Wow. All I can say is I have some amazing people in my life. Thank you for the warm words of support and compassion regarding the other day’s post. Thank you.
It’s the start of a new week. Thankfully spring seems to at our front door steps, old man winter is fast asleep, and summer is down the block waiting with a soy chai. I’m sure you all have noticed a lack of posts lately, but it took a little bit longer than I had hoped to get out of my funk and get inspired. But do not worry, I have rekindled the flame thanks to some much time re-evaluating things and surrounding myself with some wonderful people.
I’m sure many of you have tried a lifestyle change before – like going on a “diet”, starting a new exercise plan, recycling. What I’m also sure of is that you’ve probably at some point during that change, you felt like giving up, and maybe you did out of frustration. Besides the fact that “diets” don’t work – they are not a lifestyle change, but a means to lose weight, not to be healthy, but that is a post for a different time – getting ourselves to change a behavior or habit and sticking to it is hard, really hard .
When I first went vegetarian, I was so excited to kick meat out of my life and start rockin’ out a cruelty-free lifestyle. My intentions were good, my spirits were high, and my knowledge on the topic was so-so, but I had a good idea of how to do it. But yet, after about 3 months of it, somehow I had lost my spark. I began eating the same easy things over and over, did less research on the topic, which all drove me down a path of boredom, feelings of deprivation, and a little resentment. And thus, I fell off the vegetarian wagon and hopped on the good foot to do the bad thing and started eating meat again.
It didn’t take long for that fire to burst back into flame – obviously, since I am now a vegan -, but I always think back to how I had lost my intense drive that first time, and how so many people do the exact same when it comes to making change in their lives.
More often than not, when we try to make a change in our lives it doesn’t stick with us, something distracts us or our motivations falters. Regardless of the reason, making long-lasting change doesn’t always happen even when we know we want to or know we should. I wanted to share some ways to stay encouraged with any lifestyle change you may make
- Know that it take at least 2 weeks to learn a new habit. Our brains become hardwired to certain things, so it takes time to establish new networking.
- Look within yourself and ask yourself why you want to make the change. Once you have determined it, repeat it to yourself daily, hourly, when faced with temptation, to remind yourself of what you are trying to accomplish.
- Leave yourself reminders of your goals. Post little note in random places that you will see and be reminded of what you are doing, where you want to be, and why you want to be there.
- Get support. Friends, family, significant other, holistic counselor, naturopathic MD, recruit them all if you need to, but find at least one strong and stable form of support who wants to see you through.
- Be patient with yourself. Change does not occur overnight as much as we want it to so allow yourself to be slow and steady, composed and compassionate.
- Research. Find one new thing each day on the topic of which you are interested in, like a new gluten-free recipe, book on vegetarianism, or new way to recycle glass. It will keep you searching for new and interested in bettering yourself adhere to the change.
- Know there may be a set back – or ten. Let yourself make mistakes, they are learning opportunities. The harm you can do from making a mistake is to not learn from it and give-up.
I hope these little tips will help fuel your fire. I know they have mine. I have some new recipes even to share with you!
And next time I promise there won’t be such a long wait!