Work out every day.
Be more productive in my work.
The list of common new years resolutions and goals goes on and on. And while these are all great things to strive for, here are a few you might consider adding to your list this year.
What’s great about these resolutions is that they’ll create a ripple effect in your life. If you stick to them, you might just experience ongoing benefits for not only yourself, but the people and world around you as well.
1. Eliminate Toxins (in food/products and in our personal lives)
The past two years we’ve been much more conscious about the amount of chemicals and toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis. We’ve made many changes to the personal care and cleaning products we use on our bodies and in our home. Cancer recently took the life of Dan’s mother and many of the chemicals found in these products have been linked to cancer. We refuse to take any chances that will increase our risks of developing that awful disease and encourage our loved ones to do the same.
If you’re unaware of the chemicals that you’re being exposed to in nearly every product on the shelves these days, maybe these alarming facts and statistics will help you:
- “Of the more than 80,000 chemicals currently used in the United States, most haven’t been adequately tested for their effects on human health.” – The Natural Resources Defense Council
- The Food and Drug Administration does not have the authority to remove harmful ingredients from our personal care products. The law does not require these products and ingredients, other than color additives, to have FDA approval before they go on the market.
- “Decades of studies indicate that serious health issues (including but not limited to asthma, cancer, and infertility) are on the rise and are due in some part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals—whether it’s in the shower, on our commute, while we eat lunch at a local restaurant, or when we clean our kitchens at home”. – Beautycounter
- Our water isn’t even safe. According to the Environmental Working Group, “Nitrate pollution of U.S. drinking water may be responsible for up to 12,594 cases of cancer a year”. The EWG also estimates that the average woman uses 12 personal care products daily, exposing her to 168 unique chemicals per day!
…and we wonder why things like infertility, autism, attention-deficit disorder, and cancer and other diseases are on the rise.
We don’t share any of this to scare you, but rather to educate you. When my eyes were first opened to this, I felt a responsibility to spread the word to others.
It’s equally as important to be aware of what you’re putting on and around your body as it is to what you’re putting in your body.
We’d love to share some of our favorite resources for understanding what chemicals are the most harmful, how to check for and avoid them, and also our favorite alternatives. We’ve tried out many cleaner, safer products for your body, family, and home and are happy to share which ones we find to be the best.
It’s nearly impossible to completely eliminate toxins entirely, however. You can’t simply trust that a company is “organic” or “100% natural” based on it’s label. It’s really up to YOU to be your own advocate and be aware of what your exposing yourself to and the risks involved. But, we’re here to help so message us!
In fact, I personally have become so passionate about this area that in 2018 I joined a company that formulates, advocates, and educates in order to get safer products into the hands of everyone. I’m an open book, if you want more information.
Okay, enough of that rant.
When it comes to toxins though, we’re not just talking about ingredients and chemicals.
It’s also likely that you have some people, thoughts, and other things that are toxic in your life.
It’s time for you to take inventory on these types of toxins, too.
We all have people, even family members, that can be detrimental to our own well being in various ways. People who cut you down, drain you with their negativity, or hurt you time and time again.
Or maybe it’s a thing, like your job, your living environment, your habits and/or addictions?
Perhaps, as hard as it is to admit, YOU might also be a toxin to yourself. Your thoughts, your limiting beliefs, your fears, your self-criticism…are they poisoning you, too?
Whatever it is that’s devaluing your self-worth and/or having a negative impact your health (physical and emotional) and happiness, IT NEEDS TO GO. It’s really hard, if not impossible, to make positive changes in your life otherwise.
2. Decrease Waste (both environmentally and in our daily choices)
As humans, we’re often quick to think about our caring for our bodies, houses and families, but then can neglect to think about caring for our Earth and environment. We’re always concerned about bettering and protecting ourselves, but we could absolutely do a better job of protecting our planet.
Sure, most of us know better than to litter, we do our best to reuse and repurpose old things, etc. But it’s about much more than that.
Living the full-time RV lifestyle was a huge eye opener to us as it relates to our environmental footprint and practices. First of all, it made us highly aware of water consumption, as we were limited to our 30-gallon tank when boondocking. We would do everything in our power to save water – even going 3-4 days without showering. But then when living in a house, we’d hardly think twice about taking 20 minute showers every day or letting the water run as we brushed our teeth.
In an effort to save water, we even developed other bad habits like using paper and plastic to avoid having to wash dishes. Or purchasing bulk plastic water bottles for drinking water. We also confess, we weren’t great at recycling. Waste management is a bit more difficult (but doable!) when living in an RV.
So now, we’ve made a resolution to reduce the amount of waste we produce. Here are a few things we plan to do that may be helpful ideas for you, too.
- Reduce pollution through transportation. We own one car and intend to keep it that way. Take any opportunity to walk or ride your bike somewhere instead of driving!
