Most people talk about resolutions at the beginning of a new year. I should think many of you made grand plans to do something new for 2021, either for yourself or others and the end of the first month is a great time to check in and see how those new plans are going.

So, veganuary, if you decided to do it, did you make it to the end? Chngaing the way you eat is a huge challenge and, even if your resolution was not to become vegan, if you have chosen to change your diet in some manner it is a big step. Habit forms a lots of the way we do things in life, including eating. And we like to revert to how we used to be. If you have spent the whole of January eating vegan on the promise of a steak and ice cream today, what are you achieving? Small everyday changes are easier to do and make a longer term difference. Yes, being vegan is good for your carbon footprint, done correctly, however if you introduce more plant based meals into your life long term you will have a more positive impact on you and your environment.

Did you plan a new exercise regime? The same thing goes, if you made it too strict and rigorous it will be harder to achieve long term. Starting with a little more than you were currently doing and building up is a more permanent solution.

At some point we have all tried the “I will do one of these a day for the whole year” resolution. This tends to be waning by now. If you chose this for the year how are you doing? Have you picked something that is achievable alongside ordinary life?

Some of us plan to tidy various areas of your life and live in a more rational way. This does not mean you throw everything out in one month or that you can achieve sorting everywhere in one go. Pick one area, like the shed, and start there. Then as you learn to live in a tidier way it will naturally spread. Take your house one room at a time and give it the time it needs. Build habits that help, like returning things to their place once they have been finished with. Have a plan of what order you will tackle things in and be ready to change it!

The end of January is a good time to take stock a revaluate your goals. Do not feel bad if you need to amend what you are trying to achieve with your resolution, this is what happens with goal setting all the time. It does not mean you are failing, in fact quite the opposite, it means you are committed to change and making it work. Continual evaluation and alteration means that you can stay on track and continue to do the new things you wanted to do rather than plodding on, hating it and finally giving up altogether. For instance, if you started veganuary and discovered that you did not want to eat all vegan food or found it hard to make such a drastic change overnight, you could introduce one vegan meal a day to start or one vegan day a week. As you get used to this you can up the number of meals slowly until eventually you could be vegan all the time. Or exercise. This is a popular one for the new year. You have to be clear about your reason for exercising. Is it to lose weight, tone up, add muscle or simply get out of the house? Once you know your reasons make sure you are doing the right form of exercise to reach your goal and take it a little at a time. Suddenly doing 2 hours a day when you were previously doing nothing in particular will be a strain on the body and mind. Start with 30 minutes gentle exercise and work up from there. As you get more comfortable the time or level of the activity will naturally increase.

The big thing to remember at this point is being realistic with yourself. Be kind and realise that you have achieved great things already this year and we still have 11 months to go.

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