You can start living a vegan lifestyle at any time of year, but there’s nothing like a NEW year, a FRESH start, to get many people inspired and ready to implement some changes in their lives. Most of us know that if we try to make huge changes all at once – especially based on a date or something else as arbitrary – they don’t stick. So this new year, think of 3 smallish, sustainable steps that you can take to making your life more compassionate, wherever you’re at at the moment.
Things to consider:
1) Where is your diet at? If you’re still eating that bit of meat or dairy OCCASIONALLY, why not make the commitment this year to cut that out? Look at the instances where you tend to go back on your commitment to veganism and find concrete ways to address them. Is it when you eat out? Then plan to eat out less in 2013, or visit www.happycow.com and take a look at the vegan/veg restaurants in your area. Is it when you visit family? Make a firm statement to them that this year you are taking those final steps – you’d be happy to bring something to eat, but you’ve decided to make a full commitment to your vegan lifestyle this year. Is there something you feel you just can’t give up? There are lots of alternatives! Hit the internet or your local health food stores and find one that works for you – or even better, get creative in the kitchen! There are plenty of wonderful vegan chefs out there making recipes for everything from black bean brownies to vegan omelettes (and I have tried both these recipes – you won’t be feeling the slightest bit deprived!).
2) Where is your support system at? There is a lot to be said for having vegan friends or acquaintances you can call on when you have a question during your transition (or even post transition!) Do you have someone in your life you can turn to? If not, why not focus this year on finding a vegan potluck in your area where you might meet some people who can provide you with some vegan support. Or if you’re feeling really lost, think about a session with a vegan lifestyle coach, or getting involved with one of the online kickstarts that is available.
3) Where is your closet/makeup bag at? When you look into your closet how many non-vegan things do you see? If cosmetics and clothing/shoes are an area you haven’t tackled as a vegan yet, seriously consider paying more attention to this area in the New Year. It doesn’t have to be difficult! First, make a commitment to yourself not to buy anything that has leather or other animal products on/in it, moving forward. Don’t know what they might be? Educate yourself here! Same with beauty products and cosmetics. There are LOTS of alternatives – and ones that work! It’s just a matter of making a commitment to find them, and use them.