Updated: Apr 2, 2019
Fresh starts, the chance to change your life for the better, #newyearnewme etc. It's a bit cliché, but there's nothing quite like the beginning of a new year to reflect on your current situation and put some goals in place that will contribute to your growth and development.
In the past, my resolutions have always revolved around my outer appearance and were restrictive and not really conducive to my overall growth and wellbeing. For example: "I will only eat a super healthy (read: totally un-achievable) diet" and "I will exercise everyday".
While eating healthily and exercising are fantastic for you mentally and physically, it can set you up for failure when your resolutions are so restrictive. There is definitely going to be a day when you don't want to exercise and all you want to do is hang out with your friends, stuff your face with vegan tacos and drink lots of mojitos 🌮🍹 When you inevitably give in to these normal desires, that feeling of failure can make it more likely you'll throw in the towel and give up on your resolutions before January is even over.
Personally, I've decided to focus on a few areas I would like to develop. For each area I have picked one general intention and have noted down practical steps that will contribute to fulfilling those intentions - all while trying to keep things realistic and not too restrictive.
Area: Environmental Responsibility
Intention: Minimise plastic use & overall waste
Bulk foods - I live pretty close to The Source Bulk Foods in Miami. If I can ensure my flours, grains, seeds, nuts & other dry goods are purchased from there using my own containers, that's a fair bit of plastic avoided
I try to eat a lot of fruit & vegetables (plastic wrap free of course!) but would love to do something practical with the scraps. Hi composting! Little composting systems such as the Urban Composter or Bokashi are such a good way to get started when you don't have a lot of space. The nutrient-rich "tea" will also give my potted herbs & plants a boost and I can guarantee that everything going into the mix will be 100% vegan.
One more thing that is super easy and has a flow-on effect to health and wellbeing, is to reduce the amount of takeaways consumed (sorry Uber Eats...). Aside from the laziness of the whole process, the amount of rubbish that a couple of people generate after an delivery/takeaway meal is pretty bad. A plastic container for your green curry, another one for rice, plastic forks, spoons & knives and the containers for your dipping sauces (gotta dip the spring rolls in something right?). It's so much nicer to get a bit fancy and head out with your friends/spouse/family to have a meal at the actual restaurant instead of ordering in all the time.
Area: Personal Growth
Intention: Nurture creativity
How: It's all too easy to get stuck in the negative feedback loop of Netflix watching and internet browsing. These activities are great from time to time, but can really have an impact on your growth as a person if they become the default way to spend your free time or relax. That's why this year I'm aiming to focus a lot of my spare time on creative pursuits such as:
Taking a course - maybe something with ceramics?
Breaking out my sewing machine and playing around with natural and sustainable fabrics
Simply taking the time to draw more when I have a spare moment or two
Area: Health & Wellbeing
Intention: Focus on relaxation and reduction of stress
Check in with my breathing more frequently. I seem to unknowingly hold tension in my upper body which results in frequent shallow breathing. Checking in with my breath throughout the day will allow me to take deep belly breaths and re-centre myself.
Place sleep & sleep hygiene higher on my priority list. I'm guilty of watching Youtube videos in bed until I fall asleep sometimes...
Take a step back from coffee and caffeinated drinks ☕ I love coffee but I would also like to see how reducing consumption benefits my stress levels and sleep quality during the night. Some potential replacements I have in mind would be herbal teas, golden mylk and mushroom lattes (Reishi mushrooms in particular are known for their relaxation & calming properties).
Intention: Be fearless
How: There's really just one step for an over-thinker like me to triumph over self-doubt and self-imposed fears - stop thinking and just do it. This is literally going to be my 2019 mantra 🙌
After all of the work you've put into your resolutions, don't forget to follow up on them and check in with your progress - this is key to successful goal setting! Choose a date a few months in the future and review and adjust what might not be working or if everything is going well, congratulate yourself on your achievements so far.
Whether or not you decide to set New Years resolutions I hope you have the most amazing year of your life yet in 2019 filled with love, friends, family, growth & success ❤
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