As 2017 is coming to a close, I wanted to write down my 10 tips of what to do before the new year starts. These are things I did myself or which I am currently doing. They come from my heart and I hope you will enjoy this list!
1) Watch Vegan 2017
This movie gives a great overview about what has happened in the vegan movement this year. It is very interesting to see how more and more people become aware of the problem animal agriculture creates. It is a 45 minute documentary on Youtube so get over there and get some insight into the movement and how it impacts our society!
2) Write down your New Years resolutions
I know that it’s very cliché. Writing down what you want to change when the new year begins. And of course we all should strive to better ourselves regardless of a new year or a new month or week… Let’s just say, it should not be necessary to make a New Years resolution list. However, most of us have wishes for the coming year and writing them down increases the chance of actually achieving them. I always write a list. But sadly, most of the time I only start making a list when I’m already two weeks into January, which means I have already lost precious days, all the while having that thought about making a list in the back of my head. This time it’s different though. Keeping my own tips in mind I have already started with writing down what I want to achieve. I did this by reading through my essay about my dreamlife (you can find this exercise right here!) and making notes about what is realistic for the next year and what I want to delay on later years. Being realistic about how much you can handle within a year is a very important point. I – for example – know that I will be having my finals from June until December so planning, let’s say, reading one book a month may not be feasible. Instead I put that off for 2019 (Yes I do want to eventually create a habit of reading more books and finishing them in a certain time). Just pick a few essentials and start with them! If you realize throughout the year that you can take more on your plate, then please do! Reviewing your list, coming back to it and customizing it is something I would recommend doing regularly!
3) Start with your resolutions today
Yes I know, they are called “New Year” resolutions for a reason. But why wouldn’t you want to start with them today? If you do so, you will have a head start on all others who will only start in January. Plus, you have already started creating habits, which are crucial to success.
4) Get to know your trash
This one may seem weird. But considering the fact that every second we throw out 50 tons of trash, it is very important to know what you throw away. And then make easy swaps. Do you really need the pre washed salad in a plastic bag instead of the whole head of lettuce? Can’t you make your Hummus on your own? (Guilty of quickly going out and buying a container of hummus myself, but I am trying! And it’s something I plan on never doing again next year). Or can’t you even grow your own herbs? Maybe start composting? The ideas are limitless! And there are swaps you will hardly notice. Whereas others may take time. But assessing your trash does show you where you have to start.
5) Bring your own vegan dish to your family christmas dinner
This one is not really one for next year but it can actually be applied to any dinner party or holiday with a lot of traditional food. Just offer to make at least one vegan dish. Most of the time the receiving end will be very grateful when they’re not vegan, mainly because they may be overwhelmed by making adjustments for you. That way you help them getting used to the situation plus you also know that there will be food for you that you like. And maybe some other guests may be intrigued and may want to try to eat a more plant based diet. That would be the best possible outcome! And even if not, you will at least have a conversation starter.
6) Get a motto for next year
This is another one I find very important when you’re considering how you want your new year to go. It’s not enough to have your goals ready, you may want to add a motto. I like this concept (I first heard about it from Lavendaire, a Youtuber I really like!) and have been toying with what I want. And I came up with: “be obsessed and start caring”. That is going to be my motto for 2018. I chose “be obsessed” after I watched this talk from Brendon Burchard and Tom Bilyeu where I loved the concept of “you’re not yet crazy? (Then) you’re not yet working to the outer limits of your potential”. Isn’t that the best quote? I know, I know, there are tons of great quotes, but this one simply stuck. I like this concept. And while I do believe in taking timeouts and simply relax, I’ve found that even though 2017 has been a great year for me, I have not yet pushed myself too hard really. There is just so much more possible. The second part, “start caring” came after I decided that being vegan wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to do more. So my boyfriend and I researched the activists around our area and we stumbled upon the Albert Schweitzer Stiftung and ProVeg. Both are moderate activists groups, that want to bring a plant based diet to the masses, showing compassion to animals and simply educate about the advantages of being vegan. This is something I support 100%, I don’t like bashing people for having a different point of view. Be open minded and compassionate. Try to understand the opposing side and never try to force someone into a direction they have not chosen themselves.
7) Clean out your closet
Cleaning out is something most people dislike. And only do rarely. I am the complete opposite. I love cleaning out my wardrobe, sorting through my stuff, deciding what to keep and what I want to donate. Please, don’t wait with that until it’s your spring time clean up. Just stop overthinking and go over to your closet. There have been tons of methods how to sort through your things, but I think the easiest is to really ask yourself how often have you been wearing this item the past year, does it fit and do you love it. You don’t need more. And with your closet cleaned out you can start planning your capsule wardrobe for 2018 (A challenge I am taking on next year, with extra obstacles like only second hand or handmade. But I will update you guys when I start on this project).
8) Get a morning routine
Another point from my list of resolutions for 2018. And I think it is something that is absolutely vital! We used to be very consistent with it, our alarm went off at 5AM, my boyfriend got up, made coffee, brought mine to the bed and we sat in bed having coffee while talking. At 5:30AM (sometimes more like 6AM) we got up and started working on our projects for an hour before having breakfast and getting ready for the day. Sadly, this routine has not been executed in the past couple of weeks. But, I do want to bring it back. I felt better with it. I love when I go to university knowing that I have already achieved something in the morning. Plus, your day starts very stress free. We’re easing back into it and I hope that by the end of January we have the routine back in action.
9) Set up your planner
I am one of those girls that do love their paper planner. I sometimes have difficulties with this, because I feel like it’s wasteful going out and buying a little book for writing down stuff that I could also write into my calendar app. And I actually am not going to be using it for my appointments. I’ve come to the realization that whenever I use a planner solely for my appointments and to do lists I fall off the wagon. I stop using it midway through the year and then feel guilty when I’m looking at it. I’ll keep using my calendar app for appointments (I also love this since my boyfriend and I share a calendar so I always know his stuff as well) and another app for my to do list, but I am setting up my planner as a little workbook for 2018. I plan on writing down my yearly goals, how I want to work on them every month, what I want to achieve every week and what little steps I have to take for them to work out every day. We’ll see how this will go. Just find a solution that works for you and set it up before the new year begins. That way you have a fresh start.
10) Be grateful
Mindfulness. It’s very important. I have the habit of saying or writing down the 5 things I am grateful for that certain day. It makes me happy and that way I appreciate my life way more. Now, at the end of 2017 I look back on a great year. It was a year filled with laughter, tears, learning, fighting, growing. It was so much! Like the fact that I am now happy to say that I am a relationship person. I love that I was able to find a man that loves me unconditionally, who supports me in whatever I do and who gives me confidence whenever I am lacking it myself. I am suprised how we grew into this couple that is 100% honest to each other, saying things directly when we feel that something was unfair or not right. I love how I enjoy thinking about the feelings of not only me but another person. This year has made me more empathic. It’s because of him. And that is what makes me unbelievably grateful. And what drives me to become an even better version of myself next year.
Cheers to 2018!