In this guide to incorporating sustainable lifestyle habits, Alexandra from My Slow World explains how to keep up your New Year’s resolutions (and any other changes you may wish to make) throughout the year.
Before I start: have you set any New Year’s resolutions for yourself? If yes, what were those resolutions? Or do you call them goals? Or didn’t you set any, because you just wanted to enjoy the journey instead?
In all the cases, it comes to the same point: mindset. We do what we do and we react as we react because of the thoughts and patterns we make in our head. It is all a matter of mindset. And what I like most about this is that you can fool yourself. You can trick yourself into believing you’re amazing instead of trash, you can make new habits, you can be more productive. Just train your brain.
Sustainability is cool, it makes you a more conscious person and you’ll start to enjoy the little things. Yet it starts all with your mindset.
A few years ago I would never say I loved nature and I would go on a hiking holiday. But look where I am now, biking and hiking through the mountains of southern Germany!
How to trick yourself into sustainable lifestyle habits
1. Become a conscious consumer. That means, don’t go shopping out of boredom. Shop out of need. And all the times you start craving new stuff, do something explicitly different than online shopping. Go outside, take a walk, clean your kitchen, bake a cake – whatever you need to reset your brain. It doesn’t help if you only tell yourself: “I shouldn’t be doing this, this is bad.” Instead, try to replace bad habits with better ones.
2. Minimalise cleaning products. Cleansing products are not very great for the environment. But how do I clean my house? you might ask. I hear you. You just need an acid, lavender oil (or any essential oil you like), and water. This mixture is very cheap and cleans your house perfectly. To get started, when something runs out, switch to a homemade mixture.
3. Eat more veggies. You won’t hear me saying you should go vegan, because I know that’s hard. But start with eating more plants. It’s better for the environment, and for your body. So if you’re not doing it for the planet, do it for yourself.
4. Sleep enough. What does this point have to do with living sustainably? Well, I believe when we sleep enough, we are clearer and make better decisions. Plus there’s less time less to surf online, order lasagne and four pairs of jeans on AliExpress!
5. Stop telling yourself what you should and shouldn’t do. Punishing yourself and your brain with bad thoughts never helped anyone. Instead, look on the bright side and the things you already do and how you can improve them. Making new habits should be fun. That’s how sustainability becomes fun too.
6. Keep your intentions fluid and allow adjustments and changes. Alena of Soul Mamma provided this tip and it concerns intentions during parenthood. She says: “Course corrections when necessary allow internal stress and pressure to dissipate. It gives our families a chance to thrive naturally. Let the children lead, give yourself a break and trust the fluid process and your own intuition. Always be kind to yourself and this will flow over in your interactions with family members. In a slow and gentle way, this actually will effectively allow intentions to emerge and evolve.”
Follow Alexandra of My Slow World: @myslowworld