you can do them alone in one minute and they don’t built up to anything else. A classic example is making your bed. Sure, making your bed can feel like an accomplishment, but making your bed isn’t building up to some larger task.  Because these habits stand alone they’re typically the easiest to integrate into your routine.

One Minute Habits For Mindful Shopping

    1. check-in with your bank account

      This habit is #1 on the list because it’s an intentionality power house. Checking-in with your bank account on a daily or weekly basis can prevent you from shopping because you’re regularly reminding yourself of the state of affairs. It’s way easier to say no when you see your savings account growing or an undesirable number in your chequing account.

    2. pulling out food from the freezer

      If take-out is an area you over-spend in pulling out food from your freezer is a great step to help cut-back. Pulling out a freezer meal, or a component part like chicken, before you leave for work essentially commits you to the meal. It’s way harder to say screw it or we’re going to order pizza if you have chicken defrosting on your counter.


    3. opting-out of email lists

      As unwanted emails pop-up opt-out of those bad boys. Or, dedicate one minute sometime during your day to review your email list.

    4. putting your journal on your bed or desk

      Journaling is an absolute gem of a habit to help you process your feelings and explore gratitude and contentment. You can use a gratitude journal like this or this, or a plain journal to free-write. Place your journal where you’re most likely to use it. Even better if it’s in an inconvenient location that requires you to touch or move it. As an example, placing your journal on your chair, keyboard, or pillow. I sometime place mine on my coffee machine. It’s annoying but effective.

      * none of these links are affiliate but the second link is to one of my digital products.

    5. catalogue it

      If you’re shopping in-person snap a photo of the item and/or label and walk away.  Doing this helps to reduce impulse buying in the moment or the “buy and return” dance where you say you’ll return the thing but ultimately forget. Or, you say you’ll return the item to placate yourself about the money you spent when you had no intention of returning the thing. I bought a pair of jeans like this recently. I snapped a photo in store of a pair of jeans I really LOVED. If I bought them that day it would have been an impulse buy. But, it was easy to walk away from the jeans because I had the item code. I sat around on the purchase for a few weeks as I considered my jean needs. I did buy them about a month later and this super simple habit helped me buy a new pair of jeans with great confidence. In my nearly three year history wit this habit, I almost always choose not to buy the item.

    6. deposit

      If you find yourself tempted to spend money try creating an account that’s dedicated to all the stuff you didn’t buy. After the initial set-up you can transfer money into the account every time you’re tempted to buy something instead of buying that thing. It can be extremely motivating to watch that money grow and have it symbolize your changing habits. You can also use apps like Moka to round-up money from your purchases and invest it or place that money into a savings account.
      * My data was stolen during a data breach in 2019 (not from Moka) and as result I have chosen to be extremely selective of where I put financial information. I do not link my bank account for any app purposes including budgeting apps as no app is ever 100% secure. The CRA (Canada’s version of the IRS) has also been hacked along with many large banks. If you go the app route please proceed with caution.

    7. remove your credit cards

      Similar to the journaling prompt you can dedicate one minute to removing credit cards from all of your online shopping hotspots. Or, do this on an ad hoc basis. Removing your credit cards makes impulse shopping extremely difficult as you’ll have to get up and get your credit card to make the purchase. Doing this adds in buffer time that give you the opportunity to consider the purchase.

    8. add a “spark joy” piece

      If you’re someone who overbuys or impulse buys clothes or accessories this tip is a favourite because it helps to cultivate contentment. Have the last piece of your outfit be one that leans into dopamine dressing. Take a minute to add a touch to your outfit that “sparks joy,” whether that’s a scarf, lipstick, necklace, or other fun accessory. Doing this helps you appreciate what you have and brings joy to your day.

    9. step-away

      If you’re feeling spendy or you have your finger on the mouse ready to check out just step away. Remove yourself from your office, chair, or wherever you’re doing your shopping. Walk around your kitchen or office, grab some water, and detach from the situation. You can choose to do this for 5 or 10 minutes, but don’t feel the pressure as one minute can be enough time for a lil’ mental break.

    10. review your “in case of emergencies list”

      If you find yourself in a situation where you want to spend money and you’re not supposed to review an in case of emergencies list (or a when I’m feeling spendy list). You’re going to have to create this first, and once you do put it in an easy to reach  location like your fridge or desk drawer. Your list should include things you can do that will help you to not spend money. My original list was a general “if you’re feeling spendy list.” This was helpful for a while, but my list became a goldmine once I turned it into a list for when I’m feeling like emotional spending. My list includes some of the tips on here but it’s mostly comprised of  healthy ways I can distract myself with specific examples. A top choice for me is reading, and my list has specific books named and linked. TV shows with specific episodes, playlists, and more.

    11. remove/switch out apps

      Delete the apps that you’re over-using or that are causing you to compare and despair. If you don’t want to delete the app move the location. I used to keep my Instagram app on my phone’s home screen. It was in the top left corner aka app #1. A few months ago I swapped the place of Instagram with Solitaire because I was boredom scrolling Instagram too much.  I truly love Solitaire so I thought it would be a good alternative. Turns out, I wasn’t just boredom scrolling, I was instinctively opening my phone and clicking on the app without thinking. I found myself in solitaire everyday for nearly a week.  After about two weeks I stopped the mistaken clicking completely and my Instagram usage went down dramatically. Making this switch took about 15 second.

      Thanks for reading! If you’re a habit junky, check out this article on the 5 most common shopping triggers and how to fix them.

2 thoughts on “11 One Minute Habits For Mindful Shopping”

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