I think I’m one out of a very small amount of people in the world who makes New Years Resolutions and actually follows through on them. What’s my secret? I’m intentional with my resolutions. What exactly does that mean? Let me explain.
If you’ve been around for a while, you might recall that my first successful New Years Resolution was to stop eating red meat for the year. It was a personal challenge that I made for myself to test my own abilities. Up until that point in my life, I had never committed to a challenge that didn’t have outside pressures like a team or grade relying on my efforts. Cutting out red meat was not only a healthy step in my dietary journey, it was easily attainable because of the food substitutes that were available like turkey, chicken, and fish products. It also didn’t hurt that I had $10 on the line…
For the past 2 years (and now for 2023) I have made resolutions that have had a large impact on not just me, but the world in general. In 2021, I resolved to be a better human; I committed to recycling at home. It sounds so simple, but as someone who lives in a rural area whose trash service does not include a recycling program, this change meant that I would have to put in a little effort. I found a recycling receptacle to keep in the garage, researched the operating hours of the local waste collection facility as well as types of items accepted, and put in the work. And by put in the work, all I mean to say is that instead of putting every waste product in the same trashcan, I was more aware of what was being discarded. Aluminum and tin cans, cardboard and other paper products, plastic and glass were then collected over a few days and then loaded up into the back of my car and taken to the local drop-off site. Every time I emptied that bin, I felt good about myself. I’ve now been recycling for 2 years.
At the start of last year, I wanted to continue in the theme of being a better human and resolved to start using reusable shopping bags. It’s only a matter of time before my part of the world starts charging shoppers for their bags, so I figured getting a jump on this habit will only be that much more beneficial. I already had a handful of reusable bags I’ve accumulated from random events and outings, so all I had to do was remember to bring them with me when I go shopping. There were a handful of slip-up where I had forgotten my bags and had to use the plastic bags, but I was more aware of how many bags I was using and made sure to either reuse those plastic bags or recycle them. What I didn’t do was become upset and give up. I just started keeping the bags in my trunk so I would always have them available. I’ve now been using reusable shopping bags for over a year.
So what is this year’s resolution for becoming a better human being? I have resolved to only purchase cruelty-free beauty and hygiene products. As a female, I have a semi-intensive beauty routine complete with facial cleanser, exfoliator, moisturizer, sunscreen, and various makeup products, not to mention body washes and lotions, shampoo and conditioner, and the absurd amount of hair products used on a daily basis. Up until this point, I’ve viewed the cruelty-free logo as bonus points on my regularly purchased items, but this year it will be my beacon. I’ve had to look up all of my products and though the majority of them meet the criteria, some do not. It will be difficult to find a new product to replace something I’ve been using for 25+ years, but I’ve committed and will have to keep myself accountable.
In my searches of cruelty-free products, I’ve learned so much about the industry which is another bonus. Did you know that some countries require companies to test their products on animals? Like, there is no option; either you test on animals and have your product sold, or you don’t test on animals and you can sell your goods elsewhere. That’s crazy!
Have you made any resolutions this year? Have you been inspired to resolve to be a better human? Let me know!
Firstly, may I commend you on seeing resolutions through! No matter what the resolution is, that takes strength, so congratulations!
My one and only ‘resolution’ this year is to lose the belly I developed during the last couple of years, so I’ve been doing sit-ups at home on a nightly basis, but I don’t know what the long-term prospects are. I can’t easily afford a gym right now, so I am having to do all the work at home.
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Thank you and good luck! I too am currently trying to lose a few pounds. Baby steps… Every little bit is improvement.
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I applaud you, I can’t do this.