“This year I’m going to lose weight”… “This year I’m going to stop eating sugar”… “This year I’m going to start travelling”… “This year I’m going to give up smoking”. Sound familiar? 2018 is nearly here, and with a new year comes new goals or ‘resolutions’ as we like to call them. Making goals is always a good thing. It’s how we grow, improve, and learn. But, what if 2018 was the year to change the focus of our new year resolutions, from ourselves, to our planet? A sustainable 2018…
I’m in no way suggesting your new year resolutions should be to quit plastic, sell your car, become vegetarian, and live in a tent. It can simply start with intentional learning. Creating your new year resolutions with a sustainable twist could look like: this year, I am going to read Clare Press’s book on ethical fashion, and send an email to my favourite brand to ask them where my clothes are made. I’m going to listen to a Ted Talk about plastic, and read the World Baptist Aid’s Ethical Fashion Report. Making small but purposeful actions towards expanding your knowledge on sustainability will have more impact than you think. These goals are tangible and realistic. They are easy to achieve, and can lead to further change which will make you feel even better about not only achieving, but exceeding your resolutions.
A sustainable spin on your usual resolutions
Adding sustainable practices into your new year resolutions doesn’t even have to mean adding to them. Your resolutions may not change, but instead adapt to a more sustainable application. For example, if losing weight is your resolution, find an eco-friendly gym, or a boot camp course outdoors. If you need sportswear to fulfil this goal, hop onto the Good on You app to find what brands have the best ethical ratings. Assess your current goals, and investigate how you can go about them in a way that leaves a smaller footprint on the planet.
No matter what your resolutions are, breaking them down into practical and achievable parts is crucial to success. When goals are vague and open ended, nothing gets done. Turn ‘I will drink less’ into ‘I will create a calendar for when I will drink and how much I will drink’. Or alter “I will call my grandmother more often” to “I will call my grandmother every Wednesday this year”. Setting calendar reminders, buying the equipment you need, and making a strategy for how you will achieve your resolutions, is the key to improving your chances of a high hit rate.
Find a buddy
The term sustainable means something that lasts and can be maintained. Ironically, new year resolutions don’t usually fit into the ‘sustainable’ realm. They become so big and scary that it’s easier to leave it and give up. What if you had an accountability partner? Choose someone who has the same values as you when it comes to looking after the planet and adapting sustainable resolutions. Align your resolutions, or even create some together. Going to grab a coffee is much less alienating when your friend brings their keep cup too, and a healthy amount of peer pressure can do wonders.
So, in 2018 will you boycott disposable coffee cups, go skydiving, or shop exclusively at ethical fashion stores? Take up rowing, be on time more often, reduce your meat intake, or drink more green tea? Whatever your resolutions are, I encourage you to think about how your actions in 2018 can affect the planet and its people. With purposeful plans comes great power; use it wisely.