What is your new intent in this New Year? How do you stay in RENEWal long after the clock strikes midnight? Is it through force, fear, commitment, contract, vow, or financial obligation? Understand these mechanisms may be effective in the short-term, but they are not sustainable in the long-term, and they are most certainly not willPower-ful.

willPower is personal; it’s an inside job. That’s why our alignment is necessary. When we contemplate this week’s word, we must think of the vows, contracts, and commitments that we make to ourselves and to others. Often, our intent has become muddied with others’ desires and well-being. We cannot serve others until we serve ourselves, though. Yes, secure your oxygen mask first. This isn’t selfish, it is a component of productivity.

To make new or as new again…RENEW. This is why the beginning of a New Year brings the air of excitement, fresh opportunity, and hope. A chance to restart, restore, regenerate, revive, rebuild, resume, replenish, revitalize, rejuvenate, refresh, re-re-re! Re-peat. Or, maybe not “repeat” unless that repetition passes the RENEW sniff test; that is, with “new intent that draws life though”.

Those that we see who are living long lives don’t do so without powerful intent that keeps drawing. In other words, what continues the motion forward itself is the continuing setting forth of the new intent that draws life through.” ~Abraham

Repeating the same old pattern — whether said pattern refers to an activity, a food choice, a behavior, or a neural groove — can be dimming, damaging, and deadening. We do not RENEW to save face, comply, or to breathe life into something that ought to be released. We RENEW to revitalize ourselves and realign ourselves with our soul’s purpose: to experience well-being and joy.

As you go through your week, start to contemplate and categorize every decision, thought, action, behavior as being in-alignment or out-of-alignment with your intent. This isn’t about being perfect; this is about being mindful and honest…honest with yourself. Denial and distraction are renewal’s worst enemies.

How do you want to feel? Keep asking yourself this. It may change from day-to-day. Let it. Life is not just at the perceived finish line, it’s all along the way. We never get it done because the first finish line elicits the next finish line from new desires, experience, and exposure. Do you want your life’s journey to be arduous, agonizing, and difficult? Great, that’s easy to manifest. Easy because it’s all around you. It’s what most people do most of the time. Do you want to feel light, inspired, energetic, happy, and accomplished…even on the days you fall? Yes, me, too! So, let’s create a roadmap that keeps us in the essence of RENEW:

1. What are the feelings you wish to RENEW? (List 3-5)

2. What are the feelings you do not wish to RENEW? (List 3-5)

3. Create a vision board dedicated to RENEW (best practice: Pinterest boards. Share yours with me at @starslocker.)

4. What steps are you taking this week to take you closer to your vision of RENEW?

5. Which actions are you refraining from this week to take you closer to your vision of RENEW?

6. Is the active side of your practice/lifestyle in balance with the passive side? What adjustments can you make to bring the active in equilibrium with the passive?

7. Can you give yourself permission to be lazy in the service of RENEW? Carve out more time for yourself…more time when others are not telling you what to do.

8. Which foods or patterns of eating help you RENEW the most?

9. Which foods or patterns of eating sabotage your efforts to RENEW?

10. What knowledge is missing in your efforts to RENEW?

Smart Tip to RENEW: Did you know that eating first thing in the morning is one of the smartest strategies for maintaining or repairing your metabolic rate? However, what you eat is as important as when you eat. Unless that first meal contains a complete protein, the only catabolism you are turning off, is the catabolism (break-down) of your muscle. Even so-called “healthy” breakfasts such as oatmeal and raisins or yogurt with fruits and nuts will halt fat-burning, not muscle-burning. Staying in a fasted state for hours after waking slows down your metabolic rate while your body dips into muscle storage. To get leaner (lower body fat while maintaining muscle), one needs to consume protein in your first meal and, ideally, every time you eat during the day.


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