How to Keep My New Year’s Resolution

Walking into the New Year like. . .

Walking into the New Year like. . .

Wondering how to keep your New Year's Resolutions?

Are you ready to start the New Year right? Are your resolutions ready? Do you have big plans for losing weight, sculpting the perfect body, traveling more, launching your blog, eating right and finding the love of your life?

Statistic Brain ran the numbers; only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. Why? Oftentimes, people make resolutions because they think they should, not because they really want to change in that way, at that time.

I will admit that this is a great time of the year to reflect on the past and make plans for the future. I find it to be a very introspective and healing time for myself. I also want you to know that ANY time is a good time to reflect and set intentions. You don’t have to wait until the end of the year or the beginning of another.

This is also the time when we need to be vigilant about media messages being directed at us. This is one of the prime seasons for diet culture. It is such an easy time for us to fall for marketing and media schemes to make us believe that we need to change. That we need be smaller, better, smarter. Be mindful that these messages are only trying to get you to feel bad about yourself so that you will spend your money. You do not need to be (skinny, in a relationship, curvy, wealthy, perfect, popular, insert adjective here) to be worthy of a beautiful year ahead. YOU get to decide the life you want to live. YOU get to make the changes that you think will bring you the most joy.



Keep it simple – By simple, I don’t mean easy. Keep your goal specific. I used to be really guilty of setting these lofty and broad goals. It makes the goal much more attainable if it is specific. Set many smaller goals that add up to your one big goal. Instead of, I want to be healthy in 2018 make it, I want to drink 3 gallons of water a day or I want to go to the gym 3 days per week. Reframe your goals with targeted and specific information and I promise that you will find it to be much more attainable.

Set intentions – There is power in intention. Sound too yogi-hippie-weirdo for you? Read more about the Law of Attraction! Having daily or weekly intentions is another important layer to meeting your goals. You can incorporate a meditation practice in your daily rituals or you can write out your intentions, repeat them while you are brushing your teeth . . . it doesn't need to be glamorous to be effective. One of the intentions that I want to manifest in the coming year is: I intend to respond first, then react. This intention will help me to achieve my larger goal of being a calm and kind partner. 

Write them down – Write down your goals on a paper, on a mobile note, on your calendar. I cannot stress the importance of writing out your goals enough. There is something magical that happens when you speak and write your goals. It just becomes more powerful when you can actually see it and it doesn’t just live in your head.

Let others know – Accountability is key. Sometimes, we don’t want to let our friends or family know that we are going after a goal for fear of failure. That’s ok. It doesn’t have to be them. Create an Instagram and find like-minded individuals pursuing similar goals, join a Facebook group or a community group. Goals become more long-term when we don’t go at them alone.

Change in the ways that are meaningful to you – Do not set a goal to change because someone else told you that you should. This is for you. This is about your happiness. Set goals that fuel your fire, not dull your sparkle.

Approach your goals with grace – You don’t have to be perfect. There will be a learning curve. It won’t be easy. You won’t be perfect at it. That’s ok. When we abandon the idea that we have to be perfect at something, we allow space for more long-term change.

Be patient with yourself - Speak to yourself from a place of love. It won’t happen overnight. Stop tearing yourself down when there are bumps in the road or minor detours in your journey. You got this.

Find me on Instagram and share your goals with me - let's help one another make our dreams come true. 

Tips to Live More Sustainably

Photo by @_takingmylifeback featuring reusable glass jars for prepped food storage and featuring Hummingbird Straws on the left.

Photo by @_takingmylifeback featuring reusable glass jars for prepped food storage and featuring Hummingbird Straws on the left.

This semester in graduate school I am taking an Anthropology course on Climate Change. I get the privilege of reading and watching Dr. Susan Crate’s work as an Environmental Anthropologist who has spent years documenting how people are responding to the effects of climate change. While reading through Anthropology & Climate Change: From Encounters to Actions, my inner activist has been enlivened anew. As most (if not all) of you know, Mother Earth is pretty important to me. I went vegan for the animals but stay vegan for the environment and my health as well. I refuse plastic straws, bottled water and plastic grocery bags. My partner and I are consciously scaling back on our possessions as we want to transition to tiny home life. This book reminded me that every small thing is indeed important, but sustainability cannot wait and there is more that I can be doing.

I want to kick start the “doing more” by sharing easy and simple life changes* that you can make in your own lives to live “greener” and more sustainably! Those are just buzz words for adopting practices that are less harmful to the Earth. At the end of the article I will include trusted brands and products that I use or that my Green Guru Kelly (@_takingmylifeback) uses.

