New Years resolutions. Most people have them, but very few people stick with them or achieve them. The reasons for this are varied, but it’s usually because they don’t align with any personal values, they are unrealistic or unachievable.
When it comes to setting vegan New Years resolutions, unfortunately, even fewer people achieve their goals. The main reason for this is that veganism is not a goal that can be set and forgot, rather, it is a complete lifestyle overhaul.
In this post, I will help you figure out how to set yourself achievable goals for becoming vegan and therefore stick with it for the long haul.
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Why do you want to become vegan? (or why did you become vegan?)
The first step when deciding what your goals should be, is to figure out why you want(ed) to become vegan in the first place.
Is it because you feel strongly about animal welfare?
Or maybe you want to improve your health
Or it could be because you have started to notice how vastly our planet is changing; climate change, volatile weather, and also out-of-sync seasons etc.
Whatever your reasons, that’s the best place to start. Let’s have a look at these individually:
For the animals
If you are passionate about your conviction that animals should not have to suffer for our benefit, then the best place to start with your goal setting is with your diet.
Research alternatives to the foods you enjoy. Vegan alternatives to every food you can dream of are available today. From spaghetti Bolognese, to pizza and everything in between. Plus some delicious foods you may not have tried before!
Look for blogs that focus on vegan recipes; these people live and breathe the lifestyle and can also give you a whole host of vegan loveliness to tantalize your taste-buds!
Try starting small; changing your diet overnight can play havoc with your body! And that’s a recipe for ‘failing’ your goal at the first hurdle. Substitute one thing at a time, like replacing meat with alternatives, or use plant-based milks instead of cows milk.
Once you’re comfortable with this change and your body is happy, move on to the next thing until you’re completely plant-based in your meals.
Ideally you want to set yourself 90 day goals. This may seem like a long time, but it gives your body time to adjust. It also gives you the chance to learn new skills, like cooking and preparing foods you might not have used before.
It will also allow you the time to feel the differences that changing your diet to a healthier alternative will give you.
The other advantage to this period of time, is it also gives you the opportunity to fall off the wagon and not feel defeated. If you make a mistake and eat something you later discover had milk in it, you can make a note that you shouldn’t eat that again, but you still have 60 days; so you haven’t failed with your vegan new years resolutions, you just had a blip 🙂
What else should you consider when it comes to animal welfare?
When setting goals based on animal welfare, also take into consideration the clothes you wear. Things like leather, suede, silk and fur are no longer acceptable, so you may need to start replacing things in your wardrobe???
Make-up is another one to think about; your toiletries also likely need an overhaul too. Not only should you be using products that are not tested on animals, but you need to make sure they don’t contain animal ingredients either.
Sign up to the Vegan Vault below to get access to a list of cruelty free make-up brands!
Then there’s the household cleaners. Just like with your make up and bathroom products, you will also need to take a look at your laundry and cleaning products. The big culprits are Proctor And Gamble and Unilever – two of the biggest animal testing companies out there, and they have their hands in everything! So try alternatives like Method or Astonish, who have extensive vegan and eco-friendly products in their ranges.
Again, when thinking about adopting a vegan lifestyle for its health benefits, the best place to start is with your diet. Think about what supplements you may need to add to your lifestyle. Everyone, but especially vegans should take a vitamin B12 supplement. Our bodies don’t make this vitamin so we should make sure we are getting enough of it because it essential to our health.
Your vegan new years resolutions in this instance could include researching and implementing an exercise routine; eating healthier breakfasts, and then slowly adding more alternative meal choices along with a vitamin routine.
For the planet
When choosing vegan new years resolutions based on the planets needs, your approach should start with your recycling and household routines.
What do you use when cleaning the house?
Do you recycle everything that you can?
Do you use alternatives to things like cling film which doesn’t biodegrade in land fills?
Go through all of your cleaning products and see how many are ‘accidentally’ vegan; how many do you need to replace? Also include things like your washing up liquid – Fairy is not vegan!
Also think about how you take your lunch to work. Cling film can be replaced with reusable Tupperware boxes or wax paper that breaks down. Carrier bags can also be replaced; with paper bags.
If you take a water bottle to work, do your reuse or recycle it? Remember that plastic does not decompose, but it can be recycled!
How about a step by step guide to planning your vegan new years resolutions?
Ok, so here it is: your step by step guide to planning your goals, and actually achieving them!
- Decide where you want to start. This will largely depend on why you want to be vegan, because it’s a very personal choice; so it’s one that you should really take the time to consider. Not only will it give you a great starting point for planning your goals, it will also help to reinforce why you’re doing it.
- Now work out what your starting point will be. Knowing what goal you want to start with should help you with this. Whether you want to tackle your diet, recycling habits or your health; start with something small so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
- Grab yourself a calendar; (I have one you can download below) Think about the little changes you can make to get to your 90 day goal, and set yourself weekly goals and also daily goals.
- So by day 90, you should have your goal clearly in sight.
To help you, I have already drawn up a goal plan template for you to use. Just sign up to the resource library using the form below; you will get access to the plan, a calendar and also an e-book with all the current vegan brands across the world. As well as a whole host of resources to help you with your vegan journey!