Have you decided that 2018 is the year you’re finally going to take the plunge, and go plant-based? Six years ago, I made the same decision, and haven’t looked back.
My health has improved. My skin is glowing. And I have more energy than I know what to do with. But, when I first made the switch, there were a few things I wish I’d thought of to make my transition easier. Now I get to share those stumbles with you, so you can succeed!
So, for those of you that have plant-based living on your minds for 2018, check out my 5 steps to help you stick to your resolution:
1. Assemble your tribe
Don’t underestimate the power of relationships. When you surround yourself with people that want the same things, or have already achieved your goals, their success and support can be exactly what you need to keep going strong.
You can join a Meetup group that goes out monthly to different vegan restaurants. Or, find a local friend who has decided to ditch the animal products, too. And Facebook groups are full of friendly members that can help you succeed by sharing their own stories and insights. Find your support system to keep you inspired and motivated!
2. Understand your “why”
Oftentimes, resolutions are made with little thought behind them. “I want to lose weight,” or “I want to exercise more,” are common examples. But if your goal is superficial, odds are your motivation will have fizzled out come February. (Read: Do These 4 Things if You Want Your Resolution to FAIL.)
You need to identify goals that are meaningful to you. Are you going plant-based because you’re worried about the effects of farming on the planet? Are you ditching the animal products because you love animals and don’t want to support that industry? Or, are you dealing with a health condition and want to see if a plant-based diet helps?
Find the deeper meaning behind your goal and write it down on an index card. Put it somewhere safe. If you’re feeling lost, confused, or unmotivated, pull out your “why” card to remind yourself what started this journey in the first place.
3. Choose an abundance mindset
Our mindset is everything. Many times, when we first start eating this way, we choose to view it from an angle of, “Oh, I can’t have that anymore;” “That whole group of foods is gone;” or “This is such a restrictive way of eating.”
But it’s important to remember that there isn’t anything lacking from this diet. Instead, there’s abundance! There’s a whole world of foods and cuisines out there that you’ve more than likely never tried, including Ethiopian, Indian and Thai (which are some of my personal newfound faves). Going plant-based gives you the opportunity to experience a whole new variety of foods that might’ve never interested you in the past.
4. Plan, plan, plan
Planning leaves little room for slip ups. Have at least a general idea of the foods you’ll be eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Keeping in mind, the more detailed you make it, the more likely it’ll be to stick. For ideas, check out our 3-day vegan meal plan.
And if you decide you want to put a pause on your resolution, even after going to your why card, this is a chance to challenge yourself. Instead of giving up right then, pick a day at least five days ahead that you want to stray from your plant-based lifestyle. Mark it on your calendar. If you still want to take a break after those five days, go ahead. The point of this is to prevent us from acting impulsively and partaking in a behavior we’ll regret.
5. Do your homework
Make sure you know what plant-based eating entails. Determine what supplements you may need to support your lifestyle such as omega-3 or vitamin B12. Read books (by credentialed individuals), work with a professional and understand what your meals should look like. When you start going plant-based with these foundations, you’ll set yourself up to feel great and stick with your resolution, long-term!
Bonus step: be gentle with yourself
Remember that it takes time to build a new habit or behavior and around three months for a lifestyle change. So, be gentle with yourself as you navigate this new way of eating. And remember all of those mishaps along the way are just lessons learned. You can do this!
What is your motivation for going plant-based? Share with us in the comments below!