Ah … the crisp (frigid) January bite of our brand spanking New Year; 2014! Had to concentrate extra hard to put a 4 instead of a 3 … habits, y’know? Speaking of habits, the new year is the most popular time to change ’em; break bad ones, start good ones, or at least think about it between episodes of Duck Dynasty.
To go forward, I’m gonna look backward, all the way back to last year. We stared down that nasty Mayan Apocalypse and guess who blinked? We looked at resolution mania in a small, medium and big picture kind of way i.e. gave it a personal, local and global outlook. These resolutions become revolutions, with enough steam.
We started big; yup, with waistlines. The number 1 resolution most people make is to lose weight. The fact that obesity now tops hunger in North America and the whole wide world, may have something to do with it. This breaks down to (you guessed it):
My favourite diet advice was summed up by Michael Polan in a mere 7 words “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. “Eat food” to avoid overly processed science experiments with unpronounceable ingredients. “Not too much” is that portion control thing. “Mostly plants” means getting more fruits and veggies in your diet. In the bigger picture, by shopping organic and/or from local farmers, our food choices help curb climate change as well as our waistlines.
There are many great reasons to start exercising (though my favourite is to eat more delicious yummy food). One of the best ways to exercise is to build it into your day. Since you already have to drag yourself to work or run errands, why not make that time uber-energizing and activate your commute by walking or biking? We’re learning that the more people travel actively in a city, the slimmer the entire population becomes. A walkability and weight study shows a 36% lower obesity rate in walkable neighbourhoods in Toronto. Check your walkscore here to see how your neighbourhood stacks up.
Our next revolution was all about getting our sh … um, act together and getting organized. As part of operation organization, we can use that wallet voting power to buy less garbage, quality over quantity. It’s not a bargain if you bought it half price, but it sits in the back of the closet as moth food. Though one person’s trash can be another’s treasure … the premise of Operation Green, a great project by busy Med students salvaging med supplies for developing countries. De-cluttering, managing our money, getting out of debt and getting off the procrastination station; these are all ways that we get our act together. And I’m going to do a whole whack of these … tomorrow.
The next favourite swear-to-God-I’ll-do-it-this-time is to rock your detox … quit smoking, quit drinking, and live cleanly (think the opposite of Lindsay Lohan). As if you didn’t have enough reasons to quit smoking already, just producing cigarettes has a heavy environmental toll, like 1 tree cut for every 300 cigarettes (that’s one tree for every one and a half cartons) plus pesticides, plus fuel, plus plus. Unlike smoking where none is too many, a few drinks can actually be quite beneficial to your health. If you can drink moderately, check out some local wineries and craft breweries that might even grow their grapes and hops organically.
While we’re on the subject of detoxing, who knew how much we expose ourselves to when we get ready every morning. Personal care products can be filled with the so-called dirty-dozen that we absorb through our largest organ (your skin, what were you thinking?). From body to abode, there’re lots of ways to clean without carcinogens. Many of these green cleaners will save you some money … sustainable 2 ways … like revolution 2.
The final revolution is bigger than the both of us: to connect. Though we love seeing you socially on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube (so totally fun! In our completely unbiased opinions) we really want you to de-screen, after you finish reading this blog, of course. Spend quality time with family and friends, maybe volunteer your time (which may be a great place to meet the love of your life … not that that’s why we do it :)).
In the ultimate good-karma trade off, helping others can help you forget your own problems and feel good about yourself. Find a cause that really means something to you and get involved. It could be the environment, a hospital, delivering meals to the aged, walking dogs at a shelter, answering a distress line…these are all fulfilling things that keep us connected. And that, my friend, is bigger than the both of us.
All the best to your New Year’s Revolution plan, what ever it may be.