I am thinking about finally returning to my vegetarian diet. Heading into winter may be the worst time to attempt this, but I am really starting to feel guilt from the harming of animals just for my own pleasure. (eww, that just sounds sick) I was vegetarian for well over a year and the day I went back to meat I ate a burger and wings. Gasp.
So, I thought to help me and maybe to help someone else out there I would put together five steps to make a lasting change.
The first step in making a lasting change is establishing your reasons. Right them down, put them somewhere you will see them everyday. Why have you decided to make this change? Keep the “should” out of your reasoning. The moment someone tells me I should do something, the rebel in me comes out. Even if you “should” make this change, it’s not a good motivator in the long run. So, get specific why are you doing this. On the days that things get tough, come back to your list.
Keep the list positive. An example of a positive goal is: “I want to be thin.” It is not, “I don’t want to be fat.” Focusing on what you do want will help bring it to fruition. Your goal doesn’t have to be about your weight, but it seems to be something many people are striving to change.
Here my list:
Non-harming of animals:
I grew up on a farm, I know animals have feeling and emotions.
Raising grains for animals is not sustainable. The largest amount of pollution comes from large scale farms.
I think we all know this one. I don’t need to say much. I do, however, struggle with low iron levels, but it’s because I don’t eat enough iron rich foods regularly. I just need to become more conscious of this.
My future in yoga:
Eating meat just feels like it clashes with living a yogic life, for instance the principle of non-harming. As a yoga teacher I want to live as an example for my students and this means getting off the meat wagon.
Know that if you slip you need to get right back up. If you slip into the old habits, don’t let that be an excuse for a full binge on your renounced habit. Forgive yourself and move on. We all have bad days, so it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Which brings me to . . .
Forgiveness. Regardless of what you’ve done in the past or your slip ups. You deserve to let it go and move forward. Dwelling on the past serves no purpose. You can’t change what has already been done, but you can change your next step. If you get down on yourself and feel like a failure, you will act accordingly. Put faith in yourself. You have the ability to inspire yourself and to open your heart. The moment we judge and feel guilty is the moment we have decided that we aren’t good enough. You are awesome! You can change yourself and in turn change the world.
Evolution buddies! You are going to need support. You may be Wonder Woman, or Batman, but even they required assistance at times. Find a sidekick to maybe make the journey with you or at least be there to encourage you when you feel weak. If you don’t have anyone to help you along, reach out on the internet. Start a blog, believe me, it holds you accountable. You can also find chat groups for everything under the sun. Sometimes all we need is the knowledge that we are not alone in our thoughts and feelings.
Celebrate your awesome self. Set some little goals first and when you reach them have a party for yourself. You deserve it. Change is hard. Of course, don’t let your celebration be indulging in your vice or whatever you’ve given up.
I would love to hear any additional steps you think are needed on your journey of giving up. Don’t wait for the New Year. The time to change is now.
Wish me luck, because I’m going to need it.