New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Just Have to be thought of in January.
- Every day is a great day to better yourself and work towards your goals. In fact, making an effort to better yourself year round will help you reach your goals better than if you just start at the beginning of the New Year. A 2015 U.S. News & World Report study found that by the second week of February, an astonishing 80% of those who made New Year’s resolutions have abandoned them. Don’t forget to start small, setting large goals for yourself in short time periods will only make them seem more unattainable. It is important to remember small victories. As long as you are working towards your goal and conscious of that, you are doing great!
Eating with Harmony
- Eating in season foods is a great way to live with harmony locally. For winter, try roasting butternut squash or Brussels sprouts. This also gives you an opportunity to support local farmers, helping the cycle of farm-to-table instead of farm-to-plane-to-train-to-bus-to-table (also cutting down on CO2 emissions!). When eating in season, you will also be buying produce when it is at it’s cheapest, helping out your wallet too. Don’t worry about replacing your whole pantry immediately, set obtainable goals by finishing what you have and replacing products as you use them.
- Try to meal plan to eliminate food waste and tend to your budget. A 2018 World Bank Study found that food accounts for 44% of global waste. Start small, planning a few dinners each week. This will promote mindfulness in what you’re eating and also what you’re not. Find simple recipes online that cater to how you eat on a weekly basis, don’t stress yourself out by trying to become a Michelin star chef right away!
- Starting a garden? Maybe this spring will be the first time you experiment with container gardens on your balcony, or an herb garden in the windowsill, or even making your own sprouts. Start small and use this experience as inspiration to see what possibilities present themselves for next year.
Voting with Your Money
- As John Pierre has explained, “every time you are making a purchase you are voting with your dollar.” Being conscious of how and where you are spending your money is one of the best ways to live in harmony with the Earth in your day-to-day life. Are you willing to sacrifice some aspects of convenience and, admittedly sometimes, budget for the sake of the planet? You don’t have to make thousands of dollars’ worth of environmentally friendly purchases to make a difference, though. Again, start small. Find businesses that speak to your values and fit your budget. Simple purchases such as toilet paper wrapped in paper instead of plastic, non-toxic detergents and soaps, and food in compostable packaging can go a long way! It may take some time to do the research, but in the long run it is worth it to prolong the beauty on our planet. You may be spending a few more cents or dollars in certain places, but your vote will be going to businesses that promote environmental sustainability, fair trade, ethical practices, etc.
- Supporting small and BIPOC owned businesses both in your area and online is another great way to vote in a conscious way with your dollar. Black, Indigenous and Communities of Color face higher rates of air and water pollution and have less waste collected in their areas, amongst other environmental issues. Reserve, L.A., a town whose population is 60% Black men and women is also home to many industrial plants causing the cancer rate to be 50x higher than any other area in the U.S.
Be Kind to Yourself!
- Practice mindfulness and consciousness raising exercises. Journal, draw, meditate, spend some time in nature, do whatever you have to do to center yourself. Being kind to yourself will only make the journey all the more easy. You cannot hate yourself into a person you want to love. So, make sure you take the time to comfort yourself and remind yourself that although your goals will make you into a better version of you, you’re already here and doing great. There’s no need to get down on yourself about what you haven’t done or could be doing more, take time to appreciate what you’re working towards and the place you are in today. Every step counts!