My green journey started back in 2007. I was a new mom and trying to make healthy changes… but it was more like being on a roller coaster called “trying to be green, and mostly getting it wrong.” Not really a fun ride.
However, with every new year, it felt like a fresh start. A new chance to get it right. But I’m sure you know how it is – we start off feeling really positive and then, when the practicality of life takes over, our resolutions begin to feel more like a chore.
So, the big question is: how do we not only make new changes, but make them stick!
I have a perspective on this. My journey ended up being long, a little random and a bit… backwards really… but because of that I learned some interesting things about motivation.
2011 rolled around. I had been reading a few blogs and feeling inspired. I wanted to create something of my own. I wanted to be more eco-friendly but, the truth is, it was all theory: I hadn’t figured out how to make it work in my life. But I’m impulsive… so I decided to start a blog about becoming more green! And so it began.
This was my very first post:
It’s funny, because back then I had no idea that starting the blog, would end up being the very thing I needed to change my life! A saying goes: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” So, looking backwards, this is how I learned to live my version of a green life. Viewed through your own lens, these lessons might make sense to you too.
Lesson #1: Give yourself permission to fail.
We’re often so focused on the final outcome, that if something doesn’t work out, we call it a failure. Even though I’ve “failed” a million times, my blog forced me to look at all the happy moments around them. Case in point: this DIY Bath Bomb Cupcake in the photo. By anyone’s definition, my bath bomb… bombed.
But at the end of the day it didn’t matter. My girls had fun making it. And I had fun with them. So I chalked it up as an all-around good day. Documenting these experiences for the blog helps me to see the positives, even without the success.
Lesson #2: Celebrate the wins.
If you’ve spent time with kids – you know the way they can do the slightest thing, and immediately it’s “Look at me! Watch this! Look what I can do!”
I think we adults should do more of that too. Sometimes I do get things right and with the blog, every week I get to share these wins. I’m basically being that kid saying: “Hey world! Look what I made!” and it makes me feel really, really good. So… I keep doing it.
Lesson #3: Surround yourself with people who inspire you.
This one has been huge for me. With Little Green Dot, I started seeking out people who were doing really cool things. Things that I wanted for myself: people who quit their day jobs to follow their passion; people who make cakes out of nuts; people who grow herbs and don’t kill them. People who work out, y’know, for fun. And… a lot of their habits started rubbing off on me!
Just being around them lifts me to be better. If there’s anything that you want for yourself, a good start is to find people who are already doing it.
Lesson #4: Find your true motivation.
I love that my lifestyle promotes a green planet, but to be honest with myself, that’s not why I’m doing this. I do it, because… it makes me happy. And that may sound selfish which is why not many people say that. But I think it’s important to know what triggers you, what really makes you happy – and to nourish it. Otherwise, when things get difficult, you’ll begin to resent the very thing you’re doing!
For me, I’ve realised that what triggers me – what makes me happy – is the act of creating and sharing. I like making things at home with my kids, photographing it, and sharing it with you – so that’s what I focus on. It keeps me wanting to learn more, try more, do more… it keeps me motivated.
Lesson #5: Be yourself.
I see these great champions out there doing amazing things: creating big initiatives, eating a vegan diet, going all the way to Parliament to effect change. But that’s not me, not right now. And even if my efforts seem small in comparison, I have to feel good about what I’m doing. This world doesn’t need me to be like everyone else, it needs me to be the best version of myself.
So I say, skip the years of wishing and wonder. Start now. Go after what you want and don’t be afraid to fail. Be a kid and celebrate your wins. Surround yourself around people who inspire you. Find your motivation and nourish it – and always be true to yourself. Before you know it you’ll be living the life that you dream of.
9 responses to “Lessons from an Accidental Environmentalist”
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Beautifully and succinctly put. I do enjoy your Saturday emails with my morning cup of tea!
Have a lovely weekend.
Thanks for taking the time out to share your thoughts with me! It brings a smile to face to know that 🙂
I enjoy reading your posts and what you write resonates with me as well. All our lives we are trying to come upto the expectations of the people around us…be it family, friends or our professional work groups. I personally find very little time to do what really makes me tick and find it quite frustrating to say the least.
Now I plan to change some of that and take time out to be the real me! 🙂
You nailed it – take time out to be the real you! I think this is going to be a great year of discovery and creativity!
Thanks for the inspiring words! Just what I need to start off the New Year!
Happy New Year and keep on the fantastic work!!
Hi Shabana! Happy New Year! Thank you for reaching out and giving me motivation! Let’s make this year happy, healthy and green!
Just beautiful!!! Thank you!!
Hi Lucy! you’re awesome, thanks for taking the time to pass along such a sweet message!
[…] sense of empowerment. There was another option – I can make it myself! That feeling changed everything for me and sent my life on a whole new, and very unexpected […]