New Beginnings and Resolutions

Go to the gym and get healthy. Eat less chocolate. Two New Year’s Resolutions that I regularly made and broke within weeks of a new year beginning. I know of people who do ‘dry January’ and are gagging for alcohol by week two. What is it with stupid resolutions that demand we do something we obviously don’t have the will power to do? If we were serious about these changes we wouldn’t need to do it in the New Year, we’d be doing it anyway.

For a long time, I gave up on making New’s Resolutions, mainly to prevent myself from feeling a failure so early on in a year. But I have, in my lifetime successfully kept two New Year Resolutions.

The first was made shortly after the birth of my son (he was born on the 27th December), it was that I would train for, and run, the London Marathon. I gave myself two years, because… well… the film “Run Fatboy Run” was as close to my post partum reality as it gets. I couldn’t run between two lamp posts without collapsing and being out of breath. Running was an excellent way to avoid suffering from post-natal depression, and I secured a coveted place as a Charity runner in the London Marathon so I had to do it. Two years and one excruciating knee injury later I completed the Marathon in just over six hours. It was a feat of endurance and perseverance, if not sporting prowess, but one I am proud to have achieved.

My other New Year’s resolution that I stuck to successfully was in 2019, and again, one that I am proud of achieving.  Summed up it is “one small thing.”  I care about the environment and climate change, but haven’t quite got the chops to go full on hemp wearing climate rebellion.  So I set myself the challenge of making one small change each month to make our household more environmentally friendly… and I have.  The changes I have made, include:
  1. Swopping from supermarket plastic milk cartons to doorstep glass bottle milk deliveries
  2. Eating one meat free meal a week (we are now eating two!!)
  3. Swopping applicator tampons for non-applicator tampons (I am considering trying out moon cups but I’m not yet brave enough)
  4. Swopping plastic toothbrushes with bamboo toothbrushes (I am also considering shampoo soap and plastic free toothpaste)
  5. Swopping clingfilm with Beeswax Wraps (surprisingly effective)
  6. Ditching single-use plastic water bottles for reusable water bottles (we’ve been mostly successful with this, but it’s still a work in progress)
  7. Recycling plastic wrapping – including crisp bags and bread bags (we hardly have any rubbish in our general waste bin now)
  8. Swopping plastic sandwich bags with brown paper bags.
  9. Swopping to environmentally friendly cleaning products (e.g. Ecover)
  10. Ditching wet wipes
  11. Swopping to bio-degradable doggy poo bags (next step a composter toilet for dog waste in the garden)
  12. Adopting reusable loose veg bags and ditching pre-packaged vegetables and Fruit.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how easy it has been to adopt these changes, and I have been inspired by the idea that changing the world is not about one person doing recycling perfectly but millions of people doing recycling imperfectly. Our household is by no means ‘there’ in terms of being the best that we can be for the future of our planet. But we are twelve steps closer than we were at the start of the 2019. So for 2020 I’m going to challenge myself to make another small change every month. I do this knowing that 2019 was the low hanging fruit, and our ‘small’ changes from here on are likely to require a bigger adjustment. However, I think my small successes in this area make me feel that I have the ability to make the changes successfully and even if I fail to make a small change EVERY month of 2020, some changes are better than none at all.

As a side note, I started swimming several times a week in November 2018, and have continued to do so – so it seems ‘do exercise and get healthy’ is a successful change I can make… just not as a New Year’s resolution.

Share this...
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *