Align To Your Intentions, Not The Market-Driven Calendar

The market-driven calendar aims to influence not only our purchasing habits but our lives. While the sales and holiday promotions are tempting (who doesn’t enjoy a good bargain?), we are often driven to buy things we don’t need. Worse yet, we can be pushed into unhealthy comparisons of our lives with those depicted in this media.

 

We’ll explore how to protect boundaries for healthy lifestyles by:

Creating Awareness: What are the patterns in these calendars and how do they affect us.

-Setting Boundaries: Skip the holiday sales, step away from the marketing push at key times, and protect your energy.

Intentional work: Know your goals; make your family plans and commitments to yourself during each holiday season.

Woman shopping online with arms full of shopping bags already and a credit card in hand

 

What is a Market Calendar and Why is it a Problem?

The market-driven calendar is the marketing cycle that tells us when to purchase certain items and the social expectations for major holidays and annual events. The time of year can heavily influence this anti-minimalist marketing.

  • November: Go “home” and consume massive amounts of food.
  • December: Buy, buy, buy gifts for everyone, so they know you love them. Budgets, be damned! Buy a diamond ring and get engaged.
  • New Year’s Eve: Party like a rock star.
  • New Year’s Day: Repent and promise to never do any of it again and get your life “together” (whatever that means). And seriously, get engaged.
  • February 14: You best be engaged by now and also arrange extravagant displays of love.
  • March 17: Party like a rock star … again. 

 

At the heart of most of these holiday marketing campaigns are two key components: 

  1. Buying items, often big-ticket or nonessential items, or items in excess.
  2. That doing so has essential social value; not doing so comes with severe social ramifications.

 

Now, it’s not that the underlying traditions are wrong or unhealthy. But, we can easily get swayed or even lost in the onslaught of media promotions with strong messaging about how to celebrate and how we should live our lives, leading to unhealthy habits for ourselves and our wallets.

 

Marketing is also not the problem; it’s not inherently good or bad. The market-driven calendar provides both positive and negative impacts for the consumer. The real issue is when the adverse effects take us out of rhythm with ourselves and our intentions. When we spend too much, overeat, feel forced into doing something for tradition or social expectation’s sake—it often leaves us feeling drained.

 

Market-driven calendar displayed in billboard ads surrounding time square New York

 

Bring Yourself Back into Alignment

Realistically, the marketing will continue, and we will see it. The goals are to limit exposure and stay grounded in our intentions. Awareness is key.

 

Limit Exposure and Stay Grounded

  • Turn off the commercials or limit screen time during the big holiday pushes (especially the winter holidays). 
  • Avoid scrolling sales without a purpose. You’ve been primed for spending; avoid the temptation for impulse buys.
  • Watch your reactions. Notice when you feel tight or uncomfortable. If there’s an especially problematic commercial, mute it or change channels. Tune out and switch activities. 
  • Do your favorite grounding exercise. Try meditating, crystal work, yoga, etc. Find what works for you and commit to self-care.

 

Does anyone else feel the need to put blinders on for TV ads and social media in November–January?

 

Woman covering her eyes with her hands to hide from holiday ads

 

Set Intentions and Stay Grounded in Them

Limiting helps, but it’s not a complete solution.

  • Plan your purchases year-round. Anticipate upcoming sales and stick to your plan.
  • Plan as a family. Discuss holiday expectations and make a family-wide plan well before the holiday. Emotions are low, expectations are fluid. Gently remind everyone to stick to it, like serving lighter dishes at Thanksgiving or setting a gifting budget.
  • Create keywords for a mantra before each holiday. You can pull them out in a pinch to keep you on track. Like “I value a minimalistic approach” when you feel tempted to splurge on a decorative item. 

 

Use Crystals to Help

Try these crystals to help you stay aligned with your intentions:

  • Vanadinite: helps you stay on budget.
  • Clear quartz: setting and amplifying intentions.
  • Smoky quartz: grounding and clarity.
  • Fluorite: clarity for decision-making.

 

Be aware, set your intentions, and stay on your own path by paying attention. Watch out for the onslaught of sales email campaigns, ‘free shipping’ incentives, and holiday-themed indulgences. Instead, build trust with some local, small businesses and rely on their expertise for your gift guides. Learning to become a conscious consumer can help shift your mindset.

 

And, lastly, cut the cords from the marketing machine.

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  • Emi

    March 23, 2021 at 10:49 am
    Reply

    Something to really think about. I want to bring myself back into alignment and make sure I am meeting my needs, not responding to the […] Read MoreSomething to really think about. I want to bring myself back into alignment and make sure I am meeting my needs, not responding to the environment around me. Read Less

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