Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone! Tonight is the night that we lift our heads and hearts to the heavens and both hope and resolve to do “better” in the coming year. Whatever the “better” might be for each one of us, however, brainstorming new year’s resolutions is the shared tradition of many. For 2017, though, I urge us all to forgo the “sparkly new self in six easy steps” approach to our resolutions and aim for substance rather than hasty keywords.
What I mean by substance rather than keywords is this: swap out that gym membership you would rarely use to donate that money to a substantial cause, such as a foundation you appreciate or a cause you support. Instead of making a frivolous purchase on new clothing that you’ll wear a couple times before donating to GoodWill or giving away, invest in decor items for your home that you know you’ll keep for a long time and that you’ve been eyeing for a while but haven’t had the money or reason to make the purchase. Swap out that old futon for the couch you’ve always wanted. Buy that piece of art from the local artisan you love.
Resolve to delete without opening those pesky “a better you in 3 weeks or less” emails you’ll receive starting tomorrow morning. There is enough negativity spread around without putting yourself down as well.
Make firm arrangements to improve and enhance your community. My mother gives 4 hours a week to Meals on Wheels to give back to her community, I volunteer at my local ASPCA on the weekends to socialize with cats and walk and groom the dogs who are still waiting for their forever homes. In other words, find something that you are passionate about within your community and act to support and strengthen it. Be uncompromising when it comes to your betterment of your home, neighbors, and surroundings.
Give back. Support our earth the way the earth supports us. For those fortunate enough to have beautiful lawns and gardens, plant trees and create compost hubs. For those of us in urban areas, freeze your compost and donate it to your local compost sites (a quick Google search of local compost drop-offs will bring up agencies where you can drop your compost on a weekly/bi-weekly basis). Unplug electronics you aren’t using. Give up eating meat and dairy products for one day a week to cut down on gas emissions and carve away at our dependence on the meat and dairy industries. Shop local, visit a co-op rather than chain grocery store. Turn your heat down when you aren’t in the house. Donate to organizations working on the benefit of all things.
In short, everyone, we can all feel successful in our resolutions if we intend to achieve something of consequence rather than those ambiguous self-improvement goals that are mass marketed to the populace and rarely taken seriously. When you truly dedicate yourself to a resolution that betters more than just yourself, whatever it may be, the sense of achievement becomes greater and your community become impenetrable against adversity.
In 2017, I would like to lower the carbon cost of what I eat by buying my food products from local co-ops and minimizing my meat and dairy consumption. I would love to hear from you about your resolutions for 2017!
Still need some ideas? Here are a couple amazing sites that might help you get started!