Tag Archives: goal

Who are You Grateful for?

"We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives."  -John F. Kennedy

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
-John F. Kennedy

Point to Ponder:
Who are you grateful for?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Who are you grateful for? If you are like me, I would guess that this is a fairly simple question to answer and that you could create a long list of people, however, it’s likely that these people may not hear or see the words “I am grateful for you” as much as they’d like to and as often as you feel grateful for them.

It was at this exact same time last year that we launched our “I am grateful for you”, week-long letter writing campaign, and it was nothing short of beautiful! As a result of you, our members, writing gratitude letters during classes, we mailed over three hundred notes by the Thanksgiving holiday. That was approximately 2.5 gratitude notes per person, which translates to over 600 uplifted and happy hearts — with both the sender and receiver experiencing the proven benefits of gratitude. Therefore, we are absolutely committed to making this a pre-Thanksgiving tradition! My personal goal is to crush last year’s number and aim for at least three hand-written notes per person.

iGnite is emotionally invested in your well-being and we believe that the act of expressing gratitude verbally or in a handwritten note has the power to repair relationships and transform lives. And because having healthy relationships is paramount to living a low-stress and fulfilling life, we have ordered one thousand cards and we’d love to have ZERO left over when you’re done with them! The only action required is for you to attend classes throughout this week, have at least three people in mind that you are grateful for, then fill out the notes & envelopes during designated class time. The postage and trip to the post office is on us!

Finally, there is one more thing that I encourage you to pay close attention to during and after writing your gratitude notes, and that’s how you feel. Because you will have just finished exercising and/or practicing yoga, your endorphins will be flowing and you will already be feeling great, but all gratitude research proves that the result of expressing gratitude is an increase in life-satisfaction and well-being. In fact, one fascinating and very relative study by Steve Toepfer, associate professor in Human Development and Family Studies at Kent State University, found that “when a study participant wrote up to three gratitude notes about something that was important to them (not a generic “thank you” for you a gift, etc) the more they improved significantly on happiness and life satisfaction. The new and potentially important finding is that depressive symptoms decreased. Even more fascinating is that by writing these letters – 15 to 20 minutes each, once a week for three weeks to different people – well-being increased significantly.”

Gratitude. We can question its power and significance, but it’s all backed up by research. The more we express it, live in it and share it, the happier, more fulfilled and healthier we are. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s the cheapest and most effective fix on the market. Unlike everything else, there are no crazy side-effects — with the exception of extreme joy — and we can access it at our disposal. Now that’s what I call some serious good news!

Action Item:
Think about 3 people who you are grateful for and write them a personal “I am grateful for you” note this week!

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Three Mantras to Inspire You

“The power of words can move you to tears, evoke absolute joy or lead you in action. There are words of encouragement, of sympathy, of love and admiration. The right words can give you strength, define your faith, give flight to things that live in your imagination. Words will inspire you, cut you and bring you back to life. They will comfort you in your time of needs.
They will nourish your soul!”
(Unknown)

Point to Ponder:
How about you? Do you have a 2014 seasonal saying or focus that will help you reach your goals, aspirations or simply help you get through the next several months with a smile on your face?

Action Item:
Determine how you would fill out the 2 steps of the card above
to intentionally pursue a healthier you in body, mind and/or spirit this spring!

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Throughout the next three weeks, we will focus on choosing a mantra, intention, or motto that will inspire and encourage you throughout this spring season. And because we believe that transparency is one of the main ingredients to cultivating a deeply connected and meaningful community, below are three personal mantras, brought to you by three of our wonderful leaders: Amy, Catherine and Molly.

“Stand tall; walk proud.”

By Amy Younkman

by Amy

This mantra is a culmination of the last several years. When I feel stressed, overwhelmed, anxious and ‘the weight of the world on my shoulders,’ I tend to round my shoulders inward — as a sort of protective barrier or suit of armor. Through my yoga and Pilates practice, I have become much more aware of how I carry myself through life. When I “stand tall and walk proud” I have more confidence, I feel more ready to take on my world, and I allow more things to “roll off my shoulders” rather than feel like I have to fix things and make it all right. It is as much a mental practice as it is a physical practice for me.

