New Year’s intentions from the BeWell Team

New Year’s intentions from the BeWell Team

Are you ready to use the power of the New Year to help you leave behind unsupportive habits and bring in positive new ones? The BeWell Team is!

Let’s call them intentions.

Words mean a lot, and when we say “resolutions” around the new year, it conjures up images of gritting your teeth and forcing yourself to do things you think you should. But research shows that’s no way to change a habit. Being aware of why you want to let go of a behavior and what you want to create instead will motivate you far longer than berating yourself for doing it.

So, let’s talk about creating intentions for 2022. What if you made an intention to let go of something that doesn’t serve you and an intention to focus on something that will? That’s what the staff at BeWell did, and here’s what we’re focusing on now.

BeWell Founder Monica Montag’s Intentions for 2022

I’m leaving behind rushing. Focusing on catching myself when I’m doing it. 

And I would like to be more present for the sweet moments in my life, which I often rob myself of because I am looking towards the next thing that needs to get done.

Monica points to an essential part of the change process: awareness. To start to change something, we must first become aware of when and why we’re doing it. Then we can choose something different, in this case focusing on being present in the moment.

Choose Consciously

Once we become aware of our behavior, we can make a conscious choice about whether to do it or not, rather than just acting out of (bad) habit. Several staffers are looking at their screen time and intend to choose differently in 2022.

Certified Nutrition Specialist Laura Menefee’s writes:

I hate to admit it, but when I reflect on 2021, it was packed with so.much.screen.time. Of course, I use Zoom with BeWell clients. Beyond that, I found myself incessantly refreshing my email inbox, color coding my iCal, maintaining friendships through texting and social media. And then watching TV in the evenings to decompress.

I pledge to leave non-essential screen time in 2021. I’m nostalgic for the physical over the digital. Reading books, fingering through magazines, and good ol’ pen-to-paper note keeping. Perhaps I’ll even leave the texts and comments in 2021 and instead write some snail mail letters in 2022!

Office Manager Lydia Meyer also echoes Laura’s sentiments:

I would like to disconnect from my phone when I’m at home. While I can’t leave it behind entirely, I’d like to focus on being more present with my family and appreciate the time I have with them.

Clinical Nutritionist, Caitlin Maher, is also assessing her screen time and choosing to focus elsewhere.

[I intend to add] Reading for pleasure, which I haven’t done in many years. I look forward to escaping into fictional worlds. I would like to decrease the amount of time I spend looking at screens (TV, computer, phone) and reading would be a great alternative. 

How much screen time do you engage in each day, and how much more quiet time or personal interaction could you have? Using technology more consciously in 2022 can help you sleep better, reduce anxiety, and increase opportunities for real connection.

Laura’s second intention for 2022

In 2022, I want to embrace the new! To strengthen the muscle of embracing newness, I pledge to try a new food every month in 2022. Not a new dish or recipe, per se, but an ingredient that is new to me.

Surprisingly to many (seeing as I’m a nutritionist), I grew up on the standard American kid’s diet of spaghetti with butter and chicken nuggets. Oh, and truckloads of Little Debbie Cakes. Rarely did a vegetable pass my lips.

Now, as an adult and nutritionist, I hardly recognize that version of myself. But there are still so many foods that I have yet to try. What does watercress pair with? How does one prepare rutabaga? And delicata squash?

By the end of the year, I’ll have 12 new foods I’m familiar with and hopefully enjoy. This opens me up to many new food experiences – whether at a restaurant, a friend’s house, or the grocery store.

Lydia also wants to focus her energies in the kitchen:

I used to cook almost daily but have gotten away from it as we have adjusted to new lifestyles. I’m hoping to fit some cooking time back into my weekly routine. Not only do I enjoy it, but I know we eat healthier when I prepare the meals.

Not surprisingly, food is a big topic at BeWell! Nutritionist Caitlin Maher is focusing one Intention on food, too.

Caitlin’s intention for 2022

[I want to leave behind] Mindlessly eating and eating quickly while doing other things. I am often eating as I watch TV or while doing work. Slowing down and being present while I eat will help improve my digestion, which means I will better get all the nutrients from the healthy food I’m consuming. It will also help me appreciate the different tastes and textures, making me less likely to overindulge because I’ll feel more satiated. Lastly, it will decrease my stress levels as I fully relax and leave behind life stressors to focus on the food and how I feel eating it. Food is a blessing, and delicious, healthy food is a treat for my body–so I should act like it and give it the attention it deserves. 

Notice how tuned in Caitlin is to the benefits of letting go of the behavior. Being a benefit finder and focusing on the positive outcome of the change will motivate you to stick with your Intention.

Office Assistant Deb Young wants to “Eat mindfully, letting go of eating things I don’t really want to put in my body.” She also wants to, “Slow down enough to eat breakfast every day.”

Office Assistant Cassie Konkle wrote:

I would like to cut back on the amount of dairy I eat. I discovered last year that I am lactose intolerant, and I think my body feels better when I’m not eating dairy.

Three Ways To Make Change

When making a change, think about ADDING something new, SUBTRACTING something old, or SUBSTITUTING one habit for another. Examples are adding a new food each month, subtracting dairy, or substituting reading for screen time.

We can also slightly shift an aspect of daily life, incorporating a SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE DECISION about doing it differently. 

Cassie writes, “I would like to get better at going to bed at a consistent time. I struggle a lot with insomnia, and I know having a consistent sleep and wake time can help with sleep.”

Holistic Life Coach Annie Mascelli, says, “I plan to stop whatever I’m doing and have dinner earlier so that I’m not eating after 8pm. I know I digest and sleep better when I don’t eat late.”

Do It Together

In weight loss studies, participants who had a buddy also working on losing weight were 100% more likely to reach their goals. 100%!

Annie wrote, “I’ve made a pact with an exercise buddy to walk or go to the gym three times a week in the new year. I know we’ll encourage each other to stick to our plan and be consistent.”

Six Ways To Make This Year Your Best

  1. Create intentions rather than resolutions.
  2. Use awareness to get a handle on your behavior.
  3. Choose consciously rather than out of habit.
  4. Three ways to make a change: add, subtract, or substitute.
  5. Decide on a measurable difference in some aspect of daily life, such as bedtime or mealtime.
  6. Do it together – find a buddy to make the change with you.