- Keep a recycling bin next to the trash as a reminder.
- Shop thrift stores more often.
- Go digital! Decrease paper usage by making paperwork electronic. E-bills, fill-able PDFs instead of worksheets, scan and/or save electronic documents and keep folders on your computer instead of printing and filing.
- Buy reusable over disposable items.
- Clean up trash on your walks. Leave parks, trails, and open spaces better than you found them.
- Shorter, more efficient showers, dish washing, laundry, and lawn care.
- Use less plastic bags!!! They are destroying our environment and killing wildlife and we just can’t be okay with that. Bring cloth tote bags to the grocery store instead.
We’re all guilty of a different kind of waste, too.
We waste our time.
We waste our money.
We waste our talents.
We even waste our energy by prioritizing what’s not always most important.
Just as our planet is precious, so are you and so is your life, which we all know is fragile and far too short.
We are so far from perfect (or rich) but we do budget religiously and know where every dollar of our earnings goes each month. If you’d like help with a budgeting process, check out our budgeting program called Finance Your Detour. We’ll teach you how we work together as a couple to reach our financial goals, avoid arguing over money, and never let finances stop us from traveling and doing the things we love.
We’re firm believers in this quote:
The money we’ve spent on travel has never felt “wasted”. But the junk that you buy that will eventually collect dust in your basement might be a different story.
We always hear people say they can’t afford to travel and while for some people, that might be the case. But for many others, it’s about prioritizing what you spend your money on. Are there things you’re wasting your money on like expensive lattes every day or clothes you’ll only wear a couple times, etc?
The other things…time, talents, energy…well, those are just plain tough to preserve and we struggle with it ourselves. One thing we do know is that using your time wisely is often a matter of developing healthy habits. A great book to help you do this is called Atomic Habits.
We’ve also found that wasting your talent is often a result of fear and we’re pretty passionate about pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone and we strongly believe that overcoming fear is the best way to grow. Might I suggest reading the book I wrote and self-published called Follow Your Detour? It talks A LOT about how life didn’t go “my way”, but how I let go of my pain, conquered my fears, and found the real me.
The main point here is not to waste the opportunity to become who you’re meant to be. Live intentionally and live NOW rather than “someday”.
3. Less Virtual More Reality
Less clicking heart buttons more offering actual love.
Less counting followers more valuing true relationships.
You get the point here.
Social media and the online world can be a blessing and a curse. While it connects us in so many great ways, it’s also made many people feeling lonelier than ever. It allows us to share parts of ourselves with others, but can also make us more judgmental, cause us to compare ourselves and gives us a false sense of reality.
We all know it, but need the reminder: social media is not usually an accurate representation of someone’s real life. We often assume we know someone, their life, their problems, etc. based on what they’ve posted online.
We do it ourselves, too, and often only show the pretty parts of our lives. It’s easy to get caught up in somewhat of a fantasy world and forget that behind every profile photo is a real person with real struggles and emotions. I often see people post, comment, and share things they would never say face-to-face.
Don’t get me wrong though, I know there are a lot of great things happening through social media. But the truth is, we were created with a need for human connection and closeness and there’s only so much of that you can get through social media. When was the last time you picked up the phone and actually called an old friend rather than shoot them a Facebook message or comment on their Instagram photo?
I think we could all benefit from making a conscious effort to reach out to people more – call someone out of the blue to say hi, send an actual letter in the mail, invite someone out for coffee or lunch. Social media and technology has made us all a little socially lazy.
We’re really quick to send a friend request to a stranger online, or offer a piece of advice in a Facebook group, or even compliment someone in a comment on their photo…but do we do that with the people we work with, pass on the streets, or live near?
Just some things we’ve been thinking about personally and thought I’d share in case it could inspire some changes in others as well. Most years, I set resolutions and goals that are very specific to my unique situation and what I’m going through during that season of my life. This year I felt differently and decided to set some intentions that extended beyond my own personal bubble.
I hope this year for me is more about my impact on the world, versus the world’s impact on me.
Will you join me?
Share in the comments…
What are some other goals, thoughts, intentions you have in the new year that you’d like to share with others?
Those are thoughtful and helpful resolutions. I hope many that read this take them into consideration and live intentionally regarding these things. I have never been a litter bug but wasn’t the best at recyling till 2008 when moved to Belgium where it is forced upon you or you are fined. Reusable bags are all you have as an option and from there it steamrolled. I loved you mentioned water usage as I am big on this and loved ones tolerate me with….lovingly reminding them..okay maybe nag at times about turning water off while in shower between certain things. It… Read more »
Great read! Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I chose a word this year. It is submit. Working on my relationship with my Heavenly Father and doing devotional plans with friends and family across the country and working on Gods definition of submitting to God first, then my husband in a manner of healthy respect and honor. Building people up that I know are going through challenges and focusing on encouraging them.