  1. Reduce Energy Use – What does that even mean, right? It is as simple as turning off the lights when you leave a room, set your thermostat lower in the winter and cuddle up, open the windows to allow a breeze when it is warmer out, use energy efficient lightbulbs and appliances.

  2. Shop Your Local Farmers' Market or CSA – Not only does this mean that you get to support your neighbors, you are also reducing your carbon footprint! Supermarkets are convenient and awesome and are stocked with produce regardless of the season. Unfortunately, this means that those fruits and veggies had to be shipped for a long time to reach your grocery cart. Start small by vowing to just get what you can from the farmers market and follow up with a trip to the grocery after.

  3. Say No to Disposables – Speaking of the grocery store, say no to plastic grocery bags! Stock up a few cute reusable bags to take with you to the market. You’ll be cuter and trendier AND be helping the environment. Say no to disposable cups and cutlery as well. Swing by your local Goodwill and stock up the office lunchroom with reusable utensils and mugs. If you find yourself throwing a large party, find recycled cutlery to use as a nice compromise. There are also recyclable garbage bags that are a great alternative to traditional plastic bags. You can start by just making a list of the things you throw away most often and investing in reusable products for those things first.

  4. Resell and Donate – Stop giving in to consumer culture. I know that marketing is everywhere telling you to do anything but resell and donate. Thankfully the environmental movement has breathed new life into thrifting so this is easier than it used to be. There are many vintage and thrift store options. When you do buy new, buy quality items that will last longer and support ethical clothing brands. Even H&M has jumped on the ethical train and have started selling a line of clothing that are environmentally conscious. By extending the life of any product, you help reduce dependence on disposable or cheaply made single-use products that end up in landfills.

  5. Drink From the Tap! – I grew up drinking from the tap. For us, bottled water was an unnecessary expense. Stop buying bottled water like, right now! Get a filter if you are wary of drinking straight from the tap. There are low-end and high-end filtration systems, find one to suit your fancy. Reusable bottles are again more trendy and cute and just simpler. I super love Klean Kanteen (linked below) because you can use them for water, coffee, smoothies and more. You can even get through TSA with an empty reusable bottle and fill it up with the drinking fountain when you reach your gate. Encourage your employer to install filters and offer glasses or reusable bottles at work, too.

  6. Save Water – Okay, I know I go against the mainstream in many, many ways but you do not need to shower every day. You just don’t. I know you think you are filthy but until you experience filth firsthand, know that you are very clean. We are taught to be terrified of germs, I get it. If you can’t fathom the idea of showering every other day, buy a water-saving shower head and start timing your showers.

  7. Rethink Kitchen Practices – This is still something we are working on in my household. Simple changes are things like swapping paper towels for cloth towels and using cold water when hand washing. If you aren’t into the idea of composting, no worries, just use your veggie and fruit scraps for juicing! Repurpose glass jars whenever possible and ditch the plastic straws for reusable glass ones. I was raised on Ziploc baggies but have since adopted reusable bags to haul snacks in. Opt for home cooked meals and if you do order take away, be sure to reuse the containers.

  8. Go Paperless – This is as simple as opting for electronic bills and bill pay and electronic receipts. As nice as paper wedding invitations and RSVPs can be, so can electronic versions (which is what we are opting for on our wedding). Something a bit tougher for me is switching to an electronic reader rather than paper books. The way I reached a compromise was by purchasing used books only. You can incorporate paperless and sustainable practices at work as well, encourage coworkers to use scrap paper and management to correspond electronically.

  9. Reduce Dependence On Your Car – For some, this isn’t possible. Living in West Virginia, it would be really hard for me to ditch my car as we aren’t bike friendly (yet) and public transportation leaves you wanting. However, for those in larger cities, take advantage of bike lanes and public transportation. Car pool when you can and if you are in the market for a new vehicle, check out an electric model.

In the end, you are just one person but revolution starts with small changes. Understand that if we want to leave a beautiful and functioning Earth for future generations, we must act. Educate yourself further by watching documentaries or reading books or reading more blog posts. Educate youth and involve your children in making sustainable projects fun for the family. Remember that no one is perfect and don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you aren’t making a big difference.

Rethink kitchen cabinets and kitchen storage! Follow @_takingmylifeback on Instagram for more green tips and inspiration.

Rethink kitchen cabinets and kitchen storage! Follow @_takingmylifeback on Instagram for more green tips and inspiration.

Brands I would recommend (I am in no way affiliated with any of these brands, with the exception of the tote):

*I am not including going vegan here because let’s be honest, it is not exactly simple or easy. But if you would like a blog post dedicated to the statistics and facts around why going vegan is good for the environment, drop a comment below and I will work on pooling resources to put that together for you!