Tag Archives: new year’s resolutions

Four Yogic Tips to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick


Point to Ponder:
Do you have a plan to make your New Year goals and resolutions stick?

Amy Younkman

by Amy Younkman

While the fresh start of the new year is always exciting, the pressure of being better than last year, setting new goals and resolutions can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially when there is are infinite articles telling us “how to make it our best year, yet”. As a result, I have come up with my own four ‘yogic tips that help my New Years resolutions stick:

1. Satsaunga- Yoga tradition recommends satsaunga, or ‘keeping good company’.  Many of our habits are the indirect result of our social network.  Perhaps the most powerful thing we can do to change our habits are to hang out with people who have good habits and also encourage good habits in others. THIS is the biggest reason why I have chosen to be part of the iGnite team and lead iGnite Yoga and Pilates for the past eight years!

2. Create Good Habits– Rather than worry about your bad habits, pay attention to cultivating what is good for you, such as:

  • Exercise– Do something you really enjoy and feel better after doing it.
  • Be in Nature– The best medicine EVER!
  • Hydrate– Carry your iGnite water bottle with you everywhere you go and finish it as often as possible. Drink a large glass of water before each meal.
  • Eat Like a Real Person– It’s much better to eat three hearty and healthy meals each day than to be plagued by a late night snack attacks that pack on the pounds, or grazing throughout the day and never knowing what you really ate!
  • Put Your Legs up the Wall– Or find another restorative yoga pose that helps elicit the relaxation response.  Your body will say “why don’t we do this more often?!?!”
  • Go to Bed by 10:00 p.m.- Chinese medicine folks say that every hour of sleep before midnight is equal to two hours.  It’s really hard to stick to good habits when you are exhausted and worn out!

3. Visualize It, Believe It!- If you are plagued by a negative thought, cultivate the opposite.  Instead of thinking “Things are not going the way I would like; I’m not getting enough done,” say with conviction “Things are unfolding exactly as they should.” Instead of thinking “I feel out of control”, tell yourself “The universe supports me.” (and believe it!)  Dream boards are a powerful way to bring exactly what you want into your life.  Every year I design a bulletin board with the people/places I want to bring into my life, and they magically imbed into my heart and life.

4. Make Room for Silence–  If a regular meditation practice seems daunting, try just a few minutes twice a day, preferably upon waking and before going to bed.  It can be your prayer time, or your time to connect to your breath.  Clear the mind and put things into perspective before going through your “to-do” or “didn’t-get-done” list.

Good luck and be on the look out for the iGnite Body Re-Boot and some great yoga workshops in Austin to help support your efforts.  There’s still time to sign up for the iGnite Renewal Retreat in San Diego at the end of this month!

Wishing you a blessed new year!

Action Item:
To get the most out of your New Year’s resolutions, keep good company, create good habits, visual and believe what you want and make room for silence.

Embracing the Pause

February is here and the enthusiasm of the holidays and New Year’s resolutions have passed — not to mention the winter doldrums are starting to set in. We are facing the daunting marathon until June and another school year complete. I must admit, at this time of year it starts to feel hard to keep momentum strong toward the change, that I may or may not have identified, is going to happen this year!

Amy Casual headshot

by Amy Chibib

Whether you are one of those hard core achievers diligently chipping away at your goals or not – we all get to a point of questioning – Can I do this and what is next? In my coaching practice I see it happen to all types, the excitement is waning and this is where “the rubber hits the road.” Reality sets in and the climb looks steep. Yet, we continue in a perpetual motion of just staying busy and moving forward. And if you aren’t getting things done, well then something must be wrong. Resonate with anyone?

I have been through different seasons in my life and often faced with this challenge by the end of February. The good news is I have learned some effective coping skills along the way and have come to see this as a powerful gift. Perhaps this is the very nudge, or ah ha! Saying STOP and pay attention. Listen to what is really going on and get connected to myself. I am a doer by nature and my go to pattern is to buck it up and keep going. That behavior has allowed me to escape the deep thinking and contemplation. Or even worse — the uncomfortableness of sitting still. What I have come to learn is that in my “busyness,” I am so disconnected I don’t even realize the impact of how I am showing up. What have I been missing? What have you been missing? While teaching Pilates recently, I realized the metaphor in the tiny movements, holding still, and breathing not only in exercise but in every aspect of our life is where we find the greatest connections and joy.

