Local Treasures with Pia: New Year

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi is credited with this saying about how to become successful: “It isn’t whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.”

Here we are, tethering on the edge of 2021, after a year of COVID that’s left so many struggling. Favorite pastimes that also serve as stress relievers – like going out for dinner, traveling to visit family or going to a football game – are out of the question.

So how do we even begin to set goals and look forward to happiness, kindness and good health in 2021?

Studies show that about 80 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but fewer than 10 percent stick to them. Why? Because it’s just really hard to change old habits or build new ones.

Julie Kelsey, a Spokane-based executive and leadership development coach, said before you start setting goals for change it’s important to focus on something you can control.

“There are so many things we have no control over that can make us crazy,” Kelsey said. “For instance, you don’t have to look at the news all day if it makes you feel crazy or anxious. You can choose to do something else.”

Kelsey recommends setting crystal clear goals, commit time to reach them by adding them to your calendar and celebrate victories along the way.

“Find a commitment buddy,” Kelsey said. “If your goal is to walk more find someone to walk with. It’s easier to stick to a goal when someone else is there with you.”

And don’t be too hard on yourself.

“Remember to give yourself some grace when you get off track: it’s okay because you can get back on track tomorrow,” Kelsey said. “Things may go sideways in a heartbeat so just remember that doesn’t mean everything is lost – you’ve already done what you’ve done.”

Ara Lyman, who owns Shala Living Yoga, agrees and encourages students to be gentle with themselves.

“Speak kindly to yourself,” Lyman said. “If you are kind to yourself it’s easier to be kind to others.” Lyman added that looking for ways to help others is a great pathway to adding more joy to your own life.

“Practice using kind words. Smile, open a door and lend a hand where you can,” Lyman said. “Taking these actions is a great way to rewire the brain for more kindness.”

Here at Local Treasures we hope you will check in every Thursday in the new year, as we bring you ideas for something fun to do (in a COVID safe manner) or a story about an inspiring person. Don’t forget that we love to hear from you, so please send story ideas and tips to CorpComm@AvistaCorp.com. Happy New Year!


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