#MoneyMistakes: Buying sports accessories when the activity is not a habit

What do we do anytime we decide to start a new activity or hobby? Go shopping to buy the accessories we think we need to support that new habit we plan to develop. We think that when we have the requisite gear, we will be motivated to stay committed to the plan. This includes exercising.

Sadly, this hardly does the trick. Hence we have sportswear and equipment gathering dust in the closet or where we last used it – one of the debris left behind in the wreckage of many a New Year’s Resolutions.

The hood does not make a monk, according to an old saying. We would all be pros by now if the issue was buying expensive brand name equipment.

There is nothing wrong with buying nice sportswear and equipment. It is a waste of money if you don’t get to use it because the activity is not one of your regular habits.

Achieving your fitness goals is an inside job, not a function of the equipment. Where there is a will there is a Way. Develop the will first. Work on yourself. Start small and keep going using what you already have or is available in your locality or office area. Make the activity a habit before you go hunting for sportswear or equipment. Develop the habit first before rewarding yourself with fancy sportswear and equipment.

There are many advantages to taking this approach of working on yourself first:

  • By developing the habit of using the equipment, you actually get to use it when you eventually buy one. It will not end up gathering dust in the closet.
  • Through consistent practice, you get to know which activity you really want to focus on and what type of equipment you need to support your goal. Without the experience, you are actually guessing. You may end up buying an equipment that falls out of favour shortly afterward
  • By interacting with coaches and fellow fitness enthusiasts, you get to receive good recommendations on equipment or range of sportswear to buy. You get to make an informed decision. You learn from other’s mistakes rather than making yours.

You are better off making the activity part of you before buying the sportswear and equipment. That way, you are supporting an existing habit rather than hoping it will become a habit.

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