Things go stale…unless we renew. That fresh loaf of French bread is disgusting the next day. Better eat that sushi tonight or you might end up with salmonella tomorrow.

With food, it’s more obvious. Or, even when it’s not, the regulators step in so there is an expiration date imprinted on the milk carton. For our safety. But, what about other things that “feed” us? Like our workouts, our diets…our relationships?

image6Are you drawn to new shiny things? My 8-month old is. She loves jewelry…gold chains in particular…but, your hair will do, too. At her age, attraction to newness represents curiosity and learning. For the rest of us, it can be problematic. Problematic when it only scratches the surface or attempts to Band-Aid a wound that requires stitches.

Core renewal gets to the essence of change and transformation.

In set position, we renew our stance for lifting…in just the same way I would line up the blade of my back foot perfectly perpendicular to the blade of my front foot before pushing off to a figure eight. You see, before any deliberate endeavor, you position yourself anew…to make new again…to renew. For how we start dictates how we finish. When we renew, we literally and figuratively reset the expiration date on ourselves. Insert willPower here. We must renew these things for ourselves before they expire…or we expire in the process.

  1. Watch the sunrise. Dedicate it to your renewal.
  2. Attune your body to a state of inner confidence. Just like in true set-position, draw your shoulders up, back, and around. Brace through your mid-section, and line your feet directly under your hips.
  3. Strengthen your upper body and core in plank practice, heightening the awareness associated with engaging your abs…your core…the area where your solar plexus, the willPower chakra, is located.
  4. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Renew the vow to yourself first and foremost.
  5. Declare an intention every day in the mirror or your journal, and watch it unfold as your action matches the intention.
  6. Ground yourself through your feet and energetically draw up through your inner thighs and core. Can you lift your toes? All 10 of them?
  7. Take the long way home. Look with new eyes at your commute, the walk with your dog, a brisk winter jog or a cozy drive with the heat cranked up.
  8. Renew your body through different foods, flavors, and textures. Eating the same thing over and over – no matter how healthy – leads to stagnation in the body and can also lead to temporary food allergies. Get out of the food rut. It can be as easy as throwing beets into the evening salad, baking acorn squash because it is in season, or adding some antioxidant-packed blueberries to breakfast oatmeal or pancakes. Did you know that avocado with coconut, lime, and vanilla protein powder resembles a key lime pie shake?
  9. Renew your workouts. While repetition does lead to results, we need to introduce stimulus to grow. As a group fitness instructor, that is my job. As the consumer in your self- or trainer-directed workouts, make sure that is the case.
  10. Plan your next vacation. Lack of vacation is the leading cause of “expiration” in a relationship.

Fresh start. A New Year symbolizes renewal, but we are the ones who ultimately decide when or how we renew ourselves. We don’t need a New Year to find symbols of renewal when we observe the sun rise above the horizon or notice the inhale following the exhale. Every day….every breath offers us the opportunity to renew.

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah is a studio owner, fitness instructor and competitor. She is a former investment banker and equity research analyst with her MBA from the Wharton School and her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is fluent in Japanese and consults with Japanese companies on corporate governance, finance, and investor relations. Sarah's interest in Japan stemmed from her first tour with Disney On Ice as a professional figure skater. For more info on Sarah and her studio, visit www.starslocker.com.