Happy New Year! Though the demarcation of time is a social construct and there’s not really anything inherently significant about the start of another trip around the sun, it’s always a good idea to reflect on what’s important to us, what we’ve accomplished, and what we want to work on.
Here are my 2018 resolutions, followed by some tips that have helped me accomplish goals and establish good habits.
My 2018 resolutions:
One: Be more vulnerable and personal with my content.
I want to put more of myself in my content, and by that I mean being more vulnerable and talking about issues that are intimate and personal and frankly, kind of scary to share on the Internet.
Honestly, even writing about something as palatable as diversity was a little scary, and I wasn’t nearly as political as I could’ve been in that post (Why we need more POC in sustainable and ethical fashion). But I didn’t start this blog just to take pretty pictures of my clothes!
I think I’m ready to start challenging myself to push the limits of my content, as scary as it may be, because I think that feeling uncomfortable is a sign of growth.
Two: Incorporate sustainability into my daily life.
Obviously, I’ve been trying to minimize my impact on the environment through sustainable fashion, but I’ve also realized how scary and imminent the consequences of climate change are this year—and that there are things I can do on an individual level that help me imagine and work towards a more sustainable world.
For example, I WILL start composting in my apartment in 2018! It’s actually really embarrassing for me that I have lived in Seattle for over a year and hadn’t bought a compost bin until a couple days ago, and that had been my sole, easily surmountable barrier to this eco-friendly lifestyle change. I’m also looking into ways to reduce my use of plastic, such as using beeswax wrap as a replacement for plastic wrap, grabbing coffee in reusable cups, and skipping plastic bags at the grocery store.
While environmental damage is caused by corporations and the government as well as individual consumers, calling for collective political action such as organizing and protests, I think it’s important to combine this collective action with everyday lifestyle choices that reflect our values.
Three: Transition to a more plant-based diet.
Consuming meat and animal products, especially from factory farms, is horrible for the environment and the low income communities of color affected by this environmental damage, not to mention the animals subjected to abusive conditions and violence. There are other factors to consider besides cutting out meat and dairy, as this article explains really well, so I’m also trying to take into consideration the environmental impact of the plants I eat. In addition, plant-based diets are good for your health…so I figured there’s seriously no reason to not do it (besides my addiction to cheese).
I’ve attempted vegetarianism before, but now that I am completely in charge of what I buy, cook, and eat, it’s a lot more feasible for me to change my diet. My plan is to learn vegetarian and vegan recipes to cook at home, mostly eliminating meat and eventually eggs and dairy products from my home-cooked meals. I’ll still allow myself to eat animal products on occasion, but I’ll try to do so at restaurants that buy local and support small farmers, or to buy directly from the local farmers’ market. I do enjoy eating animal products, but want to support more sustainable and humane farming as well as consumption on a much smaller scale (more on why being vegan may not be the absolute best thing for the earth in this article).
My hope is that this will challenge me to discover new recipes and foods, as well as improve my health (and my skin!! fingers crossed).
Four: Continue exercising consistently (at least three times a week).
Okay, this is such a cliche. However, I have already been exercising consistently and have found it extremely beneficial to my mood and energy levels, especially in the winter. I’m also focusing on exercising for the way I feel, not the way I look, although that can definitely be hard.
I’ve found myself looking forward to my workouts because it’s time I’ve set aside just for me to do something that will ultimately make me feel pretty awesome. It’s part of my self-care practice and I’d like to continue cultivating that in 2018.
Five: Cultivate and grow my creativity.
I want to keep challenging myself to grow and to push the limits of what I can create. In 2017, although my blog writing took off and it’s been a wild ride, I completely neglected my practice of writing poetry and fiction. I’d really like to focus on that in 2018 and actually put in the effort to grow my skills the way I did with my blog writing.
I’m also excited about learning more about sewing and continuing to try my hand at embroidery. As for Restitchstance-related content, I’m interested in making videos, because there’s an opportunity to show you more of my life and to exercise my creativity in a different way…but we’ll see!
Tips for sticking to your resolutions:
Make resolutions that you actually want to do.
Your resolutions should bring you joy in some way, or else you’ll give up. My resolution to transition to a more plant-based diet brings me joy because it forces me out of my comfort zone to try new recipes and discover new flavors. I wouldn’t suggest, for example, making a resolution to lose weight because the actual process of changing how you eat and exercise most likely won’t bring you joy if the end goal is the only thing you want to get out of it (not to mention you’re amazing the way you are and don’t need to change your body to look a certain way!).
Have a buddy to keep you accountable—and also make it more fun!
My partner, whom I live with, is fully supportive and excited about trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into our diets. This not only makes the resolution easier to accomplish, but also makes it an activity we can talk about and do together.
Create specific and measurable goals.
It’s important to define what “success” looks like so that you know what you have to do to achieve your goals. For my exercise routine, I decided on at least three times a week because it’s achievable even on my worst weeks, minimizing my chances of failure. It’s also enough times a week that I feel the benefits of working out. And most weeks, I do work out more often just because I enjoy it—but the important thing is that I meet that minimum goal of three times a week.
Track your progress.
If you keep a journal or a planner, you can track how you’re doing with your resolutions there, or Google “habit tracker” and you’ll find tons of free resources. Even just keeping little notes like when you worked out or what recipes you’ve tried can help give you a sense of the progress you’re making and the actual work you’re doing.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? How do you keep yourself accountable? Let me know in the comments!
Faux fur coat: bought secondhand from Crossroads
Leopard print cami: gifted from Swap.com, originally Diane von Furstenburg
Pants: American Apparel disco pants
Booties: gifted from Swap.com
Watch: gifted from Berg + Betts