I’ve decided on a few New Year’s resolutions for 2009. It includes the usuals like exercise more, get more sleep at night, and lose 20 pounds. But my biggest New Year’s resolution for 2009 is to become a vegan. This is a tough one for me. I’ve tried it before, loved it, but only lasted 6 months. I felt the benefits of it—more energy, weight loss, less illness—but I found it hard to maintain.
So what will make the difference this time? I’m glad you asked. For this New Year, I’ve come up with five ways to help me keep this resolution. If you’ve chosen a rather difficult resolution for 2009, these tips may help you as well.
1. Write it down. Deciding on a New Year’s resolution is the first step, but to make sure you consistently fulfill it, you need to write it down. According to the Goal Setting Guide, writing your goals down helps you to visualize your goals and creates a commitment on your part.
2. Post it. Now that my goal is in writing, I need to put it in a place where I can see it often to remind me. As further encouragement for me, I will add to my written resolution a quote or passage that keeps me positive and motivated.
3. Enlist help. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from failing some pass resolutions and succeeding others, it’s that having a support network helps to keep you moving forward. It also gives you someone to be accountable to. I’ve discovered several forums and groups that support those who are living the vegan lifestyle. By joining some of those groups, I’ll be able to find great recipes, food substitutions, and friends who know how to encourage and how to overcome those probable cravings for “forbidden” foods.
4. Take baby steps. Some people can make changes “cold turkey”. They make up their minds and make the change and consistently stick with it. I wish I were one of those people, but I’m honest with myself. I need baby steps. So, I’ve broken my goal down into bite-sized chunks that help me slowly, but consistently move towards my goal. For me, the first step will be learning all I can about being a vegan. Then, I will collect and try new recipes. My next steps will be to write out menu plans and decide on quick and easy dishes for those days I’m short on time (and willpower). Step-by-step, I’ll outline my path to reaching my ultimate goal.