Triangle East 2

 Ah, a new year — this is the time we make promises to ourselves and others, to be healthier, happier and just all-around better people.

So how long do your resolutions usually last, before good intentions cave to the ol’ comfort zones?

We’ve called on local pros for advice and inspiration for creating lasting life changes this year, and to help us all make 2013 the year we succeed at being … better.



Lisa Creech Bledsoe of Garner was stressed out in her family life, career and health, when in 2008 she found herself intrigued by the heavy bag in her garage, meant for her sons’ use.

“They weren’t all that interested, but I was fascinated,” she said. Using a pair of paper-thin leather mitts that came with the bag, she started swinging.

“I didn’t know I needed boxing gloves for a serious punching workout. As a result, my hands were covered with minor abrasions and my wrists, elbows and shoulders were sore,” she said. “I was pretty sure there was a lot I didn’t know about boxing, which is how I found myself wandering around in a boxing gym looking for someone who… Read More


Life is better for all of us when we step out to help others — so says Kristen Johnson of Garner, who is a wife, mother of four, and president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina.

“I was taught by example from an early age that if someone needs help, you find a way to make a difference,” said Johnson. “Volunteering is a natural extension of what is important to you, helps others, builds character, hones skills, and the list could go on and on.”

Trained in public relations and marketing communications, Johnson has worked in corporate and advertising agency environments, and holds the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for her service through the Governor’s Office of Citizen Affairs… Read More


New ideas and activities can feel uncomfortable at first, and it takes a bit of discipline to develop them as good habits.

For local resident Brig. Gen. Elizabeth Austin, who in 2011 was named the first female brigadier general of the North Carolina National Guard, discipline is the “building block” to success.

“There is a saying that if you can do something for at least two weeks, you can make it a habit, and thus in a sense, re-create yourself or fix bad habits that may be limiting your ability to achieve your personal goals,” Austin… Read More


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