The organic route to a healthier and more sustainable way of life is reached by many different paths. Every organic enthusiast I know comes at it from a different perspective, and an organic lifestyle can often make it a complicated choice to maintain and advocate.
What I wished I’d know when I started …
The good news is that whatever your reasons are for making this positive life decision, there are some really easy ways you can make the switch without radically changing your habits, or breaking the bank!
The bad news is that informing your family and friends that you’re ditching the pesticides may not always solicit the most positive of responses. Even if you’ve made the decision with the full support of your immediate loved ones, you’ll still come into contact with plenty of other people who will do more than raise an eyebrow!
Not everyone will want to decry your new course – you’ll meet plenty of supportive folk along the way as well! Sooner or later, though you’ll come against everyday occurrences, where you’ll be forced to evaluate your new policy.
Borrowing from business …
This is why in the beginning, borrowing some tips from the world of business will help make your transition to an organic life easier.
1. Create a manifesto
Businesses are getting in on the act more commonly associated with political parties to make clear their policies by way of publishing a manifesto. Setting out your own organic manifesto will not only help you keep track of the ways in which you’re moving towards you’re chosen lifestyle, it’ll help you prepare policies in advance of those trickier moments, when you’re faced with what I call ‘will I/won’t I’ questions.
Get clear on what organic means to you;
- Is it just your kitchen that’s turning organic, or are you taking these principles into the bedroom, bathroom and garden as well?
- Does your version of organic need to be certified, or are you willing to accept local and unprocessed instead?
- Are your organic motivators combined with your ethical principles? Which comes first?
2. Prepare an elevator pitch
At the start of your organic journey, it’s worth bearing in mind that you’re unlikely to convert anyone to your way of thinking by preaching to them. By preparing a few well thought out responses to any interest people express in your new habits, you can act as an exemplary advocate to your cause.
The idea is that you’re in an elevator and have only a few short minutes to tell your story. You need to be concise and compelling, avoiding emotionally charged responses which will add fuel to any naysayer’s fire;
- Be clear on the reasons why making the switch to an organic life is the right choice for your family.
- Back up your own research and intuition with some facts and figures from industry sources such as The Organic Trade Association and The Soil Association.
- Remember that the same applies here as for parenting – people are ultimately more likely to be influenced by what you do, than what you say.
3. Issue a press release
Congratulations on starting out towards your good life! Feels good, doesn’t it? Now you must take the brave step and let your network of friends and family know. This helps you negotiate your way around potentially sticky moments such as present giving/receiving and dinner parties. It also provides you with some accountability if you’re tempted to step off the wagon. Here’s how to keep it real;
- Announce your intentions in an appropriate format: your Grandmother might not see your Facebook status 😉
- Remember the ‘don’t be preachy’ mantra: you’re an advocate, not a missionary.
- Set clear intentions: everyone likes to know where they stand.
Go with the flow …
By changing your lifestyle you’ll force others to question their own choices. The important thing to remember here is that they’re simply justifying their own life stance here, not really commenting on yours.
It’s my experience that it just isn’t practical for ordinary everyday families to make an instant switch to going one hundred percent organic and it’s worth bearing in mind that it is also almost impossible to make the switch to a one hundred percent organic standard.
Don’t be hard on yourself, or any others for that matter. Your organic journey should serve you well into the future for an amazing natural, healthy life full of vitality. Sometimes you’ll need to break your rules… after all, isn’t that what rules are for?