Sustainable habits are what the world needs in 2023—not resolutions.
It’s that time of year again. The festivities have lost their sparkle. We have eaten, drunk, given gifts, made merry. Now, we start over. Goodbye, 2022, with all the challenges you brought! Hello 2023, and a cleaner, greener slate.
As we end one cycle and begin another, many of us make pledges. But our New Year’s resolutions seldom last. In fact, research shows that 80% of them fail. So, what’s the solution?
Change your habits to change for good
Bagmaya recommends changing your habits. Resolutions fade, but habits form our routine. They become how we think and what we do. And that’s why bad habits are hard to break. Habits stick.
As a world, we need to mend our ways. After all, we are on the brink of climate catastrophe. To confront this—constructively—we can choose to think global but act local. Sustainable changes to our daily actions make a difference. By starting somewhere, we can make waves.
So, here’s how to change for good in 2023.
Know why you are changing
If you want to have better, greener habits, you need to know. Of course, it’s the same with anything. If you don’t know your motivation for doing something, it will be less successful.
Your reasons for adopting eco-friendly, sustainable habits in 2023 could be personal. Perhaps you are concerned about pollution or litter in your hometown. Maybe you wish you could access greener, cheaper energy.
Or, your motive could be altruistic. You might be passionate about vegetarianism, slow fashion, or combatting the effects of climate change in developing countries. Whatever your reason, it helps to know it and articulate it. Whether by journaling, writing a note on your phone, mind-mapping your motives, or simply explaining them yourself in your head, stating your ‘why’ is crucial. It helps you change for good.
Study your current habits
Next, study your current habits.
First, begin by thinking about your typical day. Consider the less sustainable habits you have. Where is there wiggle room for change? Once you become aware, you can spot opportunities.
Many of us start our days under running water. Showers are better than baths. But do you know how long you shower for? Do you waste the water while it’s warming? Or do you collect it for watering the plants? Is the tap off or on when you clean your teeth? And what about when you tackle the washing up?
Then, think about your commute too. When you move around, how often do you and others in your household walk, cycle, drive, share a ride, take the bus, tram, or train? Perhaps you could tip the balance in favour of greener methods.
Next, food and drink. Perhaps you already use a travel mug. Maybe you own a water bottle too. Some of us are pros when it comes to packing a lunch, helping to avoid unnecessary plastic waste (and expense). Others are committed vegans or vegetarians. Flexitarianism is increasingly popular. Buying local, organic food helps too. Awareness of reducing food waste, by composting or even food sharing, is a great habit to cultivate. Growing vegetables in the garden or micro greens on the windowsills are nice initiatives.
Lastly, in your free time, what do you do to relax? Finding space and time for nature would be great, too.
Yes, they might seem like little things. But our choices create our habits. Together, they form the bigger picture of our sustainability profile.
Choose sustainable habits that work for you
It’s good to be selective. If you want to adopt more eco-friendly habits in 2023, it helps to play to your strengths. But what does that mean?
Essentially, changing is easier if it helps you, as well as other people. If a change feels good, if it’s enjoyable, you are much more likely to keep it up.
In practice, this means being a bit clever. If you suffer on a lower protein diet, veganism might not be the most sustainable habit for you. But that does not mean all your green ambitions have to go out of the window! Just focus on the enjoyable habits you already have, then add in a greener element.
Experts call this technique “habit stacking”. You take an existing habit and stack something new before, alongside, or after it. For example, maybe you love listening to music while getting ready to leave the house. You could add an extra song to listen to, just three minutes, while you go around turning off the lights and electrical devices. Stacking a green habit on top of an existing one helps you change for good.
Live out (not shout out) your sustainable habits
Our actions affect other people’s actions. Psychologists call this “social proof”. When we see people doing something, we feel we should do the same. So when you adopt sustainable habits, and follow this commitment through every day, you do have an impact. You do not need to shout about it.
But dialogue is good.
Hope you enjoyed our first blog of 2023. Making New Year’s resolutions can be tempting but they usually don’t last. Turn your resolutions into creating sustainable habits and be amazed by your accomplishments at the end of the year. If you know someone who would find this article interesting, you can share it with them directly below. Adding a personal message might help.