January is over. This means the remaining eleven months of the year have taken off already! Many of us started the year off strong with a combination of ambitious resolutions, and perhaps even a series of 30-day challenges mixed in. Generally speaking, many of these resolutions and challenges tend to be geared around our food regime, lifestyle choices, or fitness levels. Regardless of the nature of our resolutions, though, by February, it’s easy to lose the initial oomph we started with at the beginning of the year.
Whether you’ve just embarked on your plant-based journey this year, or you’re a longtime vegan who perhaps set stricter guidelines this year for the greater good of yourself and your environment, it’s easy to derail when the newness of the year wears off. For all of us, there’s no better time than the present to take a momentary breather to reassess, revisit, redefine, refocus, and replenish in order to help us stick with whatever plant-based resolutions we’ve set.
Reassess Your Resolutions
Reassessing your resolutions allows you to take a step back and decide what you will be sticking with the entire year through, and what might have been a bit ambitious, or outside of your means. Begin by asking yourself, is each one of these resolutions S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based?
Perhaps you started the new year only intending to give up animal products for an entire month and now find yourself feeling a bit unprepared to commit to the full year. Instead of beating yourself down over it, consider returning to the idea of starting by simply going meatless. If honoring Meatless Monday comes easy for you, here are 7 Ways to Go Meatless Every Day of the Week. If you find that you can manage the majority of your day without any animal products (meat included), but just can’t quite take things all the way vegan all the time, consider going VB6, or Vegan Before 6p.m. On the contrary, if you feel you are ready to make a long-term commitment to a full-fledged, plant-based lifestyle, now is a prime time to recommit yourself to keeping things going, and perhaps take the added step of sharing your plant-based journey with someone else.
Revisit Your Reasoning
Revisiting your reasoning of why you set your resolutions in the first place can help you determine if the same reasons for each resolution still hold true. For example, if it was only a 30-day challenge, ask yourself, is this something that will benefit me to work into my daily lifestyle? Have I seen results in the first 30 days? Will these results double in 30 more days? What about the whole year? Am I doing this challenge for my own wellbeing or for the world around me? In addition to making sure your resolutions are S.M.A.R.T., they must also provide a meaningful benefit that you yourself recognize. Making sure your resolutions are ones you connect with on a personal level, and that they aren’t simply matters of deprivation, makes you more inclined to care to see them through, and perhaps even consider adopting them as a total lifestyle change, and a lifelong practice.
Redefine Your Goals
Once you’ve reassessed what resolutions you are keeping, and revisited your reasons for setting them in the first place, redefining your goals gives you a newly defined target to strive for. Make a list of items that can help you reach your goals, such as simple swaps in your daily routine. For example, if your overall goal was to be a healthier vegan, redefine what that looks like. Does it mean cooking at home more nights per week? Weeding out the processed foods from your refrigerator? Moving toward clean eating? Substituting daily snacking with a power smoothie break? Taking things beyond food and changing out the products you use in your home? Making a list of simple action steps you can take over time enables you to financially and otherwise meet your goals without feeling overwhelmed, or feel like your goals are out of reach.
Refocus Your Mind
Whatever it is you are trying to accomplish this year, remember, it takes constant refocusing of your mind to keep the motivation going and the momentum flowing in the direction of meeting your goals. It’s easy to burn out on any goal that we set for ourselves when we let ourselves fall prey to not dedicating the time to make it happen, let distractions come into play, or simply get frustrated with ourselves for cutting corners, and lose the will to carry on. This takes the commitment from our minds to refocus. When it comes to the mind, visualizing ourselves meeting our goals will help further instill the focus we need to help us in doing so. For a little extra dose of plant-based help in the focusing department, look no further than nutrient-dense brain foods, such as beets, for brain fuel. While refocusing, consider giving this quinoa and beet salad with hazelnuts a taste test.
Replenish Your Body
Ultimately, to carry out any resolution (or anything for that matter), it’s not just your mind that needs to be on target. Your body has to equally be on board. This means making sure your body is getting the care and attention it needs and that you aren’t allowing yourself to be worn down in the process of meeting the demands you’ve put on yourself. Taking ample rest, and ultimately staying in tune to your body will not only help it meet the resolutions you’ve set, but will make sure you stay well so to be of good use to yourself and to the world around you. In addition to the great many super foods that are on your list to help your body replenish itself with nutrients it may be lacking, to keep you in tip top health this year, try these 5 ancient alternative health trends you can use now.
With these tips, you will ideally be able to move from plant-based resolutions that extend maybe 30 days to resolutions that will last a lifetime. Good luck, and remember that One Green Planet will always have your plant-based back!
Image source: We Heart It / Someecards