It’s never too late to make resolutions, and January counts as the new year, right? Yes, so there’s never been a better time to begin an even more ethical kind of life. With this in mind, we’ve created four vegan resolutions that will ensure this brand-new year is filled with brand-new goals for the coming months. Consider these resolutions as part of your own plan for the new year, and we’re sure you’ll have the best 2017 possible!
1. Keep learning
Many people feel that being vegan is a journey, not a destination. Because of this mantra, it’s important to examine our ethics and revise the way that we are living our lives. The best way to keep growing and becoming a more ethical person is to take charge of educating yourself, so grab some vegan books such as the recently released The Vegan Way by Jackie Day, which has all the information you need for a painless transition to the vegan lifestyle. You can also continue to educate yourself on veganism with a variety of free tools. Some YouTube videos can be especially informative as well as entertaining. For example, 12-year-old YouTube sensation Lily of the Lillycution YouTube channel has a lot to teach people of all ages. In addition to watching videos, listen to podcasts like Main Street Vegan and Earthix and read blogs such as Vegan Street for a variety of helpful, educational articles. Peruse the web and find the sites and shows that make you want to explore your ethics more in depth and make choices that are true to what you believe. And, of course, subscribe to VegNews!
2. Take actions that are conducive to happiness
One surefire way to be miserable in the new year is to do things that you know you shouldn’t be doing. If you are considering the vegan lifestyle because you don’t believe in hurting animals, the good news is that life gets a lot more fun when you go vegan and live up to your own ethics. If you are a vegan who struggles with the fun factor of the lifestyle, the new year is a great time to commit to living life to the fullest. Either way, try to have more fun with every part of your lifestyle. If you want to cook more in 2017, splurge on the vegan cookbook you want the most, then cook a recipe from it once per week until you have cooked your way through the entire book. The important thing is that you allow yourself to enjoy vegan food in the ways that make you happiest.
3. Make a vegan bucket list
Create a vegan bucket list of all the experiences that you wanted to have when you went vegan, and also be sure to include new ambitions you’ve developed along the way. Have you not yet tried jackfruit? Did you always want to veganize a certain recipe? Maybe you are dying to take a trip to try the goodies at Peace A’ Cake or at least order them through the mail. Have you always really wanted to stay at a bed and breakfast on a farm sanctuary? Save and plan for it to happen. From Bed and Broccoli (Australia’s first vegan bed and breakfast that’s set on a sanctuary) to Blackberry Creek Farm Animal Sanctuary in California, there are wonderful places where you can stay for days or even weeks right on a farm sanctuary! Many are a lot more affordable than you think, and proceeds from staying there often go to supporting and saving animals. Talk about a win-win vacation. Whatever you decide, write it all down on your vegan bucket list of things you want to accomplish in the new year. If you check them off as you go, you might find yourself staying focused on things that make you excited in the new year.
4. Listen to constructive feedback with a humble heart
We’ve all had that Facebook friend who lurks in the shadows until they find the perfect opportunity to lash out with a big criticism or call you out for the smallest hypocrisy after having never left a comment before. Feel free to ignore that kind of criticism. However, if your trusted friends are criticizing you, it’s important to try to hear them out. Stifle the natural human urge to defend yourself and justify whatever action you did that the person finds offensive. Listen and learn when criticized in a constructive, healthy way. You might find that it helps you become a more ethical vegan and a better person. Take responsibility for past mistakes in order to move past them, and be willing to apologize when you mess up. Saying sorry can work wonders to improve the quality of your life and relationships, and it can help you be an overall better vegan.
Robin Raven is the author of Santa’s First Vegan Christmas.