Jan 092012

A guest post by Betsy Lawrence, AKA “yogaprof,” the founder of Belles and Baskets

I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions: When I want to make a change in my life, I tend to just do it. However, this past fall, I made two vows. Here’s a look at how they have gone.

In September 2011, I went on a trip to Yellowstone National Park, and while I have always tried to bring reusable cups with me, I haven’t always been successful; I forgot to bring a mug with me to Wyoming. There I was in one of the most breathtaking spots on earth, buying lattes daily, and throwing the cups away. When I came home, I resolved that for a year I would not buy a hot drink unless I had my own cup with me.

This has been an easy vow to keep. I have three eight-ounce to-go cups and I keep one in the car, one in my office, and one in rotation to be cleaned. There has been only one day when I spontaneously met a friend for coffee and had no cup. She had a latte; I watched her drink it. No great harm done and it solidified my resolve to stick with my plan.

In addition to avoiding creating more waste, this vow has allowed for a couple of other positive changes. I have realized my favorite local coffee shops tend to have ceramic cups, while the huge chains do not, so that steers me to small businesses. In addition, I am forced into mindfulness about my purchases—I no longer just meander into a drive-through coffee stand without thinking about my actions. I need to plan to buy a latte and at times even have to say “no.”

When I started my cup-resolution, I began my second vow: to ride my bike at least once every calendar month for a year. I have been an active bike commuter for a few years, but have consistently put my bike away at the first sign of winter and brought it out again when I was certain it was spring. I made my resolution to extend my biking season.

To prepare for my plan, I outfitted myself with crocheted ear-warmers that attach to my helmet, warm, lobster-claw gloves, a wool-blend neck warmer, and (thanks to a gift from my husband) fabulous Sugoi thermal running pants; I then hoped that there would be at least one ice- and snow-free day each month.

Luckily for me, this winter has been exceptional for biking. The streets have been bare most days and aside from some cold and wind, the weather is lovely. Having my bike and the proper equipment accessible has made it easy to keep riding. While I won’t be cycling to work for a couple of months–it’s too cold for this girl to ride for nearly an hour in the early morning–it is easy to continue to run errands on my bike. I am within three miles of my grocery store, library, yoga studio, elderly dad’s apartment, and (thankfully) coffee shops that provide ceramic mugs.

I am convinced that my two resolutions are perfect. They are challenging, but certainly possible, and they allow me to do a couple of my favorite things, bike and drink coffee. I will continue to make small resolutions that contribute to the health of myself and my community—perhaps you will join me by doing the same.

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Posts by Betsy

Your Turn

  • OK, we’ll fall for the cultural norm: Do you have any resolutions, biking or otherwise, for 2012?

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