Even though COVID 19 has pretty much canceled the entire world’s traditional countdown celebrations, it’s still New Year’s Eve. And as ready as you may be to wave good-bye to 2020, how prepared are you for 2021?
Yesterday, I looked at the first seven New Year’s resolutions from a study published a few weeks ago. Two-thirds of the study’s participants chose resolutions related to physical health and diet.
The remaining third accounted for eight more, which include something for everyone.
Only 13 percent of the study’s participants accounted for these eight New Year’s resolutions. But this New Year’s Eve, these choices’ significance far outshines their popularity.
I’ve written often this year about future generations looking back and referring to our day as the “Age of Consumption.” Consumption means using up a resource.
Researcher Joseph Poore recommends eating a plant-based diet as the number one way to reduce our footprint. So, for those wanting to lower their natural-resource consumption, eating vegan is the most effective way to make a meaningful difference.
Some people think eating plant-based is more expensive, but this doesn’t need to be the case. Last night, my family enjoyed rice and beans topped with homemade sour cream and a few fresh tomato slices.
It tasted amazing and didn’t cost much!
In much of the world, meat is limited partly because it’s more expensive than staple vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. The bottom line is: eating whole-food plant-based can be a great way to reduce your expenses.
For help in mastering the art of plant-based cooking on a budget, take a look at the PlantPure Kitchen Cookbook.
Drinking alcohol to excess has always been an unfortunate-but-accepted part of our New Year’s Eve rituals.
And having witnessed too many people I care about struggle with alcohol addiction, I know how impossible dependency can seem.
I don’t drink because of my non-drinking friendship with someone who matters to me. Over ten years ago, alcohol was ruining their life – after tasting one sip, they couldn’t stop.
They desperately needed to quit. I didn’t share that struggle, but I wanted to communicate that I’d abstain with them.
When someone recently asked me why I don’t drink, I told them about my non-drinking buddy. They responded, “That’s the best reason I’ve ever heard for not drinking.”
If you or someone you know struggles with drinking, our teetotaler club is open to all.
I also highly recommend Mary O’Malley’s The Gift of Our Compulsions, one of my favorite books on addiction.
Friends and Family
My family is the light of my life.
Tomorrow, we’ll relaunch the family blog I wrote about earlier this year. I had a hard time maintaining it on my own, so it’s become our family project. All seven of us will be publishing weekly posts.
On Christmas Eve, someone informed me he hadn’t spoken to his sister for six months. The two of them were estranged because she disapproved of a Facebook photo he posted. It showed him attending a gathering without a face mask.
She “unfriended” him, online and in life.
This morning, I read an article about New Year’s Resolutions in The Atlantic. It commented on a 2015 study claiming that 44 percent of people have become estranged from a relative.
The article’s author, Arthur C. Brooks, noted that the 44-percent figure dates to five years ago. It was true well before 2020’s divisive political climate. So he calls on everyone to resolve to forgive others – especially family members.
I couldn’t agree more. I encouraged my friend to call his sister for Christmas.
He responded, “Maybe next year.” Does he mean after New Year’s Eve?
I’ll ask him tomorrow.
A home’s heart is often its kitchen. Keeping your kitchen’s countertops and refrigerators filled with fruits and veggies is a great way to create a health-promoting home environment.
I’m also a big fan of minimalism. Removing all the junk food from the cupboards or the far reaches of our freezers is an excellent first step toward ridding our lives of everything unhealthy.
If you’re interested in embracing a minimalist, plant-based lifestyle too, treat yourself to an afternoon with Michael and Masa Ofei’s highly readable The Minimalist Vegan.
“If you could do anything you wanted, all day, every day, what would you do?”
I remember my Dad asking me that question more than 25 years ago! I was still in my teens.
My answer had something to do with looking for the truth and sharing what I learned. Today, I’m living my dream.
My hobby is researching the facts and figures around plant-based living. Plantbased.com gives me a platform for sharing them with the world each day.
How would you answer my Dad’s question? Has New year’s Eve brought you any closer to turning what makes you happy into a hobby? If so, why not start tomorrow, January 1, 2021?
There may never be a better time than now!
Some people fear the impact that becoming plant-based will have on their engagements.
Any dietary change can be difficult for family or close friends who aren’t on board with it. As I wrote earlier this year:
“Sharing the same heritage and foods binds families together. When one family member chooses to eat differently, that decision can feel like a rejection of everyone else. So I take it upon myself to make sure everyone in my family knows I accept them just as they are.”
It’s not only possible to embrace a new plant-based diet without becoming the stereotypical “judgmental vegan.” If we want to build positive engagements into our lives, it’s imperative!
My kids sometimes muse over whether they’ll meet plant-based partners someday. Of course, we can’t know what the future holds for them.
But this New year’s Eve, I’m more than ever convinced that the best way to find love is to pursue the things you love in the hopes of attracting someone who also loves them.
- If you love to eat healthy food, blog about it, share your posts on social media, get outside, and exercise.
- If you care about animals, volunteer at an animal shelter, or share your views online.
- If you care about the health of the planet, join an advocacy group.
Pursue what you love – and if love finds you along the way, great! If not, at least you’re enjoying life with a purpose.
For those of us who’ve already found love, it’s the same. Sitting next to me as I write my 365th post of 2020 is my life partner. She’s working on our family blog, LearnLoveLife.com.
We’re together, doing what we love, and loving every minute of it!