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Prep for New Year New You - Part 2

Last week I gave you some advice. Read it in full here, but TLDR:

  • Write your New Year's goals/resolutions down and put aside for now.

  • Do one thing that you enjoy - that you haven't been doing - for at least 5 minutes per day.

The above two things are pretty transformative, and I'll tell you why:

Writing down your goals has been shown to increase the likelihood of you accomplishing them. Check out this article on the neuroscience behind it all. So I say - just do it. It's free.

In 2023 I started a series of notebooks to manage each area of my life. There was so much going on with kids, home, finances, work, and more - I decided to treat each area as a work stream and these books help keep me on track. However, my favorite notebook is Life Notes, where I write down inspiration, lessons learned, dreams, goals, etc. I'll be going through this notebook before the end of the year to write down my progress.

Next, doing something differently every day that you wouldn't typically do, that you enjoy, is YOU actively changing your life and bringing more joy into it. It seems simplistic. Well, yeah, it is.

This practice, called "taking action every day toward your joy," is extremely important, according to me - and plenty of philosophers and writers and artists and people who constantly think about the nature of being a human.

I personally think this is what Joseph Campbell meant when he said "Follow your bliss," and what Howard Thurman meant, who said "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

Happy people make the world a happier place. THINK ABOUT IT.

So this "do one thing that brings you joy everyday, even for just five minutes" practice will show you how a small step can change your life. And as you roll up into January with big dreams for 2024, you'll already have proof that making a minor tweak to your day can have a huge impact.

Another benefit of this practice is learning to dissolve false beliefs.

What I mean is, if your inner monologue is telling you that you don't have time, it would be selfish to start doing something you like every day, you might fail at it so you won't start, you should be putting that extra five minutes toward your full-time job, your kids should get that attention because your job gets the rest...just learn to let that stuff go. Really.

You are a human on this planet. You deserve to be happy. EVEN IF IT'S JUST FOR FIVE MINUTES PER DAY.

Anecdotally, I can tell you, when I decide to put my health and joy first as a daily practice, I become a better worker, friend, family member and parent. Of course there are days when I can't do that stuff (my kids had about 7 stomach bugs this year - that required very hands-on management), but I know that eventually, I'll shift back into my daily practice and it will be amazing.

So the negative thoughts and false beliefs come up, and you can say to your brain: "These thoughts are not helpful, but thank you for trying to protect me, brain I will be putting these thoughts aside and continue onward."

You're lighting a spark inside yourself that will give you the momentum to follow through on those bigger changes, such as changing your diet (whether it's veganuary or something else), working out more, meditating, picking Darren's Dance Moves back up - whatever!

We still have 10 days left in the year. Plenty of time for getting started on your daily joy practice. Plenty of time to start building momentum towards a bigger life shift in the new year.

In the words of world-renowned poet Taylor Swift, "Are you ready for it?"

Stay tuned - next week I'll have my veganuary guide available!

Today's Plant Powered Pick

I had the pleasure of trying some cookies from this company - and let me tell you - PHENOMENAL. I haven't had a sugar cookie in 5-6 years, which is when I went vegan. Receiving a package from this company changed all that.

Rey Ortega is the founder of Sun Flour Baking Company, and I interviewed him for the first episode of the Plant Powered Podcast!

Rey is a 30-year vegan who started his first business, The Alternative Baking Company, in 1994.

Listen and learn:

  • How Rey "accidentally" became a vegetarian when he was a teenager as he was trying to understand why he was constantly getting ill.

  • Why it was difficult for him to go against cultural norms in choosing a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.

  • How he effortlessly lost weight in the process of improving his diet.

  • What if felt like when he started to join the vegan/vegetarian/natural foods community.

"Changing my diet changed the whole path of my entire life, in an amazing way." - Rey Ortega


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