So, what’s next? How do you want to continue to move through this year and achieve the goals and/or change you seek? Why not pause, be still and evaluate your why’s – the values you hold. The values in which you make decisions on daily that are so subconscious they go unnoticed. As a coach, no matter what challenges my clients face, we start here. Just as strong companies lay this foundation of a mission and core values; this is an incredibly powerful discovery for yourself. It brings a connected sense of purpose and meaning behind the goals you have set. If you find yourself stuck in the winter doldrums, post resolution blues – I challenge you to embrace those moments. Give yourself a wink and say ok, I need to take inventory.

Below are two exercises to sort through in these times:

  • For those of us “Doer’s”, this is a challenge but I can attest it has given more clarity than I ever imagined. Give meditation 15minutes a day – No judging allowed, just notice and write down the chatter that is going on in your mind. Reflect – What is it like to just sit with your thoughts and let them go? Do you notice a pattern or theme?  What could this be telling you about your values?
  • Define your core values: Think of highs and lows you’ve experienced in your life. Write these events and ask: What is significant about these times and what values are being held? Name a value to each – themes will most likely appear. Another, way to identify your core values is consider what you can’t tolerate — what drives you nuts. These are pointing directly to tightly held values and beliefs. Use this list of sample values that might help you. Once you have identified your top 10 – bring them to life with a definition. If that value walked in your house, what would it look like? This is what makes it unique to you – Ex: Trust might be on many lists but that can look very different to each person.

Have fun with these exercises and notice the shifts in perspective toward your goals. Who do you want to BE and are you showing up authentically? I wish for each of you a year filled with a renewed balance, embracing the pause. 

Life is a dance that requires a lot of balance and just like when we are training our body – our spirit and mind need the same attention.

Amy Chibib works as a career/life transition coach in Austin, Texas.  She enjoys helping clients map out their whys and what’s next. If you are interested in learning more, she can be reached at amy0825@att.net or 512.632.9252



10 Healthy Eating Recipe Sites to Kick off the New Year

The holidays are over, and it is New Year’s resolution time. Since most resolutions include eating healthy, the iGnite Leaders have created a great guide to help in this — their favorite go-to healthy recipe sites.  Eating better in the new year will be much easier with these creative recipes to keep you interested. We suggest subscribing to a few of these blogs in order to get daily inspiration and motivation. Here are our top 10 favorites:

  1. Skinnytaste.com  Provides delicious, healthy, low fat, family-friendly recipes. You can sign up to get new recipes sent to you several times a week. Check out the Top 25 Most Popular Skinnytaste Recipes of 2015 to get you going. 
  2. The Defined Dish Two Dallas-based sisters give you the dish about food, fitness and other happy and healthy lifestyle tips. Along with great recipes, the site includes workouts, fitness styling, music playlists and more.
  3. Plant-Based Pulse iGnite member Allison Quinones created this blog as resource for those trying to find a healthier lifestyle by providing delicious plant-based recipes. She strives to make all recipes as close to refined sugar and oil-free as possible. She is a wonderful resource and  periodically shares her recipes such as Breakfast Quinoa with Fruit on the iGnite blog.
  4. Connoisseurus Veg  This blog is written by a vegetarian who has a passion for cooking and sharing her favorite recipes.  Try the herb crusted whole roasted cauliflower – delicious!  
  5. AmyChaplin.com Amy Chaplin, author of “At Home in My Whole Kitchen,” inspires people to seek out local and organic vegetables, stock their pantries with nutrient rich whole food ingredients and to cook at home. Find beautiful, healthy recipes on her blog or follow her on Instagram.
  6. Elana’s Pantry A go-to website for easy, healthy, grain-free Paleo recipes.  Elana Amsterdam is the author of the New York Times Best Selling cookbook “Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry.”  Her site even includes pizza, donuts, and other treats made the healthy way! 
  7. Greatist Daily Greatist covers all things healthy and makes it easy to navigate throughout their site — categorized by quick breakfasts, make-ahead meals, detox recipes and more.  Get their daily email with Greatist’s top health tips, workout ideas and delicious recipes.
  8. Oh She Glows One of the most popular vegan recipe blogs around featuring over 500 healthy recipes by Angela Liddon. Her goal is to inspire you to embrace more plant-based foods in your diet without feeling deprived. Most recipes are gluten-free and many are allergy-friendly. 
  9. Against All Grain  Paleo recipes to make you feel great created by Danielle Walker. She is the author and photographer of the New York Times Best Selling cookbook “Against all Grain.”  Use her Costco Paleo Shopping List as a great resource. 
  10. Naturally Ella Created by Erin Alderson, the blog focuses on seasonal vegetarian recipes that are pantry-inspired. Her goal is to keep the recipes simple, fresh, and exciting for the entire family. Her tex-mex inspired recipes are definite crowd-pleasers.

