New year – New you?
January is the time to be dry, vegan, (poor) and spend all of our time in the gym. We are purging our lives and bodies after the indulgence of Christmas. Repent, repent, repent!
Yes, the start of the new year is the best time to set new intentions, evaluate where we are and establish some long-term goals. January is a dark, gloomy and boring month, where most of the light seems to be coming from looking forwards towards spring and all the things we will accomplish.
As you probably know by now, I’m all for setting goals and dreaming big. I love an opportunity to take stock and dig deep into myself and my situation.
However, if there is one thing I have learned is that change happens pretty slowly. For a great reason. It takes time to break old bad habits and set new better ones. The best way of reaching a goal is, in fact, to set up a long-term plan consisting of small changes in our lives.
The whole dry January, veganary, hit-the-gym-anary thing is often less about creating new good habits and more about repenting former sins. It’s a way for us to indulge and try to feel less guilty after. And once January is over, we go back to our same old lives for 12 months until it’s Christmas and time to do it all again.
It’s all about sustainability folks, and in this instance, I’m for once not talking about the environment. I’m talking about what we, as busy, working, baby-producing, vacuum-cleaning, social, living people actually can sustain in our day-to-day life.
The whole -anuary thing is a great cop-out if you are trying to put a band-aid on your post-Christmas guilt. But it’s most likely not going to change much in the long run.
You are not really setting goals at all.
If you ACTUALLY want to reach a goal in 2020, sit down and have a good think. Write down a few areas in your life where you see the possibility for improvement. Start with the goal, and work backward 11 months to make a plan. What can you do every day/week/month to make this goal a reality in December?
… and don’t fall into the trap of thinking big. The goal can be big of course, but your steps should be as small as possible. The change should be so little that you barely notice it at all day-to-day.
If you want to go vegan, start by switching a meal or two a week, then as you gradually get used to it, switch more. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing. And saying that, there is no shame in being a part-time vegan or vegetarian. If that is what you can handle. It’s not all black or white, grey is a nice color too.
When it comes to one of our favorite subjects when it comes to setting goals – hitting the gym, the first thing we need to do is to carve out the time and show up. We don’t even really need to work out in the beginning. It’s all about conditioning ourselves to go through the motion of taking the time. Then slowly we add the actual work-out into the mix.
We want to make it as easy for ourselves as possible to both reach and sustain our goals. The change needs to be realistic.
So instead of going vegan for a month, go vegan once a week. Instead of not drinking for a month, have a glass less every week and why not take the stairs instead of the lift before you get that expensive gym card?
Slowly but surely it will all accumulate and in December we might be able to actually do for a lifetime what we would otherwise only have been doing for a month.
Since I had a bit of a slow start this year, I haven’t really had the time to set my intentions yet. So this is what I will be doing this weekend. How about it? Are you setting goals that you will actually reach this year?
Photo – Roz Alcazar
My pink linen shirt is gifted by sustainable brand Freya Lillie. The belt is second hand from Save the children, my bag is Prada and the boots are Mark Ellis (they are on sale, and you can find them here – affiliate link)