There are a host of reasons why people opt out of a green lifestyle. You might have heard or expressed similar concerns yourself: “There is just too much effort involved in living a sustainable lifestyle. Or, “I can’t afford to make sustainable changes. Sustainable living does not apply to my life. I am already living a green lifestyle.”
Whether in business or in your personal life, sustainability is a personal journey that does not have an end or have a state of completion. Too often we find our clients focused on the “top of the mountain.” They become overly concerned with the gap between where they are and a far-reaching reference point or comparison they have defined for themselves.
When clients first come to me, one of the first questions I ask them is, “What motivates you to go green?” I’m always inspired by the answers. A most common response is, “I want to do my part.” The “my” in “my part” is about responsibility – personal responsibility. That can mean eating responsibly for heath purposes, saving energy to save money and resources, or taking eco action at work to build a better vision for the company and the community in which it operates.
So a personal sustainability plan begins with an individual accepting responsibility to explore, discover and create powerfully in one’s life. As a sustainability consultant, my work is to direct that focus with an environmental mindset. How does that happen? By encouraging clients to:
• Define and focus on sustainability concepts that are uniquely inspiring to that individual.
• Be aware and try to limit external comparisons as a means for defining action.
• Incorporate sustainable actions that easily fit into your current lifestyle.
• Place actions that become difficult on the shelf until they match your lifestyle.
• Focus more on the process and less on the results of sustainable living.
• Remember that it will never all be done.
• Find the joy in making sustainable changes.
It’s important to note, a personal sustainability plan is a journey: you never get it done and its continually evolving. Creating personal benchmarks and celebrating personal achievements is important for long term motivation. A rewarding day for me is sharing in the celebration of a client’s success!