I’ve never been big on New Year. Coming on the heels of Christmas, it’s a boring affair for those us who don’t drink or stay up past 10pm on a school night. I can’t be bothered with the trappings of starting over because doing so insinuates I’ve failed, and that’s not a positive way to go forward. So no grand resolutions for me. Instead, I like to look back at the successes of the previous year which is no small feat considering the spectre of Brexit was constantly hanging overhead. Even so, I did accomplish a few things.
I gave up eating meat. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but it happened anyway. I’d been eating less and less and then one day it was about as appetising as a plate of squirming worms. Not eating meat has changed the way I view the world, and it’s pushed me to try to do a bit better in other areas. I don’t think veganism is for me, but I do think I can get by with a lot less dairy. And who knows? Maybe one day I’ll go off that, too.
I tried a new way of working and it’s been amazing. Last January, I decided to reduce my company’s working hours with no loss of pay for my staff. For an entire year, we’ve worked a 23 hour week on full wages with no loss of productivity. My staff are happier and we’re all a bit healthier due to our weekly fruit boxes and in-house yoga classes. It’s proof that putting people before profits is a good model for business. I’m quite proud of this.
I reduced my impulse buying – a lot. Carrying on from 2017, I still maintain a limited wardrobe and skincare routine. I’m using up products until they’re empty and only buying clothes that work with the pieces I already have. It’s certainly been less wasteful, and I find I only have things I love to use and wear.
I realise none of these things are earth-shattering, but they’ve made a difference to me, and I have a renewed appreciation for setting small, attainable goals that don’t set me up for failure or make me feel bad about myself. 2019 is going to be a challenging year, and I think everyone could use a little self-generated happiness.