Written by Akansha Gupta
For 16 years of my life, I’ve been a sporadic vegetarian. First, I make a pact with myself and promise to stick to veggies, grains, fruits and dairy, but then I catch the glorious smell of chicken nuggets and promptly forget all my promises. 2015 was supposed to be the year to change all years; I became determined to take a stand. My New Year’s resolution was to stick to a vegetarian diet.
Did I keep my resolution or not? Well, that depends on your definition of vegetarian. If by vegetarian, you simply mean no meat, then I kept my resolution. However, if you consider poultry and fish non-vegetarian like the Vegetarian Society does, then I failed spectacularly.
For the first few months, I almost convinced myself that my conversion to vegetarianism was complete. My mother is vegetarian and she enthusiastically supported me by banning non-vegetarian food from the house. I was so puffed-up with (false) pride in my willpower that I barely had the opportunity to crave meat.
My resolve remained intact all the way until March when I accidentally bought a chicken sub. Despite my purported vegetarian status, I ate the entire thing. In my defense, I was hungry. Eating the sandwich was like opening a floodgate because I suddenly became conscious of how much I was giving up. I think I became a little crazy; I started having conversations with the devil on my shoulder. It told me that I had broken my resolution once, and it asked me if it mattered if I broke it again. For the next two months, I barely paid any attention to my resolution. My resolve had crumbled.
However, sometime in May, I was reminded of the pesky, little nuisance I called “The Resolution.” This time it was harder to stick to tofu and veggies than it had been the first time. During Turkey Feast, I might have tried a piece of turkey. Other than that, however, I haven’t tasted anything that once had scales, fur or feathers for seven months.
I was vegetarian for 10 months out of 12 last year. In conventional terms, I didn’t quite keep my 2015 New Year’s resolution or pact of vegetarianism. But I don’t consider the attempt a failure either. I am proud of myself for making a resolution and doing my best to stick to it. Trying to keep my resolution made 2015 interesting for me. It was a learning experience. Now, I know I have more willpower than I expected, but I also know my determination is fallible.
New Year’s resolutions are spectacular ways to dare yourself to step out of your comfort zone. Even if you fail, they make you cognizant about your limits and better prepared to make a next one the following new year. Making a New Year’s resolution and adhering to it is challenging. But if done right, the reward is immense.