So you’ve made it to the end of your 31 day Veganuary pledge with style…now what? There’s life after Veganuary, and here’s how to live it!
First things first, we believe there are some serious congratulations to be shouted from the rooftops!
Dear everyone who took our life-changing, record-breaking, class of 2019 Veganuary Pledge. We would like to say well done, well damn done, to every single one of you! You’ve managed to undertake a life-affirming challenge by changing your diet and lifestyle for a whole month, and that’s no mean feat. So whilst you pat yourselves quite merrily on the back, and reward yourself with now-discounted vegan mince pies, allow us to guide you through the next few steps on your vegan journey (training wheels not included).
Your Next Steps as a Vegan
By now, you’ll have most likely sussed the best vegan options at your local restaurants and you’ll be all too familiar with the free-from isles in your local supermarkets. You’ve mastered milk replacements and fallen in love with meat alternatives – needless to say, the majority of your hard work as a newbie vegan is done! So where do you go from here?
Whilst you were guided and motivated by the challenge of Veganuary, it can sometimes seem a little daunting to think that you must now upkeep this way of living…well, indefinitely. But as you begin to take your next tentative steps into the lesser-guided month of February, and indeed the rest of your foreseeable future as a vegan, there’s a few important things to remember when it comes to remaining motivated, focused and determined to stay on track with your plant-based lifestyle.
Remember Why You Started
When motivation was low, and whenever I struggled with cravings, pangs or lusts for an animal product I previously consumed, I aways managed to re-focus myself by visualising the reasoning behind my dietary overhaul. For me, it was all about the health. So in times of craving, I began to remember all that I had read in literature regarding plant-based diets and optimum health, and this memory recall helped me to overcome challenging times when I questioned my drive to continue. Perhaps you have a specific reason for taking the Veganuary pledge this year, or maybe you watched a documentary which altered your views? It’s worth keeping these motivating factors in mind for the first few months of being vegan, during which temptations may catch your eye.
How Great Do You Feel?
I think one of the most noticeable and frequently occurring changes reported by our pledges year upon year is the amount of sheer energy they obtain from powering themselves using plants alone. There’s so many health benefits to undertaking a vegan diet, and by now, you should be starting to recognise your body glowing from the inside out. This internal glee is a manifestation of health and compassion through your diet! Embrace the feeling, and let it motivate you forwards.
You’ll Inspire Others
The acts which you engage in every day are those which will inspire and provoke others to attempt going vegan themselves. One of the best forms of activism is to be proactive in your vegan diet and lifestyle. Leading by your shining plant-based example (naturally!), you’ll soon have people close to you asking for your advice. Whether it be top tips for reducing milk consumption or a recommendation for your favourite meatless Monday recipes, every little piece of advice counts as an act of proactive activism. Who knows, you might even help to inspire the next generation of Veganuary participants!
Take New Steps Every Day
Going vegan is a journey, not an overnight transformation, and I truly believe this to be the most beneficial way to help you move forward with your life after Veganuary. Once these initial weeks have concluded, and you find yourself facing a variety of new challenges as a vegan let loose into the world, it will always be of use to remember to tackle new situations one step at a time. Finding your feet will take time. Crucially, your journey into a vegan lifestyle is just that, yours! This is your diet, your choice and your lifestyle (no-one else’s). Take each day as it comes, and make monthly goals related to your vegan lifestyle to keep you on track. Be that buying a new range of eco-friendly cleaning products, or donating your old omni-foods to charity – small, steady steps will accumulate over time and result in marked, successful changes which become habitual.
Moving forward into your vegan life may bring with it a little apprehension. Most critically though, just bear in mind how far you’ve come since day 1 of your challenge. Be optimistic, fuelled by the knowledge that you are a part of an influential population, hoping to bring compassion and kindness back into our world, and that’s pretty awesome in our opinion.
Did you love your Veganuary journey? Why not encourage a friend to try it too?