So I’m not super wild about New Years Resolution but I have a few for this year! I think that you should make changes to your habits & goals as you realize them – instead of waiting until the start of the new year. Also, my birthday is at the end of the month so I usually wait until then to start whatever resolutions I decide on.
So the few that I have ready to go with the start of 2020 are to do more philanthropic work (donating + volunteering); being more conscientious of my diet, cosmetics + daily habits; and running more.
1: Do More Philanthropic Work
Growing up, all through grade school + college, I was so good about volunteering + making donations (financial or in-kind) to local non-profits. Since graduating, I have really fallen off the wagon with it. I think because growing up, there are so many readily available resources + clubs to get involved with. Once you graduate + start “adulting”, it’s a little harder to find time to volunteer – for me, I’m now limited to nights + weekends. Also, it takes a lot more work to research local organizations that you connect with + can work with.
So in 2020, I want to donate my time, money and/or resources to a different non-profit every month. My first choice is to actually go places + volunteer in-person, but I’m always down for a food drive or donating to a fundraiser!
One of the biggest misconceptions that I think so many people have aboutdonating is that even a donation of $20 helps to make a difference. When I was working with the American Cancer Society in college, I learned that $20 can provide 4x 1-hour of toll-free access to the National Cancer Information Center, purchase 2x Petri dish for cancer research, provide 50 test tubes needed by scientists working on a cure for cancer, or pay for 2x a one-year membership to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). For more info, you can check out this flyer here.
To start this resolution off, I donated to the Australian Red Cross to help support their efforts in the wake of the absolutely insane wildfires devastating Australia.
Here is a link to various organizations accepting donations if this is something you would like to donate to!
2: Run More
I started doing 5k’s + 10k’s my senior year of college + have since started doing half-marathons. I hated running prior to my senior year of college – I felt slow + so out-of-breath every single time. I didn’t understand because I was so fit from 10 years of USA Swimming so why did running make me so winded?
I avoided running at all costs when I swam + throughout college until my senior year. When I picked up running again I noticed a massive difference in the way it felt. Even though I was so strong from swimming, I really didn’t have great core or arm strength – two areas that studies have shown to contribute to running strength/endurance.
I had started Pure Barre in December 2015 + obsessively attended classes ~4x a week (which I still do). Pure Barre truly works your entire body. The goal is to make the mind-body connection to really target + engage the proper parts of you body to allow for controlled movements. So with bicep curls, for example, the goal is to really think about flexing the bicep to create movement – not just swinging from the elbows to curl the arm. With Pure Barre, your core is engaged for almost the entire class, too. This workout really creates muscular + cardiovascular endurance.
After attending Pure Barre classes for ~1.5 years, my core was the strongest it’s ever been (still is because I still go to barre!). I firmly believe the cross-training from Pure Barre has made such a huge difference in running.
3: Be More Conscientious with My Diet, Cosmetics, + Daily Habits
So there is a lot to this one…
In 2019, I started cutting out dairy + meat from my diet. I’ve seen so many of those uncover videos from dairy farms + meatpacking warehouses and the treatment of the animals + working conditions is honestly so gross.
So in 2020, I’m voting with my dollar.
I’m still learning the difference between plant-based + vegan, but bottom line up front, I want to cut out dairy + meat as often as possible. Although, I will not be cutting out seafood entirely since I live on the Chesapeake Bay. In terms of cutting out red meat/pork, I have never liked pork (nope, not even bacon) + have never really been into steaks or burgers (except for my annual 4th of July cheeseburger). So cutting out meat just comes down to cutting out chicken.
I have been really good about making various dairy- + meat-free lunches + dinners but when I go out to eat, it’s always so much harder! So my focus in 2020 is to be better about minimizing dairy + meat in meals whenever I eat out.
In 2019, I really made an effort to find dairy-free alternatives for coffee creamer, cheese, and yogurt. I was successful! I really think the dairy-free coffee creamers taste so much better than half-and-half or milk. As for cheese + yogurt, I legit cannot taste a difference with either.
Some of the products I have tried, can find in most groceries stores + recommend are…
- Coffeemate Natural Bliss Vanilla Almond Milk Creamer
- Nutpods coffee creamer – all flavors
- Silk Vanilla Almond Creamer
- Silk Yogurts – all flavors
- Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt
- Wegmans Store Brand Almond Milk Yogurts- all flavors
- Daiya cheeses + salad dressings
- Vega Protein bars – all flavors but chocolate caramel is my favorite
If you have any vegan/plant-based recommendations, please drop them in the comments below!
As far as cosmetics, I have been looking for brands that are cruelty-free. I have been switching everything I use to Tarte. The only daily products that I haven’t gotten to Tarte are my tinted moisturizer for my face + my eyeshadow primer. Everything else (mascara, foundation, eye shadow, bronzer,…) is Tarte.
I also like the products from Bare Minerals.
For other changes in my daily routine in efforts to be more environmentally friendly, I have really made sure to always use reusable shopping bags whether it’s the grocery store or at the mall. I love reusable bags – you can fit so much more in them + they’re so sturdy! I have a handful of Lilly Pulitzer ones that I have slowly snuck out of my mom’s car + into mine (hehe!). You can also get cheap ones from your favorite grocery store – they’re so easy to get a hold of.
I’ve also been doing the simple, seemingly silly, things like turning all the lights off when I leave a room + taking shorter showers. Not only are you saving electricity + water but you’re saving on those bills!
Later in the month, I will post about some of the other ways I have become more conscientious with my daily routines!
What are your goals + resolutions for 2020? Share in the comments below!