Another day, another avalanche of "best deal of the holiday season" emails. Oy! Frankly, you become numb to it after a while. The thing is: some of these truly are great opportunities to save, but you can only recognize them if you've been paying attention to patterns for long periods of time. My solution for those of you exclusively shopping online? Rely on your list and your strategy. Wait... you don't have a list or a strategy? Let's work on that right now.
TIP #1: GET CENTERED
First, stop and take a breath. Ask yourself: do I need anything or am I just caught up in the moment? Yes, I author a site about living your best life, but I'm also keen on scrutinizing potential new acquisitions. It's not about who has the most, it's about enjoying life and feeling grateful in each moment. Your things can indeed bring you joy, but happiness comes from within. Make sense?
TIP #2: GET FOCUSED
Okay, so back to the question at hand: are you in need of doing some shopping? If so, for whom? Children? Partner? Friends? Make a list. Yes, an actual list of the people to shop for right now. This will focus your attention and allow your brain to begin doing some organizing around those individuals. Want to add some essentials (or indulgences) to your closet? Write those down. Yes, WRITE THEM DOWN. I kid you not, the physical list has power few understand. Make one and live by it. It will astound you.
TIP #3: BE INFORMED
At this point, I go open up all the tabs on my browser for my usual haunts. Saks, One Kings Lane, Neimans, Bergdorf, Cusp, Net-a-Porter, Nordstrom, Shopbop, WHBM, Anthropologie, Scoop NYC, Brooks Brothers, Sur la Table, Williams-Sonoma etc. Notice, I don't go wandering around the web. I stick to my known reliable sources. Look for significantly better savings AND free shipping. Is gift wrap an option? Why not mix that in for added peace of mind? If the offers aren't impressive I close the tab and move on. Minimize your shopping options and allow yourself to dive deep on the sites that have killer savings OR exactly what you want. I am adamant about not shopping for the sake of shopping. You should be ruthless in your quest to invest only in meaningful items that are best in class.
TIP #4: ASK BETTER QUESTIONS
Great gift givers are critical thinkers. They ask themselves better questions. Try this exercise: What does he love to do in his free time? How can I find an item that will improve his daily life? What does she dream of doing? What can I give her that will inspire her to keep pursuing that goal? For yourself... what have I been holding out on buying?
TIP #5: BE DECISIVE
You're armed with a list, a rough idea of what will inspire each gift and an idea of who has a big sale happening. Time to marry that info together and make some magic happen. Focus on locating high quality, big impact pieces - OR spectacular and fanciful finds that will bring joy for years to come. You're shopping early enough that shipping times won't matter much, but don't be oblivious to mention of backorder or low quantities on hand. Made solid, informed decisions and invest in items you'll be proud to give (or receive yourself) and feel good about your choices.
TIP #6: MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE
At a certain point, you have to get on with your life. A month obsessing over percentages and delivery dates isn't healthy. Don't be a retail marketing victim and torture yourself over those "last chance!" emails that will hammer you all month. Place your orders early and move on. Consider it done and move on with your life. What I love doing is pinning down my big acquisitions online early. Then the remainder of the month I get out with friends and family, enjoy the lights, walk down pretty streets with boutiques - leaving myself open to finding pretty stocking stuffers or one-of-a-kind finds that require in person discovery to appreciate. Or... just to enjoy life! Knock out your big wins today if you can, then call it a day. Stop obsessing. Just put it to rest and find ways to be in the moment for the rest of the year. Life goes on with or without you... be certain you are a part of it!