If there’s one thing that can be tough about sustainability, it’s constantly making sure you’re committing, which is especially tough when you have a job that requires you to be on the move. In the past, I’ve set goals for myself to maintain sustainability although I moved every few months or so to a new location and job. Even though most of my moving was from Denver to nearby towns, after several years I began moving temporarily to San Diego and then internationally followed by a few months in Chicago. While I was in Chicago, I noticed it could be difficult at times to maintain my sustainable practices. On some occasions I found myself holding a plastic bag instead of a cloth one or using Ziploc bags instead of looking for replacements. In order to remedy the situation, I set a few goals for myself, which have gone fairly well. I continue to use cloth bags, I have a reusable lunch tote and I love to shop at local markets and boutiques. I was also gifted reusable bags to replace Ziploc bags and I always strive to carry a refillable water bottle with me. While all of these updates are great news, I still sometimes find myself feeling overwhelmed.
Sustainability burnout can be hard to combat, so how will I stop sustainability from turning into a burden or obligation? By taking on one goal each month so that I don’t feel overwhelmed. This will help me incorporate one idea at a time. A recent blog post from Ecocult also showed me how much more effective goals can be if they are rephrased as affirmations. Instead of saying “I will” and feeling like I didn’t accomplish something when I make a mistake, it’s better to say “I am” to help you stick to your goals and improvements. I may run into missteps along the way, but as I’m learning these goals are about being more conscious with your life and not about being perfect.
Each month, I’ll be developing affirmations that range from developing a more sustainable lifestyle to being conscious about how I live and take care of myself. How I live, travel, and dress can all impact and improve my life. As I share new affirmations each month, I’ll reflect on my progress and challenges as I build on previous affirmations. So, what’s my affirmation for this month?
January: I am a person who develops and maintains healthy relationships.
This might not seem like an eco-friendly goal, but it is an important one for living a more sustainable lifestyle. Why? Because many times we don’t take time out for ourselves, there can be a strain on our relationships with everything and everyone. Seeking a balance in my work, school, and personal life are reminders to focus on what’s important. I often say I’ll do something later or put my personal life on the backburner, but after my first semester of graduate school, I’m realizing what I need is balance, a core principle of sustainability. Whether I chose to work on developing and maintaining healthy relationships, make sure I take a yoga class each week, or take time each week to watch movies or read a book, my actions can lead me to improved relationships with others, myself, and the environment around me.
Want to see how I’m progressing? Tune into my Instagram for updates.
What affirmation would you like set for yourself this month?
Cover photo from Pixabay by Alexas_Fotos, CC0.