8 Ways to Be Kinder to the Planet (And Ourselves) in 2017



You know how every year, millions of people swear off sodas and fast food, and by the following month, they’re already off the wagon, and those resolutions are just a guilty memory? What if we skipped that part this year? What if our health, happiness, and care of the earth could be tied into the same mission this year for our New Year’s resolutions?

I’m a firm believer in the reason most people fail to stick to their guns every year is simply because they make a half-hearted promise, maybe belt it out on social media, and that’s the end of it — it’s just a statement of intent, and the statement alone isn’t enough to motivate them to follow through (hey, myself included).

What’s really needed to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions isn’t a different promise or a stronger cause — it’s a different approach. What if instead of saying we were going to do something this year, we decided we were going to be something else?

There’s a sad song from The Avett Brothers, Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise, that strikes a chord with me in this line of thought: “Decide what to be, and go be it.” We don’t need a list of resolutions, or a goal weight, or a figure to strive for in our bank accounts — we need a mindset shift. We need to focus on why we need to accomplish something, instead of just how badly we want to accomplish it. It doesn’t have to be a health focus, or a financial agenda, or some career-climbing master plan — just make it a shift in the way you think, every single day, and the rest will fall into place.

So here’s an idea: What if instead of just focusing on one measly, lame goal this year, we focused on bettering ourselves, by feeding what we feel we are lacking the most? What if we looked at the things that we wanted, and followed the thread back to the reasons we actually want them? What might that do to our resolve, our outlook?

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