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*Food photography by Allison Quinones of  Plant-Based Pulse




First, Celebrate!

A Road Map to Your Best Year Yet, Part I

Take the Time to Celebrate Your Accomplishments

Point to Ponder:
Did you take the time to acknowledge and celebrate all that you accomplished in 2014 or did you go straight into thinking about all that you did not accomplish and want to do in 2015?

Fill out your Celebrate 2014 page today!

Fill out your Celebrate 2014 page today!

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

First, Happy New Year! If you’re like me, you always enjoy the new year because you get a do-over, or at least that’s how I feel. The fresh start is….refreshing, and had I not begun receiving professional coaching in late October with iGnite member and consultant/coach extraordinaire Martha Lynn Mangum, I would not have known or even taken the time to celebrate first, and then look at what I want to accomplish in 2015. This activity is called “Cleaning the Slate.”

What Martha has taught me is that all success, the fulfillment of goals and attaining the health, career, relationships, and life we want begins and ends with energy. So, rather than do what most high-strung Americans (like myself) do and start the new year only thinking about where I failed in 2014 and what I want to accomplish in 2015 — that’s just bad energy, the energy I first need to bring into 2015 is the energy of celebration and gratitude.

While it seems simple, the act of celebrating our successes, unexpected wins and accomplishments is not easy (at all) because we are not programmed to celebrate ourselves unless it’s an annual celebration such as a birthday or anniversary. Instead, we are trained to always look ahead, do better and see what and where improvements can be made. Ultimately, we are very rarely satisfied, and I’m speaking for myself when I say that, which has been a disturbing and humbling discovery. In fact, this is likely why I love the new year so much. I really don’t celebrate anything from 2014. Instead I celebrate a do-over. And, it’s because of this internal wiring that Martha had me rely on my 2014 calendar, so that I could actually see my accomplishments, successes and unexpected wins.

Because we all need and want 2015 to be our best year yet, I encourage you to push the pause button on setting all of your goals and first grab your 2014 calendar or photos in your Smart Phone, print the 2014 celebration PDF and begin writing down all that occurred in 2014 that you are grateful for, your accomplishments, unexpected wins and successes (you’ll have this opportunity in your iGnite classes as well). Try not to over-think or go ‘epic’ on your accomplishments. Some of my accomplishments and successes were: remaining healthy, having the resources to pay our bills, remaining married and having healthy children. Hey, whatever way you slice it, a success is a success so do not de-value your amazing life and all that you were able to overcome, coordinate, and make happen in the past year.

Finally, as I continue to read the book The ONE Thing, the one thing I am learning is how unproductive it is to multi-task. Based on studies, the book states, “There is just so much brain capacity at any one time. Divide it up and you’ll pay the price in time and effectiveness. Multi-taskers experience more life-reducing, happiness-squelching stress.” So let’s avoid trying to accomplish too many things in this first week of January and make our ONE thing to focus on our 2014 successes and all that we were grateful for in 2014. The more intentional we can be about the energy we bring into 2015, the more likely we’ll be able to create the year we want and desire!

Action Item:
Push the pause button on setting all of your goals and first grab your 2014 calendar or photos in your Smart Phone, print the 2014 celebration PDF and begin writing down all that occurred in 2014 that you are grateful for, your accomplishments, unexpected wins and successes

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Persist to Achieve

We’re entering our 4th week of January & are pacing ourselves for positive long-term & permanent change. Maybe this is a breeze for you, or maybe you’re struggling. Either way, we’re in this together & we’re walking along-side you. In this week’s video, motivational speaker and life coach Tony Robbins provides valuable insight into how to make our positive changes STICK. As you watch, ponder your “why” & next week we’ll put pen to paper & make this thing HAPPEN!

Video not working? Watch it here on YouTube.

Don’t have 10 minutes to watch?  A few of our favorite points from Tony’s talk:

Statistics show that 90% of people who made a new year’s resolution have already broken it by January 15th!

There’s something inside of us that makes us want to make things better.

Getting things is not going to make you happy…the secret to real happiness is progress. If we can make progress on a regular basis, we feel alive.

You don’t have to work on changing… everything in life is always changing. Change in life is automatic, but progress is not. You have to work at it.

