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A Time to Pause and Reset

‘Intentions’ for the New Year!

Karen and Jay share thoughts on why this is such an important moment to ‘pause and reset.’

Winston Churchill got it right when he said, “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” It’s a simple quote, but a powerful one. And, it’s great advice for 2021. While the year is still young, let’s all pause, take a deep breath and do a ‘reset.’ Let’s go beyond the tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions, which all too often only last a few weeks, and instead, let’s make this the year where we set our most important ‘intentions’ – and then commit to living our lives throughout the entire year in a way that is consistent with our intent.

By leaving the resolutions behind and instead setting clear intentions and living with purpose, we give ourselves the best opportunity to be agents of positive change, in our own lives and in the lives of others, in this new year where much uncertainty still lies ahead. At the beginning of the new year, it’s a tradition for many of us to compile a list of resolutions, our manifesto of what we’d like to accomplish with a fresh year ahead of us. Things like eating healthier, exercising more, spending more time on a given hobby, changing habits we don’t like, typically make the list. If you’re like many, those resolutions have a tendency to fall to the wayside as the year progresses.

Moreover, resolutions carry the weight of being all or nothing. They tend to lack compassion for the self. When we make resolutions, we’re often looking at parts of our life that we feel are wrong and attempt to take action to fix a perceived problem. When we falter, we tend to feel guilt or shame, maybe even a sense of failure, which can discourage us from reaching our intended goal. Intentions differ from resolutions in that they don’t tie us to an outcome. Intentions demand us to recognize that what we are trying to do is part of an imperfect process that takes time.

So, even when we’re knocked off course, we’re able to recall our intent and remain resolute, recognizing not what we want to fix, but what we want to create. Intentions are a personal call to action about who you want to be and how you want to live each and every day, even when we may face setbacks.

So, what’s your intention? What are you willing to commit to trying to be or achieve for the balance of this year? What do you care about so very much that you are willing to struggle and persist through the entire year, no matter how much effort is required? This is the perfect moment to pause, and reset with clear intention and set a positive course for 2021.

Londonderry – An Exciting Downtown in the Making!

Can a town create a new downtown from an old apple orchard? Londonderry, NH is well on the way to successfully achieving this incredible vision. Londonderry is one of the oldest towns in the state. As you may know, it is situated immediately south of Manchester and has been growing rapidly, doubling in population since 1980. And, despite being a great New Hampshire town, It historically has not had a traditional New England downtown district. Thanks to the vision of town leaders, and the tireless work of Londonderry Town Manager and great friend, Kevin Smith, a new exciting ‘downtown’ is being created.

Londonderry is known for its quaint apple orchards, one of which is particularly famous. Mack’s Apples has become a mainstay in New Hampshire politics drawing Presidential candidates from both parties who recognize the importance apples play in the New Hampshire heritage and culture. But apple orchards are also what is leading to Londonderry’s next stage of growth. An old apple orchard is being converted to be a new hub of retail and housing including a brand-new downtown area – including shopping, residential, offices, restaurants and more. Woodmont Orchards are in the process of being developed into the new ‘Woodmont Commons.’

This new downtown area will serve as a magnet for the town but will also be a center for building cohesiveness and a sense of community. This is all happening in a town that already boasts a strong economic and industrial base, as well as being home for the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

Make no mistake, Londonderry is on to great things – It’s a community on the move. And, this initiative will help to solidify a true identity for this great town. Our thanks to Kevin, who has been leading the efforts in Londonderry for the past eight years. Kevin has nearly boundless energy and an infectious positive attitude. I cannot wait to see how this transformation continues to progress.

Skiing in NH – Successfully Adapting to the Pandemic

When you hear the phase “Winter Games?”, what comes to mind? Do you think of the Olympics, or snow days? For me, it’s skiing.

Skiing is one of our state’s greatest recreational activities. Here in the Granite State, there are 19 ski resorts. I grew up skiing at Mount Sunapee as it was right next to my hometown of Newport. Weekends and vacations during the winter result in ski mountain parking lots filled with enthusiasts, along with a boom to the local economy. In New Hampshire alone, the Ski industry accounts for over 11,000 jobs and brings in over $1.1 billion dollars of revenue annually.

This year, ski resorts and their patrons have had to adapt, and find new and different ways to pursue this great winter sport. For instance, this year, skiers have to change in their cars as opposed to changing rooms, while inside areas for gear are also closed. Social distancing must occur so limitations in dining and lodging have been enacted, causing the potential for a significant loss of revenue for these resorts. Yet, many are finding entrepreneurial ways to succeed.

Lodges and operator are becoming increasingly creative. At many resorts, tickets can now be purchased online. With most lodges closed or greatly scaled back, dining options have been limited. Ski resorts like Pats Peak in Henniker, New Hampshire have created a dining app for phones, allowing skiers to order their meals while on the ski lift and then ski down the mountain right to a pick-up window. Other resorts are inviting local food trucks and catering businesses who have been hit hard by COVID to set up shop on the base of the mountain to sell food to skiers.

Snow is typically what determines which trails are open during a ski season, but this year so does a pandemic. The ski industry has worked hard to provide a safe and fun opportunity to ensure ski enthusiasts get their runs in and enjoy this season. If you have the opportunity to go out and enjoy some great skiing and support our local industry, please do so with enthusiasm and gusto. There’s nothing better than a great day of skiing fun on a New Hampshire winter day!

Positive Profile of the Week: Joe Sweeney

Many people know I am strong supporter for young people who want to serve in public office. As you might recall, I served my hometown of Newport for two terms in in the New Hampshire Legislature while in college. Those 4 years allowed me to contribute, while also gaining a life changing experience and develop relationships that I still cherish today. I get inspired every time I meet wonderful leaders from the next generation and so it is that I am delighted this week to highlight my great friend, State Representative Joe Sweeney. Joe is a multi-term State Representative from his hometown of Salem, New Hampshire. He first got elected when he was barely eligible to vote. His commitment to public service and his determination to help like-minded individuals get elected quickly has elevated Joe as a true ‘go to guy’ in his generation. While attending college and serving in the Legislature, Joe was recognized for his hard-work by being selected one of the Union Leader’s Class of 2014 – ‘40 under 40’ recipients. Today, Joe is the newly appointed Executive Director of the New Hampshire Republican Party. He recently held the post of Communications Director and worked tirelessly with local party volunteers and candidates to help take back the New Hampshire State House for the party! Joe is also the longest serving New Hampshire Young Republican Chairman. Under his leadership and with the help of a dedicated executive committee, the Young Republicans of New Hampshire helped get elected more candidates under the age of 40 than ever before and shattered fundraising records. Joe is positive force – with energy, optimism, and passion. Always with a smile and always ready to pitch in, lead the way and make things happen. I am so proud of what he has accomplished and what lies ahead for this Granite State Superstar!

Quotes of the Week: Time to Pause and Reset

“We all get so caught up in the moment of what we're doing every day, it's hard to hit that reset button and get pulled away from all that and see life from a different perspective.”

Tony Stewart

“It's a shame that humans don't come with reset buttons.”

Richard Paul Evans

“The trouble with real life is, there's no reset button.”

Donald E. Westlake

“I feel like in a way I'm starting over, with everything.”

Shania Twain

“Sometimes you need to press pause to let everything sink in.”

Sebastian Vettell


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