1 And Only 1, To Get It Done


Once we start looking for show ponies we can start to see entire categories made up of show ponies! Where do we even begin? Often these items are ones that can be used up or finished, including hair products, makeup products, and candles,  the categories are unending, but we are ignoring ALL of them. Finally, we think, enough is enough and vow to start using ALL the things, ALL at once. However, we quickly become overwhelmed by just how many items there are to enjoy and find ourselves back in our old ways, avoiding them. This leads me to Show Pony Summer Series Method #3, 1 and only 1 to get it done.

The category that got out of control for me was hair supplies. In an effort to control my curly mane, I ended up buying multiple new products to try. Somehow my cupboard was bursting with 5 different hair styling products and I was still using the one I’ve always used (so much for trying new things). I realized my mistake: I was becoming overwhelmed by the options and gravitated to what I knew, instead of learning how to use a new product every time. This also had the frustrating outcome of feeling like I was never making a dent in the collection.

Then I had the genius idea to try 1 and only 1. To begin, I chose one product and kept it in my regular spot in the bathroom. The rest of the products I moved into our closet where the overflow bathroom storage is kept. I then gave myself permission to use this product after every shower. This method has two benefits, the first being I didn’t have to make a decision about what to use. Instead of getting overwhelmed by how many products I had, and which one to use, I reached for the product I had pre-decided to use up. The second benefit was that I felt like I was making a dent in my hair product stash. Instead of slowly using bits of each one, I saw a reduction in the total number of bottles. Every time I finished a product I felt a sense of accomplishment, I had learned how to use a new product, and how to enjoy my items. Sure, some months my hair looked better than others because the product wasn’t the best, but I stuck with it, experimenting and trying until the bottle was all used up. 

Alright, you’re convinced. Where to begin?

First things first, discover your show pony category. I suggest looking in the bathroom, your art supplies, your hosting supplies, the fancy section of your closet, and your candle collection. 

Pick out 1 item. Don’t overcomplicate it. It can be your favourite, something you’ve already started, something you want to get rid of. The thing to focus on is choosing just 1. 

A side note about if the idea of intentionally using up a product intimidates you or does not appeal to you. I get it, you’re thinking. But Gill, if I use this 1 item every time, it will be gone in no time. I want to stretch it. To enjoy it. To savour it. I get it, keeping something for longer seems like a better idea in theory. Having a hair product for a year instead of 3 months feels like a better use of your money. However, I would encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long do I want to keep this product in my life?
  • What am I afraid I will lose by using up this product?
  • If this product were to be ruined, broken, or stolen today, would I be sad I didn’t use it when I had the chance?

I find these questions help me remember that our stuff is meant to be used, and saving or storing our stuff is not the point.

Let’s say 1 bottle of shampoo has 30 washes. You can either use those 30 in a row or over a year, it’s still 30 washes. When you give yourself permission to enjoy an item you’re not arguing with yourself. Today, tomorrow, next week, another time, perhaps when my hair is less greasy? These arguments with ourselves are exhausting. Simply give yourself permission to enjoy, every time, even if it’s 50 times in a row.

Another great place to use the 1 and only 1 method, is your nightstand. Do you have a pile of books you keep meaning to read? You’re a couple of chapters into each of them, but never seem to find the time? Every night they call to you, but you can’t decide which one to pick up, so you scroll on your phone instead. This happens because you’re overwhelmed by the decision of which book to read. So, pick just ONE to put on your nightstand and put the rest out of sight. I don’t care where the other ones are kept, you only want the book you are reading looking at you. 

I can hear it now, buuuuuut Giiiiill, how can I choose? I am reading these for different reasons, I couldn’t possibly pick just one. Alright, but reading a little bit of multiple books means you finish none and continue to be overwhelmed. Pick one, commit to one, finish one. Then you’ll make your way through that pile faster than you can say ‘are they making it into a movie?’

Do you have a category of show ponies? Will you pick just one out of the category and intentionally use it up? From books to hair products I’d love to hear your experience with this method!

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