Hey Eco Heros,

Wow! We’ve come to the end of another year!!

Which means if you’re like most of the population you’ll be setting some new year’s resolutions.

One of the things I like to do at this time of year is to reflect on where I’m at, where I’ve come from, and where I want to go….. in life and business in general of course, but I also like to hone in on where I’m at eco-wise.

That’s right, I set green goals.

And in this post I’m going to share with you an easy little ritual I do that helps me clear the decks so I can start the New Year with a bang.

Let’s dive in!

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With the craziness of Christmas behind us, now, as we move towards New Year’s Eve, is best time of year for reflection.

But saying that, please don’t ever wait for a new year to swing around to reflect on your green goals. It’s great to do when you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or even at stages throughout the year – perhaps at the end of each quarter.

Regardless of when you do it, this process will help you set yourself up for a greener, healthier and more self-sufficient life.

Now what I’m talking about is just four simple questions that will help you take stock of where you’re at. They’ll also help you to clarify any learnings you’ve had in recent times as well as let go of all the crap and green guilt you’re hanging onto……

And I promise it’s not a huge, time-consuming review process. Who’s got time for that?!

I’m all for simple, effective and fast processes – green goals for the win!

To work with me as you read this post, download the one-page New Year’s Green Goals worksheet here  and fill it out as you go along.

The review simply requires you to ask yourself these four questions:

Question #1 – What change or changes did I make this year that I’m super-duper proud of?

In the fast-paced modern world, so many of us fail to look back on all the small things we’re achieving along the way but I can’t stress the power of this process of reflection!

In fact, it’s by looking back and taking stock of all the small accomplishments you’ve made along the way, where you can see your progress and be proud and confident at how far you’ve come on your eco journey.

So, what did you do, what did you create, what greener changes did you make this year that you’re really, really proud of? It can be something small, or something big!

This question is really important.

Too many of us are super critical of ourselves, and we often head into New Year feeling deflated or even beating ourselves up about what we didn’t do.

Let’s swing that around into some positive energy and instead, tackle the New Year with a spring in your step.

Own your accomplishments, however small.

Be proud of them!

For me this year, I’m super-duper proud of us getting back into our organic veggie patch. It’s been neglected over the past few years while we were knee-deep in the trenches juggling babies, household, business (me) and full time work (Paul). But this year we decided we were ready to get back into the garden, and over a couple of days at Easter we dived straight in and were rewarded with a bumper winter/spring crop of home-grown vegetables!!

I also created and launched Self Sufficiency in the Suburbs …. a membership club where I work closely with several hundred eco-minded souls who are intent on living a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable life. I can’t tell you how proud I am to have created this resource.

But how about you…. What green change or changes did you make this year that you’re super-duper proud of?

Write them down in the FREE worksheet.

Question #2 – What mistakes did I make that taught me something? What lessons did I learn?

Oh yes, this one’s so important too!

Mistakes are never mistakes – they’re learning opportunities!

While it can be hard to see our stuff ups as learning opportunities at the time, reflecting on them with a birds eye view at the end of the year helps us see where we can do things better next time.

So, take a look back over your year…What are some of the things that didn’t go so well? And what can you do better next time?

Maybe you’ve found that come Thursday nights you’re ordering take away or buying convenience foods, because you’ve run out of real food in your fridge. Perhaps planning your meals and shopping to plan might help you more here.

Did you set up a worm farm only to kill all the critters? Maybe next time you can place them in a cooler location and flush more regularly with water.

Did you make your own beauty or body product with essential oils, only to burn your skin because you used “hot oils” that needed to be diluted more? Perhaps just stick to a safe pure essential oil like lavender until you learn more about how to safely use essential oils in your beauty regime.

Did you plant some seedlings only to have none of them take off? Perhaps you didn’t add enough of the right nutrients to the soil or you didn’t test your soil’s pH before you started. I can tell you with my hand on my heart that a few years ago, I planted our entire veggie patch with seedlings I’d raised from seeds only to have … wait for it…..none of them grow…..simply because I didn’t test and adjust our soil’s pH first.

I haven’t made that mistake again!

For me this year thankfully I didn’t have any major eco flops.

Well, unless you call buying four hens and having one of them turn into a rooster a mistake!

We’ll check more carefully next time. 😉

But how about you…. What eco flops did you have this year that taught you something? What lessons did you learn?

Now the third question requires you to be really honest with yourself.

Question #3 – What Am I Willing To Let Go Of Right Now?

I hear comments like these from my clients all the time……..

“I don’t have time to cook”

“I kill everything I grow”

“I can’t live without bleach / multipurpose spray / my favourite perfume”

“It’s too hard to be more self-sufficient”

These are all stories, excuses, beliefs that aren’t serving you.

They’re cluttering your mind and stopping you from creating a simpler, more sustainable life.

So, basically when you answer question 3 I want you to list anything that isn’t serving you and the lifestyle you’re trying to create.

It could be a belief, it could be commitments you’re stuck in which you hate and they sap your energy and time, it might even be your social media habit!

Just honestly list what you’re ready to let go of in order to create an ecoceptional life you’ll love.

For me?

I’m going to let go of physical clutter.

I’ve been so busy raising my young family and building a conscious business that my house has accumulated stuff. And this stuff gets in the way.

It might make me late for an appointment because I can’t find what I’m looking for. But really, it just weighs me down.

So this New Year’s I’m going to let go of physical clutter.

But more specifically, I’m going to let go of my belief that “I don’t have time to sort through my stuff” because I know that’s just not true.

What beliefs do you have or what stories are you telling yourself that are stopping you from creating an ecoceptional life?

Question #4 – What Are You Going to Do in the Year Ahead to Live More Sustainably?

What are you going to change?

What are you going to create?

What are you going to achieve?

And more importantly, what are you going to stop doing in order for you to achieve your green goals?

Write or type them into the Green Goals Worksheet and for bonus points set a date when you’ll achieve your goals by.

Early in 2017 I’ll start to seriously go through stuff in our home. I’ll go through our kids clothing and pass on clothes that are too small, toys that are no longer loved, and my own wardrobe and belongings too. And I’ve already booked the kids in holiday care and blocked out my work schedule to enable me to do this.

So, let’s bring on a greener 2017 together!

Had some great AHA’s from this post? Share your answers to the Green Goal questions below. I’d love to hear what you’re going to do in the year ahead to live more sustainably!

Happy New Year!


Laura

Laura

Laura Trotta is one of Australia’s leading home sustainability experts. Fusing her professional expertise as an environmental engineer with the down-to-earth pragmatism that comes from being a busy mum, Laura is an eco thought leader who’s not afraid to challenge the status quo.
Laura