“January is a perfect time of year to set new intentions for what you want to manifest in your life – to reconnect with yourself and look back on the challenges faced in 2021 with gratitude, knowing that no matter what you experienced, you are here today, stronger, and wiser. You wouldn't be who you are today if you didn't go through all the challenges you've faced – they helped you grow. So, remember to take a minute to welcome each new day with gratitude.”
– Krissy Ostermiller, founder of YAYE Organics (plant-based meal delivery service in Denver)
Here's a list of intentions Krissy is always looking to incorporate into her daily life:
1 | PRACTICE MORE SELF-AWARENESS
Take the time for yourself to ask some seemingly small but very important questions like: What am I putting into my body? Who am I spending my time with? What content am I ingesting? We are products of our environment at the end of the day, and we have a lot of control over that environment. We may not have control over what others do or say, but we can absolutely change who and what we surround ourselves with if it is not serving our better purpose.
We can change the environment we are in by simply creating a new and better one for ourselves.
2 | BE INTENTIONAL WITH YOUR TIME + FORM GOOD HABITS
One of Krissy’s current favorite books is Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book is a #1 New York Times bestseller and has become a very popular helping hand to many in creating better living habits. She summarizes Clear’s teachings like this:
“In a nutshell, the effects of our habits multiply as we repeat them. They seem to make little difference in any given day, but the impact they deliver over months or years can be enormous. Think of it this way: If you can get 1% better each day of 2022, you'll end up 36.5x better by 2023. We often dismiss small changes because they don't seem to matter very much in the moment. If you save a little money now, you're still not rich. If you work out 3 days in a row, you're still out of shape. If you study a new language for an hour tonight, you still haven't learned the language. We make a few changes, but the results never seem to come quickly enough, so we slide back into our previous routines. Unfortunately, the slow pace of transformation often makes it easy to let our good habits slide. But it's important to remember that your outcomes are a lagging product of daily habits. For example, "Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits" and "Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits."₁ We get what we repeat.”
3 | SPEND MORE TIME IN NATURE
After almost two years of this pandemic, you may be hesitant to spend time outside your home, but doing so is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being. Here are some of the noticeable benefits of being outside.
Anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns can be eased by spending time outside. Studies have shown that being outside lowers levels of cortisol, a known stress hormone. ₂
Soaking up the sun can improve your health as well. Vitamin D is essential for bone growth, can help battle depression, regulate our immune system, and reduce inflammation in the body. An estimated 40% of U.S. men and women are vitamin D deficient, which can lead to cancer, osteoporosis, heart attacks and even strokes. ₃
To get a breath of fresh air, bundle up and head out for a walk. A deep breath of fresh clean outdoor air can clear your lungs, give you more energy, and lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
Getting outside can also improve your vision. People who suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome (yes, this is a real health condition caused by staring at screens for a long periods of time) find that time outside can alleviate blurred and double vision, red eyes, and headaches. Spending time outside is linked to higher levels of concentration, creativity, and improved mental clarity. The attention-improving effect of nature has been studied as a method of treating children with ADHD and asthma. ₄
4 | MEDITATE DAILY
During meditation you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind. Meditation is often referred to as a practice because much like any activity, practice makes you stronger and better. The more you do it the better you get at it. As Krissy puts it, “Meditation is like strength training for the mind, similar to running for cardio training or weight training to build muscle.”
Meditation helps give you a new perspective, build skills to manage your stress, increase self-awareness, focus on the present, reduce negative emotions, increase imagination and creativity, and increase patience and tolerance with others.
Krissy began meditating around 10 years ago and is a big advocate of the benefits it offers. She says, “It’s one of the most powerful ways for me to reduce anxiety and set the tone for my day — my favorite time to meditate is in the morning.”
“Meditation centers me and creates space in my brain to make decisions. My goal for 2021 was to become more self-aware and adding meditation to my routine gave me the tools to achieve that goal. It allows me to witness my life, be present and see things clearly, instead of being caught up in the emotions of it all.”
5 | DRINK (AND EAT) MORE WATER
There is a reason this one is the 3rd pillar of YAYE’s 6 Pillars of Nutrition. ₅ Water is essential for all life; it makes up 70% of the Earth’s surface and makes up around 60% of the human body.
Water has many functions in the body that make it as precious as air. Water cleanses our bodies on a cellular level, regulates body temperature, helps lubricate our joints and ligaments, protects organs and tissues, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, lightens the burden on the liver and kidneys by flushing waste from the body, and helps dissolve minerals and nutrients to make them accessible to your body.
Every day you lose water thorough breath, perspiration, and bathroom breaks. This means it is essential to continue drinking water throughout the day. But hydration does not just come from drinking water, you can eat it too. Yes, you heard that right. Melons, berries, cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, bell peppers, cauliflower, and celery; all of these are more than 90% water.
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends 15.5 cups of water a day for men and 11.5 cups a day for women. ₆ Not getting enough water can lead to dehydration on a cellular level which can cause, fatigue, headache, muscle cramps, and worsened sicknesses and conditions.
6 | EAT INTUITIVELY
Chances are if you don’t recognize an ingredient, your body won’t either. Like all natural things our body is incredibly intuitive, but as we get more and more into a fast-paced daily rhythm, we seem to lose that ability. When our bodies are filled with toxins from pesticides, refined oils and sugars, we begin to lose that mind body sync. This impacts your ability to think, feel, sleep and act.
Eating whole foods allows your body to reap the benefits from the phytonutrients that are often removed when packaged food is processed. Eating a whole food plant-based diet allows you to get back to the basics of intuition. You will notice you begin to focus on the quality of food you are eating rather than the number of calories. Your relationship with food begins to shift from that of a “diet” to a lifestyle.
THE BOTTOM LINE
There are so many things to set your sights on for goals in 2022. At YAYE, we feel confident that healthy foods for the new year and overall mental wellness will be at the top of your list — it’s at the top of ours. YAYE will soon release a New Year Detox Plan powered by The Conscious Cleanse (a program run by Jo Schaalman & Julie Pelaez.) Join us in January to experience healthy meals to start your new year!
And remember — any obstacles ahead will be easier to tackle if you are healthy, hydrated, self-aware and grateful for the beautiful life you are living. Embrace it all and step into 2022 with a healthful and energetic stride.
- Clear, James. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones ; Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results. New York: Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2018. Print.