“Make it happen!”

by Catherine Hearn

by Catherine

I’m saying these words to myself anytime I start thinking that I can’t do something or that something isn’t possible.  It is so true — when you just say ‘I’m going to MAKE it happen, regardless!‘ suddenly the possibilities open up before you. This can cross over in to so many aspects of life — I’m excited to see the difference it makes. It has already  helped me push through a number of situations and take on a much more optimistic, anything-is-possible attitude.

“Let it go”

by Molly McCauley

by Molly

Too often I find myself taking things way too personally — some things that I definitely shouldn’t take personally.  Or, I let silly ideas and comments eat me alive and drive me crazy. I’m wired that way though — I’m a worry wart. For example, if I think someone has read me the wrong way or taken something I’ve said out of context, I can drive myself crazy about how or what I should have done differently. I’ve come to learn that I can’t please everyone, even though I want to make every person I am around happy. I’m focusing on letting these things, these worries, GO! If something happens that does get to me, I’m whispering to myself “let it go.” It has worked the past couple times I’ve tried. Life is too short to worry all the time, so let it go!

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WEEKLY JOURNAL: Are You Living in the Fantasy of “One Day…”?

The Best Time is NOW

Happiness is an inside job. By exposing your fantasy, you will once and for all dispel the myth that happiness, joy and contentment live anywhere but within you.

-Debbie Ford

Have you ever thought or said, “I’ll be happy or content when__________?”  Or, have you ever heard this saying “You’re only as happy as your most unhappy child”?  I’m certainly guilty of looking ahead to see what is over the horizon and will be the first to admit that I lack contentment.  And, just the other day during an iGnite meeting we discussed the danger of putting all of our happiness eggs into or children’s basket, or anyone’s basket for that matter. If that’s the case, we’ll never get off of the nauseating and emotional roller coaster; therefore, we’ll always deny ourselves happiness, joy and contentment!  Happiness, joy and contentment are choices; and thankfully, it’s up to us to find and experience these lifelong fulfilling emotions.

I find the topics of happiness, joy and contentment especially fitting this time of year as goals, resolutions and changes are being pursued by everyone, including myself. After reading the chapter  ‘Exposing The Fantasies’ from Debbie Ford’s book The Best Year of Your Life, I was shocked and humbled.  I recognized that my reasoning behind fulfilling some of my goals is actually fantasy-driven. Check out what Debbie has to say and see if you too have any “fantasies:”

When we are waiting for one day to come in order to be happy–to experience joy, fun, passion, or success — we are living an illusion that deadens our spirits and robs us of our ability to enjoy our lives right now. There is nothing wrong with future thinking or goal setting. In fact, I believe these actions are imperative if we are to reach our full potential. But living in the fantasy of “one day….” keeps our real lives — the ones you and I are actually living — on hold. Our fantasies prevent us from taking action and making the changes that are necessary to better our lives. Fantasies come in every flavor and are often disguised as goals. They might sound like:

“When I finally get________.”     “As soon as I accomplish____________.”      “When my husband finally____________.”     “When my kids are old enough to take care of themselves, I’ll be able to____________.”     “As soon as this _________ period is over, I will diet/get in shape/take care of myself.”     “Next year I will_______, and then I’ll be able to_________.”     “I’ll be happy when I make more money, live a more balanced life, have a baby, have more time,……………….”

There’s no doubt that timing is everything and the season of our life can certainly influence our goals; however, we must be honest with ourselves and determine if we’ve chosen specific goals as an effort to “one day be happy and fulfilled,” and are postponing the pursuit of a particular goal (as well as our happiness) because we are waiting for the “perfect time.” After all, waiting for the “perfect time” is like believing in mermaids, leprechauns and unicorns. They are nice to think about — but that’s about as good as it gets.

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Point To Ponder:

Are you postponing making a change because you are waiting for the perfect time, situation or opportunity?

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Action Item:
Determine what it is that you are postponing, and break that change or goal down into small, achievable, baby steps. Soon you will see that taking action today is not as intimidating and overwhelming as you originally thought.

By Neissa

Neissa Springmann