The first step for lasting change is have a vision. A vision for what you really want…what excites you…it has to be a compelling vision, not something that you have to push yourself to do.  You’ve got to have strong enough reasons that you’re going to keep going when the going gets tough.


The Key to New Year’s Resolution Success


“Pace yourself. Your best moments will be those you live in, not rush through.”

Point to Ponder:
Are you going after one of your new year’s resolutions or goals full-throttle?

Action Item:
Re-think how you might pace yourself more realistically so that you can have sustainable, long-term success.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Once upon a time I ran a marathon, and once upon a time I could run a half marathon with ease, and the three-mile loop at Lady Bird Lake was simply a warm-up. Now, 2 children and at least five years later, the three-mile loop is a struggle.  Because I love the serenity of a jog (especially around Lady Bird Lake), one of my 2014 goals is to run the loop without stopping.  So, last Monday I set out on a mission to regain my running endurance. I knew going into it I would likely be winded and want to stop, but the moment I stepped onto the trail I felt like “the old Neissa” again. I was strong, athletic and invincible, so I took off! As you might expect, within five minutes I began to walk, and I wasn’t feeling the confidence I experienced just a few minutes earlier. Long story short, I did complete the loop but it was a humbling run/walk combination.

Then, on Saturday morning I got up early to try again, but this time I was much more strategic and realistic. Rather than let my ego push me beyond my cardiovascular limits I recognized and accepted my stamina state and paced myself. Surprisingly, and with the exception of intentionally walking across the Pfluger Bridge to enjoy the view, I completed the loop without stopping. My time wasn’t great, but I really didn’t care.  It’s a marathon and not a sprint, right?!

Throughout my jog, I thought a lot about the concept of pacing myself and how relevant it is in life, and for this time of year in particular. Too often, the vast majority of my goals, resolutions and expectations are motivated by past successes: what I once was or what I once could do. And, because one of my Achilles heels is living in the past or future, I have trouble accepting my present reality and don’t pace myself, which of course results in not having long-term success with my goals.

Like anything worth having or accomplishing, it takes time — even if it is something that was once easy! So in this new year, I challenge you to pace yourself and embrace what is sustainable, which is nothing that can be achieved overnight or within a few weeks or months time. This includes building or repairing healthy relationships, adopting healthy habits, acquiring healthy thoughts, creating a healthy body and everything else that is on your 2014 to-do’s, goals and resolutions list.  So, go ahead and pace yourself, and let’s make 2014 the best year of our lives!

WEEKLY JOURNAL: Your Word of the Year

Inspirational Glass Stones

“Be fearless. Have the courage to take risks. Go where there are no guarantees.Get out of your comfort zone even if it means being uncomfortable. The road less traveled is sometimes fraught with barricades, bumps and uncharted terrain. But it is on that road where your character is truly tested. And have the courage to accept that you’re not perfect, nothing is and no one is — and that’s OK.” -Katie Couric

Each new year, a friend of mine — instead of creating a long and lofty resolution — chooses one word and makes it her supporting focus for the year. She was told, “choose a word that best supports and soothes you and mentally puts you in a place where you are your best”. What a brilliant idea! When I found this out, I was inspired and immediately began working on choosing a word of my own.

Thinking about my word led me down a squeemish and self-reflective path. Determining ‘your word’ requires staying introspective and still long enough to check in with your gut and truly listen to yourself. You have to be honest about your fears, insecurities and imperfections, as well as what you are striving for in life and why. So, after plenty of discomfort and thinking (of which I will spare you the details), I discovered my word for 2013: grace.

Grace, or in other words giving myself a break, is what I need to keep in mind when I am feeling inadequate in one of the many roles that I, like all of us, play in life — professional, friend, parent, spouse, neighbor… the list is goes on. On the days when I am not feeling “enough”, I will remind myself to give myself grace — that while I can always try my best, it is impossible for me to be or have it all, all at once. Even just thinking about it now makes me breathe a sigh of relief!

So, what supporting and soothing word would remind you to come to a place mentally where you are your best? Is it Worth? Adventure? Openness? Listen? Love? Strength? Rest? Peace? Grow? Patience? Joy? Travel? Family? Friends? Career? Energy? Fun? Financial freedom?…


Point to Ponder:

What situations in your life do you wish you would respond to differently?


Action Item:

Choose a word that will support and soothe you and remind you to respond to those situations in a way that reflects you at your best. Write it down and put it somewhere where you will see it on a regular basis.  Then, say it to yourself when necessary!