It’s the time of year to decide on our New Year’s Resolutions, but on January 1st who manages to stick to them? Some studies have shown that only 8% of us accomplish our New Year’s resolutions and every year I don’t seem to be one of them. So, what can you do this year to think up meaningful, sustainable resolutions and follow through with them?
Firstly, set aside some time to really think about what you would like to achieve in the next year. Bullet pointing some ideas or creating a mind map can be really helpful. In terms of creating goals related to sustainability and the environment, it can also be useful to look over your past year and think about what you have managed to achieve already. Keeping this in mind, you can look forward to the year ahead and decide how you can step your sustainability efforts up a notch. Giving yourself some time to reflect on this can help to ensure that your resolutions will be meaningful and have the greatest impact, rather than being unrealistic or something you already do.
Bearing this in mind, there are some changes you can make that will have bigger impacts than others. WWF highlight that the following can make a significant impact on decreasing your impact on climate change:
Reducing your meat and dairy consumption
Travelling sustainably; walking as much as possible and choosing public transport over cars and planes where possible.
Reduce your waste. Try to cut out single use products and cut your food waste!
Shop responsibly. I personally believe this one is quite important; looking to the future we need to reduce the amount of stuff we buy – everything has a carbon footprint.
So, when you’ve decided on your resolutions, how do you follow through with them? Well, writing them down can be a great way to start. Preferably, display your goals somewhere that you will see them regularly, like on your desk at work or on your wall in your kitchen. It’s a particularly good idea to be reminded of your resolutions near to where they might come into action. For example, in your fridge or where you write your shopping list if you’re trying to eat a more plant-based diet.
Start as you mean to go on. If one of your resolutions is to reduce your plastic waste, make sure you have reusable bags ready to go, food containers to store your food in and maybe even make a special effort to use the products you already have in plastic containers so that you can start the New Year feeling freshly sustainable and motivated.
Another way to encourage your commitment to your goals could be to share them. This could be on your social media, perhaps an Instagram post celebrating your efforts, or in a blog post like this! Not only will this help you to follow through with your New Year’s resolutions, you might also be encouraging someone else to make more sustainable choices. This itself is also really useful, if you can get your family, housemates or colleagues on board with your sustainable changes this should give you even more encouragement to follow through in the New Year.
I hope this has helped to give you some ideas for your New Year’s resolutions and hopefully they can help you to lead a more sustainable life in 2020!
Read more about what you can do from WWF here
Blog by Louise