The hardest thing for people isn't necessarily change itself, it's sticking with that change. It's trying not to slip when you want nothing more than that thing you can't have. It's having the will-power to stick to what you say you're going to do when it seems damn near impossible. It's not letting anyone stop you from doing exactly what it is you want to do even when they try. Often times, the commitment of a permanent change is the biggest challenge for people. If you're one of those people, here's some advice from me to you:
Remind Yourself Why You Started
I cannot possibly stress the importance of this enough. There are times when I have to stop and ask myself "Why the hell am I doing this?" This doesn't just apply to being a Vegan. It's the same for everything. Why am I torturing myself by studying so damn hard? Because I'm not content with being mediocre. Because my generation needs to be the ones to change the world. Because I, myself, will be the one to change the world. That may seem unrealistic, but no one worth while got anywhere without some seemingly outrageous claims. Reminding yourself why you started is a constant reassurance of why what you're doing isn't a total waste of time.
Set Cheat Days
I didn't do this and that's one of the major reasons the transition was so difficult for me. Most people I talk to started off being Vegan 3 or 4 days a week. They begin to add more and more days until, eventually, they become full-fledged Vegan. Well, I'm stubborn. I cut it all out at once. Now granted, I'm definitely not perfect. I went 3 months without a single slip. I'm now on month five and I've cheated 5 times. Things change; you have to adjust. For awhile I was really down on myself like "damn, I wasted all of my hard work." Then I realized that's only 5 out of 158 days! Am I really going to stress over 5 days when it only adds up to 3% of my time?
Don't Jump Into It All At Once
I know this contradicts Risky Business a little bit, but when I said that I mean't like a small hop, not the entire canyon. You can't cut out your bad behavior all at once. Well you can, but you're going to need a lot of will-power. If you can do this without wanting to die, more power to you. This is the one and only time I will ever tell you to be realistic. Don't expect to see the word "realistic" on this blog ever again.
I am a firm believer that I can DO anything I want. I can BE anything I want. I can GO wherever I want to. If you say you are going to fail, odds are, you will. Setting yourself up with a negative mindset only generates more negative energy. How can you possibly hope to be supported by others when you don't even support yourself? What if the president got up in front of the entire population and said "Well guys, odds are, I'm going to fail miserably." Would you want him to lead your country?.. Hopefully you answered no to that question.
Make it Fun
Why willingly torture yourself when there are other options? I like to prove people wrong. I'll admit it; I have no shame. It's sort of like a game for me. Not in all things, but definitely when it comes to being a Vegan. I made my roommate eat a Vegan cookie and she loved it. In the very beginning of the semester, we ordered Chinese food from the sketchy place down the street. I obviously got tofu, and she got chicken. She tried my tofu, loved it, and since then, has never ordered chicken. She doesn't know it yet, but I am slowly dragging her to the dark side. So make it entertaining. Life really is just a giant game anyway, am I right? But we'll save that for next time ;)
Animals are friends, not food.
Jasmine Millner :)