My goal is to follow the 80/20 rule, where most of my meals are meatless, but I can enjoy turkey at Thanksgiving, a good pork steak at a St. Louis bbq, and I will able to eat anything served when I am a guest a someone's house for dinner. Factoring 21 meals in a week, this means I can eat meat 4 meals a week if I want to. When I put it like that, it doesn't seem too difficult! Maybe I'll even end up going 90/10 meatless later.
As easy as it should be, it will be an adjustment. For me, the best way to start is to start small. With that in mind, I've started with going vegetarian for breakfast (something that I do 98% of the time already) and for lunch. That way, I only have to worry about meatless dinners 3 times a week at the start. It's easiest for me to control breakfast and lunch, so I'm starting there. Of course, my 4 meat meals could be eaten anytime, so if you invite me over for brunch, don't worry if there is sausage in that casserole you made!
As expected, the first (& 2nd & 3rd) person I told about my plan was worried about my protein consumption. But guess what? Meat is not the only way to get protein. Also, I'm going 80% lacto-ovo vegetarian, which means eggs, dairy and all that jazz are okay*. But even if I wasn't eating eggs, I could still get good protein from veggies & such.
Going veggie isn't totally new for me; I give up meat for most Lenten seasons. Even so, this is going to be a lifestyle change, so I've got some good sources of help. 100 Days of Real Food is a great website with tons of recipes and tips on clean eating, which translates very well to healthy vegetarian eating. Also, my friend & vegetarian just started a blog with great Bento Lunch ideas.
Wish me luck!
*yes, I realize my reasons for over-consuming animal flesh are applicable to animal by-products, but the idea of going vegan is too difficult for me to entertain. In an effort to start small & find success, this is where I'm starting. Who knows what the future holds (although a future without ice cream seems pretty bleak, indeed, so it probably still holds dairy products).