Big benefits from small resolutions

I hate New Year’s resolutions.  There, I said it. Feels good to get that one off my chest!
As to why I have this strong reaction to resolutions, it’s quite simple – most resolutions are made close to midnight on Dec 31, after one or two cocktails, and have within them the seed of failure due to their vagueness or their complete lack of grounding in reality.  For example, people commit to ‘taking better care of themselves’, a resolution with no measurable goal so you never know if it’s been achieved.  Or, they resolve to lose 50lbs, but with no plan for success, the first setback results in the resolution being abandoned.  So failure all around.
Now, you’re probably wondering what the ‘big benefits from small resolutions” of the blog title is talking about.  Well, truth be told, New Year’s resolutions have crept back into my life – thanks to the thoughtful resolution development of my husband.
Our favourite travel mugs

At the beginning of 2011, he announced that he had a New Year’s resolution for the year.  When I asked what it was, he said “no more take away coffee cups”.  Not an earth shattering resolution is probably your first reaction but think about it – how many paper coffee cups do you go through in one year?  The reality was that sticking to this resolution was no small task and my husband found himself more than once walking away from a badly needed coffee because he hadn’t brought his reusable mug with him.  The result is he became much more diligent about packing his mug – so happily had his caffeinated beverage and no additions to the landfill were made.

What was interesting is that as the year went on, I found myself taking on his resolution, one coffee at a time, so that now I too forgo coffee on the go if I’ve not brought my mug.  One resolution becomes two. 
In 2012, we both made the resolution to not buy or consume bottled water, if they were on offer.  We now carry reusable water bottles with us or grab a glass and drink tap water.  There have been a few lapses on both the coffee and water front, but for the most part, we’ve stayed true.
This year, we’ve resolved to be very conscious of the packaging that comes with the products we buy, choosing to buy products with less packaging or not buying something at all, if we can, if the packaging is excessive.  In addition we’ve recommitted to not using plastic bags (I now have a reusable bag in all my purses and briefcase) and to continue our commitment to “drinking local” by purchasing wine and beer from BC only.  Admittedly this last one is fun as well as positive!
If you haven’t made a New Year’s resolution yet, perhaps you’d like to borrow one of ours:
  •          No more paper coffee cups
  •          No more bottled water
  •          No more plastic bags
  •          Buying items with less packaging
  •          Eating and drinking local
Will any of these actions change the world? Perhaps not, but I guarantee if you stick to the resolution you’ve chosen, they will change your perspective as they did mine.  Once you become aware of your own behaviour, and succeed in changing it, you become inspired to do more – and to inspire others.  One resolution becomes two becomes four and more.
The bottom line is with all the big issues to take on in the world – issues that no one person can resolve on their own – remember that you have the power to make small changes which have big impacts.  If we can all do a little on our own, what can’t we take on together?

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