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When you need new clothes, how do you find the motivation to look when you don’t want to?

That’s a great question. I would assume your closet is lacking a few vital pieces, and you need to shop out of necessity. You can’t walk around naked, obviously. You may be in to that sort of thing, but society typically frowns upon such frivolity.

Identify the reason you feel unmotivated. No styles that appeal to your fancy (the will-chevron-ever-die syndrome)? Too time consuming? Not feeling particularly attractive, and the thought of buying clothes exhausts you mentally? It’s the holiday season as I write this response. Long lines of grumpy shoppers tend to unmotivated even the most joyful shopper. Identifying the reason is just the first step.

A friend shared your exact sentiment shortly after giving birth to her third child. The pregnancy was arduous, and the new bundle of joy suffered from health issues, resulting in frustration and long sleepless nights. She needed new professional clothing as her maternity clothes were too big and her pre-pregnancy clothes were too tight. She was exhausted. The idea of shopping overwhelmed her.

I pose the same solution to you as I did to her.

Take a shopping excursion with friends. Make a day of it. Think of it as a treat for a job well done. Surely there is something you’ve done recently that warrants celebration. Make something up if you need to do so. It’s National Something or Other Day, I’m sure. Your friends not only provide motivation, they can help you pick outfits. Shopping becomes an outing instead of a chore. This way you enjoy yourself and don’t bear the brunt of the shopping burden.

Sometimes, you need to take baby steps. Resolve to buy two or three versatile items. Stick to black slacks or jersey tees. Decide to buy two or three items each month until your closet is filled.

I did this when I lost a substantial amount of weight very quickly. I set a $20-30 budget each month and went thrift shopping for versatile pieces that could translate into work-appropriate and casual looks. Even without budget constraints, the idea of replacing every item in my closet was daunting.

If the crowds or store layout gives you hives, shop online. I recently purchased items through Forever 21’s website. The store is disorienting. I can never find what I want. I want to pass out just thinking about it.

It is the holiday season. Create a detailed wish list with sizes to pass to loved ones. They can do the shopping for you. Ask for gift cards. Nothing is more motivating than a crisp gift card sitting in your wallet begging to be used.

If all else fails, spend an afternoon on Pinterest. Find outfits you just have to have. Sometimes the best motivation is seeing things you want but don’t have. You know what they say. Visualization is the key to meeting goals.