You’ve made it to the end of your 31-day Veganuary pledge… so how do you stay vegan? There’s life after Veganuary, and here’s how to live it!
First things first, we believe there are some serious congratulations in order! To everyone who took our life-changing, record-breaking Veganuary pledge, we would like to say well done to every single one of you.
You’ve managed to undertake a life-affirming challenge by changing your diet for a whole month, and that’s no mean feat. So while you pat yourselves quite merrily on the back and reward yourself with vegan treats, allow us to guide you through the next few steps on your plant-powered journey (training wheels not included).
Your Next Steps as a Vegan
By now, you’ve probably sussed the best vegan options at your local restaurants and you’ll be all too familiar with the free-from aisles 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! Where do you go from here?
Whilst you were guided and motivated by the challenge of Veganuary, it can seem a little daunting to think about living this way forever. But as you take your next tentative steps on your plant-powered journey, there are a few important things to remember when it comes to staying motivated, focused and determined to stay on track with your new lifestyle.
1. Remember why you started
When motivation is low, and whenever you struggle with meat and dairy cravings, pangs or lusts for an animal product you previously consumed, re-focus yourself. Remember the reason you started this journey in the first place.
If you became vegan for your health, for example, try to remember everything you’ve read about plant-based diets and optimum health, and this memory recall may just help you to overcome challenging times.
Perhaps you have an ethical reason for doing Veganuary this year, or maybe you watched a documentary that 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.
2. Think about how great you feel
One of the most noticeable and frequently occurring changes reported by Veganuary participants year after year is the amount of energy they obtain from powering themselves using plants alone.
There are so many health benefits of a plant-based diet, and you may already 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 drive you forwards.
3. Realise the power of individual change
The acts you engage in every day will inspire others to attempt to go 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, 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 vegan recipes, every little piece of advice counts as proactive activism.
Who knows, you might even help to inspire the next generation of Veganuary participants!
4. Go at your own pace
Going vegan is a journey, not an overnight transformation. There is no such thing as a perfect vegan; the sooner you accept this, the easier the transition will be.
Ultimately, 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 to keep you on track if that helps – that could look like buying a new range of eco-friendly cleaning products or reading a new vegan book.
It’s not a race or a competition. Small, steady steps will accumulate over time and result in marked, successful changes which become habitual.
5. Find your community
One of the best parts of continuing your vegan journey is finding like-minded people who’ve been in your shoes. Finding vegan friends may seem scary at first, but there are lots of local vegan social groups and communities like Vegan Runners for you to get involved in. If you have questions or dilemmas you need to get off your chest, your plant-based squad will be on hand to help.
Moving forward into your vegan life may bring with it a little apprehension. Just bear in mind how far you’ve come since day one of your challenge. Be optimistic, fuelled by the knowledge that you are a part of an influential population, hoping to inspire compassion and kindness in our world. And that’s pretty awesome in our opinion!
Did you love your Veganuary journey? Why not encourage a friend to try vegan too?